Inspired by the 2020/2021 Olympic games where over 200 countries were represented, we curated a list of on-campus student housing communities from around the world. These housing communities reflect the unique culture of the cities in which they reside and the student populations that they house. We hope you enjoy this tour around the world – and maybe you get the chance to visit a few of these one day!
Baker House – MIT, Cambridge, MA
The famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto designed this beautiful dormitory building. He described the building design as a mix between a ski lodge and a ship. His creative design promotes communication and interaction among all residents on six floors by having open study areas and lounges, as well as a luminous dining hall overlooking the Charles River. What’s more, because of the ‘W’–shaped design of the building, each room has a unique view of the river. The ingenious wave-shaped building maximizes the number of rooms with a sunny southern exposure, orienting them at oblique angles to soften noise from Memorial Drive. Hanging staircases serve as the vertical access, providing an increasingly dramatic view of MIT as one ascends, and the dining pavilion with its “moon garden lights” affords wonderful views of the Charles River. Internationally recognized as a masterpiece of modernism, Baker was renovated several years ago for its fiftieth anniversary.
In part because of the residential experience it provides and its proximity to student life facilities including the Student Center and Athletic complexes, Baker House is popular among its residents. Year after year, Baker is the top choice in the housing lottery. Although the architecture is magnificent, the students are what make Baker House an enjoyable and dynamic place to live! Baker House has students who are very active in-house government, sports, leadership, performance, and about every activity on campus. At Baker House you’ll find a history of great traditions that make life in this dorm a social adventure – including the Baker House Piano Drop a tradition where students drop a defunct piano from the roof of Baker House to mark “Drop Day”, the last day to drop classes for the spring semester.
Sontag and Dialynas Halls, Pomona College, Claremont, CA
Dialynas and Sontag Halls are the two newest residence halls on the Pomona college campus. Completed in Spring of 2011, these residence halls feature more than 30 suites with approximately 153 single bedrooms. Suites range in size from 3 bedroom to 6 bedrooms, and each suite has a common living room. Built to LEED platinum standards, the highest level of sustainable building, the new residence halls are among the greenest in the country and were the first student housing buildings in the country to receive such certification.
Dialynas Hall has 78 bedrooms in suite-style arrangements, with three to six bedrooms. Each of the three floors has a large common area with full kitchen. Dialynas Hall has solar hot water heating, solar voltaic panels and an electricity cutoff switch for each suite, among its sustainable features. Its first floor lounge features a drop-down movie screen.
Sontag Hall has 76 bedrooms in suite-style arrangements of three to six bedrooms on three floors. Each of the three floors has a large common area with full kitchen and Energy Star appliances. Sontag Hall also has a rooftop garden patio, solar hot water heating and solar voltaic panels on the roof.
Gianicolo Residence, John Cabot University, Rome, Italy
The Gianicolo Residence is JCU’s apartment-style, academic living community in Trastevere, just a 5-minute walk from the Guarini Campus and a 10-minute walk from the Tiber Campus. The building contains 70 apartments and houses around 255 students. The units vary in size and layout and can accommodate between two and nine students. They are independent-living apartments, which include an equipped kitchen, 1-2 bathrooms, and a common area. It is important to note that the “common area” might not be a separate room (like a living room), rather additional seating space in the kitchen. Students living in the Gianicolo Residence have assigned Resident Assistants, who provide them with useful tips and support throughout the semester. Amenities include: 24/7 security and emergency on-call number, wireless internet, regular cleaning of common areas, central or independent air-conditioning and heating, washing machine in each unit, kitchen equipment (refrigerator, stove & oven, microwave, pots and pans, plates, utensils), gym and fitness center, and a social room – a place to socialize, work on group projects, and study.
Urbino has around 1,500 beds available in resident halls and hostels for students, with single and double rooms and lots of common spaces. Tridente, Aquilone, Vela and Serpentine residence halls provide the majority of housing for students attending Free University. They are in the Colle dei Cappuccini complex, designed by architect Giancarlo De Carlo, located a few hundred metres from the old town center, to which it is linked by a public bus service. Between 1962 and 1983, Giancarlo De Carlo created four university residences organized as a city-campus. The residences are located on a hill, former site of an ancient Capuchin convent about one kilometer from the historic center of Urbino. The complex is all set on terraces that descend from the hill towards the valley. The internal and external community spaces are open not only to students, but to all citizens. The campus, as a whole, is composed of a central body facing the panoramic overlook and containing the concierge’s area, the living/recreation rooms, the restaurant, kitchen, library and conference room.
The resident halls have 2 typologies of rooms: double rooms with a private bathroom and single rooms. Single rooms are divided in separate blocks of 16, 8 or 6 rooms, and each block has its own kitchen and bathrooms which are shared by the students of each block. There are no single rooms with bathroom. Rooms are fully furnished with a wardrobe, a desk and a small armchair, bookshelves, a chest of drawers, stool, blankets, pillow, bed and mattress.
The concrete ziggurats of the University of East Anglia’s resident halls were designed by architect, Denys Lasdun as a complex of “architectural hills and valleys”, they nestle in the landscape and are accessed from a raised street, across from a line of teaching blocks. They are arranged as a “landlocked harbour” of platforms and interlocking terraces – tempting students to scamper between levels, like a giant game of snakes and ladders. The iconic Ziggurats, Norfolk and Suffolk Terraces, are arranged in flats of up to 12 study bedrooms with their own wash basins. Each flat has shared bathroom and toilet facilities and a large kitchen/diner enjoying stunning views across the Broad. The pyramid-shaped Ziggurats of Norfolk and Suffolk Terraces are among the best-known sights of the campus. The Ziggurats offer single and double occupancy bedrooms which include free Wi-Fi, a 6’x6’ bed, mirror, desk and chair, wardrobe and storage space. Housekeeping and utilities are included in rent.
Residence Halls, Panjab University, Chandigarh India
A hostel is a home away from home. Aware of the special needs and requirements of students, who come from far-flung places to this center of learning, the Panjab University tries to provide them a safe, secure and affordable Accommodation. There are seventeen Residence Halls for students on the campus. These Halls, which accommodate more than 6000 students, are named after eminent men and women, historical personalities and personages. The University Hostels take pains to give its students a neat and clean environment and a comfortable place to live in. Each hostel has a dining hall and canteen, several desert and water coolers, a visitors’ lounge, and invariably an outdoor court for badminton, volley ball etc. The mess provides a balanced diet at reasonable rates. The Common Room is fairly well equipped with current magazines and newspapers. There is provision for indoor games, LCD TV and music system. Internet connectivity through wi-fi and cyber cafes have been provided in each hostel. Architecturally, the hostels are aesthetically laid out with plenty of open space and a lot of greenery. The rooms are comfortable, fitted with fan, lights and hard furniture. Each wing of the hostel has several verandahs and balconies.
The resident students are encouraged to participate in cultural and social activities. Colorful evenings of song and dance are not unusual on the campus. Talent shows, dramatics and literary events are organized from time to time. The students are encouraged to live in harmony, like one big family, lending each other a helping hand whenever required, mutually cooperating to make hostel life a rich and fruitful experience.
The Tietgen Residence Hall in Ørestad, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Tietgen Residence Hall houses students attending the University of Copenhagen Amager and IT University of Copenhagen. The Ørestad district represents the future of student residences. 360 bedrooms radiate around this 360 degree panopticon of a building, designed by Danish architects Lundgaard & Tranberg. Conceived as a vertical village, the cog-like structure is arranged as a seven-story rotunda of stacked student communities, with individual rooms facing outwards, like tapering slices of pie, while double-height pairs of kitchens and common living rooms poke into the circular courtyard within. The facades are clad in copper and oak, while the interiors are left as raw concrete and plywood, jazzed up with brightly colored curtains and furniture, turning the interior courtyard into an animated color wheel. In all rooms, one wall is clad with light plywood panels that not only serve a decorative purpose. Built into this construction are a number of storage lockers along the ceiling, a closed bookcase in the far end of the room as well as a movable wardrobe that can be used as a room divider. To encourage the residents to be part of the community, there are no kitchens in the rooms. Thus, all cooking takes place in big communal kitchens. However rooms have a spacious en suite with floor heating, toilet, and shower. Thirty of the Tietgenkollegiet’s residences are double rooms that are well-suited for couples or for students requiring extra space.
The community kitchen plays a very central role in residence hall living and as such it is important that the room is a pleasant place to be. At Tietgenkollegiet, 12 residences share one of the total 30 spacious kitchens that are equipped with tableware and kitchen utensils, 4 fridges, 2 cookers and one huge cooker hood that contributes to a good indoor climate; even when all the residents of the kitchen are cooking up a storm. The residents also have individual lockers for foodstuffs or extra kitchen utensils. The kitchens are furnished with big dining room tables. Over time, the residents have contributed to imbuing each kitchen with its own personality by collecting sofas, armchairs, and bookcases from various sources – one particular kitchen has even gotten its own bar! Many residents have also equipped the kitchen with stereos and TV.
For each housing group, there is also an extra room that the residents after moving in decided to name the common rooms. Even though the 30 common rooms are linked to a residence group, the rooms are open for all residents and thus they invite the residents to move around in other places than their own kitchen. As each room has its own theme and function, it also provides the opportunity for access to a more varied selection of facilities. This means that in the common rooms you can find cinemas with projector and surround sound, gaming room with console games, a board game room, pool and table football, an oriental lounge with pillows on the floors, and an English Gentleman Room with Chesterfield sofas. Many of the rooms are furnished with TV, sofa sets or work tables that can be used in connection with group work.
Felsennelkenanger Resident Hall, University of Munich, Munich, Germany
The majority of the approximately 100,000 students in Munich live in private rooms, shared apartments, or single apartments. Only about 13% of students actually live in university housing, which is mostly managed by Munich Student Union (Studentenwerk München). The average rent for rooms on the private market is about 400 euros per calendar month. Rooms in shared apartments and single apartments cost between 400 euros and 650 euros, depending on the location and facilities. Rooms in student housing can cost between 270 euros and 350 euros.
This new hall of residence in North Munich offers students more than just a roof over your head. The architectural design combines the attributes necessary for functional communal living with plenty of opportunities for residents to withdraw to their own personal living space. Communal areas and walkways decorated with eye-catching artworks provide the perfect opportunity to chat and talk.
Regiment Residence, University of Sydney – Camperdown / Darlington Campus
The University manages several residences on-campus where students can enjoy the freedom of affordable self-catered accommodation close to everything they need. There are seven University-run housing options around the main campus. Regiment offers a modern and culture-rich environment where student residents can create enduring friendships from all around the globe while experiencing city living in a truly blended community. The majority of rooms at the Regiment Building are single rooms of the same size and layout. The size of the room is generally about 10sqm. Each room comes equipped with a double bed, bedside cupboard, study desk with chair, overhead shelving, wardrobe, mini refrigerator, fan, electric heater, and TV. All other utilities, including kitchen and bathrooms, are communal with residents sharing bathrooms on every level and a large kitchen on the ground floor.
The Regiment is a self-catered facility with a large communal kitchen. The building also includes a variety of other facilities including a games room, technology and learning hubs, music rooms, TV room and breakout spaces. Other amenities at the Regiment include, maker spaces, incubator spaces and music rooms, 5 rooftop terraces, communal flexi spaces and tea making facilities on every floor and bicycle storage.
Midorigaoka House – Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
Over a dozen dormitories in the Tokyo metropolitan area provide accommodation for Tokyo Tech students. Midorigaoka House is a new male dormitory that opened in 2017 and it located on the Ookayama Campus – the main campus of Tokyo Tech. The House provides 63 single rooms. Residents share the kitchen, dining and shower rooms. There is also a common learning space. Private rooms include a bed, desk, chair, closet, fridge and air conditioning. The Common area consists of a kitchen, dining room, study space, shower, toilet and laundry.