Abroad at AU | Housing & Dining for Admitted Students

Whether you live on or off campus, this page will give you basic information about housing and dining services. For more specific information, including costs, please see the Next Steps document attached to your admissions email. For housing and dining information not found here or in the Next Steps document, please see the Housing and Dining website or contact your Abroad at AU advisor.

For students who choose and are eligible for on-campus housing

Please see your Next Steps document for more information about when the dorms open.

How do I know my housing assignment?

You can view your housing assignment under your my.american.edu portal, under the Life @ AU section.

What is my mailing address at American University if I live in University Managed Housing?

If you wish to have mail sent to your campus address:

[Student's Name]
American University
[Residence Hall] [Room Number]
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016

What does a typical room look like?

  1. Size: approximately 12 feet x 15 feet (3.6 meters x 4.5 meters)
  2. You’ll share the room with at least one, sometimes two, other person(s).
  3. All rooms come equipped with closet space, dressers, and include a bed, desk with chair and bookcase for each person living in the room.
  4. Triple rooms are sometimes furnished differently.
  5. Window coverings and carpet are provided, along with cable and EagleNet hookups.
  6. It is standard to have common bathrooms on each floor.
  7. Students can choose to purchase lofts (as long as they are free-standing) or most can bunk their beds, creating more space.
  8. Many students buy or rent refrigerators for the year.
  9. Refrigerators over 5.0 cubic feet are prohibited, as are microwave ovens and all other cooking appliances. Each floor has a fully equipped kitchen for residents who wish to cook. While you are welcome to personalize your room, please use only masking tape to hang posters.

What are common items students buy for their rooms?:

  • Standard Twin Sheets and Pillow Case(s)
  • Pillow(s)
  • Blanket(s)
  • Towels
  • Alarm Clock
  • Desk Lamp (non-halogen)
  • Posters (to decorate)
  • Stereo (with earphones for quiet hours)
  • Computer with wireless capability
  • Hangers
  • Laundry Bag/Basket
  • Iron (May only be used in floor laundry room not in student rooms.)
  • Trash Can
  • Dishes & Glasses

NOTE: Candles and Incense, used or unused, are not permitted in the residence halls.

NOTE: These items may ONLY be used in the kitchen/common areas: Coffee makers; Hot pots; Microwaves (provided in each kitchen); Popcorn Poppers; and Rice Cookers

The above list offers suggested items. Remember, you will need far less than you imagine. Items can be purchased after you arrive. Make this your motto: "When in doubt, leave it out."

When will I need to leave my room?

Students are required to leave their assigned housing within 24 hours of their last exam. The academic calendar, including when exams will take place, can be found on the Registrar’s website.

Keep in mind that most faculty members will not make special final exam arrangements to accommodate students’ early departure dates, so plan accordingly.

What happens if I cancel my university managed housing?

Housing cancellations must be sent in writing to the Housing and Dining office. Students who apply for university managed housing and then cancel for any reason will be charged a non-refundable, non-transferable $500 housing pre-payment.

Additionally, once an application is submitted, the deadline to withdraw without a substantial late termination charge is May 1 for students studying in the Fall, and November 1 for students studying in the Spring. Applications submitted after those dates are immediately subject to the termination charges outlined in the housing agreement.

For students who choose off-campus housing

The average age of students living in campus housing is 18-21. Students over the age of 21, or in their third and fourth year of university, should consider the possibility of off-campus housing. A good starting point is the Housing and Dining office's Off-Campus Housing Resources page

Students who would like to live off-campus might want to find an apartment with other students. If you wish to connect with other Abroad at AU students to find off-campus housing, find us on Facebook.com - the American University - Abroad at AU fan page.

What kind of food can I eat on campus?

Bon Appétit provides a variety of dining and food options on campus. This includes the main dining facility, the Terrace Dining Room (known as TDR), Mary Graydon Center (featuring Einstein Bagels, Block Express, Eagle Express, Pronto, Salsa, and Sushi), the Tavern, the Eagle's Nest (featuring Subway), and the Megabytes Café (featuring Starbucks, sandwiches and Indian food).


What are the available meal plans?

You will have the option to choose one of the 5 types of meal plans offered by the university. Cooking may prove difficult at times, depending on your housing arrangements, so you may want a meal plan. However, if you do not use all of your meals you will not be refunded. Students have until the first week of classes to choose or drop a meal plan. Students who would like a meal plan must sign up for one on their myau.american.edu site under LIFE @ AU.


What if I do not want a meal plan or if I want to make changes to my meal plan?

All meal plan changes must be made during the first week of classes. If you do not want a meal plan you can waive it by going to the Housing and Dining Office, in person, and completing the Meal Plan Adjustment Form. The same form can be used for students who want to switch between meal plans.