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Campus Life and Housing

"Greek" Life

Thanks to popular culture, the Greek system—also known as fraternities and sororities—is an icon of American college life that is likely familiar to international students. The Greek system is uniquely American and probably a curious concept for international students, as it is for many Americans.

Fraternities and sororities are student organizations that have been part of the American college scene for over a century. The "social" Greek organizations are more familiar to most, but a wide variety of fields and professions have related "professional" sororities and fraternities that promote that particular profession and whose membership is restricted to students in that field of study.

To learn more about Greek life at the University of Michigan, start with the Office of Greek Life's website.

Student Organizations

Students at most colleges and universities in the US chose to enhance their experience beyond the classroom by participating in a variety of organized student activities, from intramural sports to performing arts to social justice and community engagement to hobbies. Each college offers different types of services to these organizations, and each organization will have its own protocals for how it operates.

The University of Michigan has over 1,400 student organizations, and CGIS encourages your participation in these groups. To learn more about Student Organizations at the University of Michigan, start with the Center for Campus Involvement’s website.

Student Housing

You should research housing options well before you arrive on campus in Ann Arbor. CGIS strongly advises against using craigslist and instead using the below resources.

On-Campus Residence Halls

Exchange students typically enjoy residence halls (dorms) because you can share a room with another student (from all over the US and world), you can purchase a meal plan, and you can participate in activities such as hall council or sponsored trips, depending on your hall. Residence halls are a true part of the US college experience.

Global Scholars Program

Exchange students are encouraged to apply to this program. The Global Scholars Program is an academically supported living-learning community that provides sophomore, junior, and senior UM students the opportunity to engage with both US and international students on campus and around the world. Students learn about global issues from multiple cultural perspectives. Required coursework and collaborative projects assist students as they begin to develop and hone their intercultural communication skills. The Global Scholars Program is located in North Quadrangle Residence Hall. Students must apply both to the Global Scholars Program and to the UM Housing office.

North Campus Apartments

On-campus apartments offer a more independent option. On-campus apartments are located on north campus, a 20-minute bus ride from central campus. Apartments are generally reserved for upper-level students and commonly house international students, graduate students, or students with families.

Co-Op Houses

Co-op houses are similar to residence halls but are not part of the UM housing system. Students living in a co-op share house duties, including cooking meals and maintenance. Houses are typically close to campus. Former exchange students have enjoyed this option because it offers lots of opportunity to meet other students. Sojourner Truth Co-op is an international house, so it is particularly interested in hosting exchange students.

Off-Campus Apartments/Shared Houses

Many students choose off-campus housing in a variety of Ann Arbor neighborhoods that are still close to campus. We suggest finding off-campus housing with landlords who are registered with the University. Prices and location vary.

Telluride House

The Telluride Association provides a residential community at UM called Telluride House that is committed to maintaining a vibrant living-learning experience with democratic ideals of governance, a stimulating intellectual environment, and commitment to public service. House members are undergraduate and graduate students and are joined in residence by faculty fellows from several fields. Academic-year students can apply by February.

Henderson House

Henderson House is for women only and is a small, economical co-op. The room and board plan is one of the least expensive housing options in Ann Arbor. Residents may sign a lease for just a single semester. This option is for students who would enjoy the convenience of a meal plan or the ease of University housing with plenty of independence. In exchange for the low room and board, each resident is expected to contribute 5 hours a week to the house by assisting with a wide variety of tasks.