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Student Life Frequently Asked Questions

Here is some helpful, practical information about what your day-to-day life might be like on campus. More details can be found in the MELP Student Handbook.

You have the option of living in on-campus or off-campus housing. Consider the location, price, amenities, and support you will receive when you are deciding on a place to live. Wherever you look, there are many affordable options where you can be close to your classes, libraries, restaurants, and much more!

Fun Tip: Try living with roommates from different language backgrounds and cultures for more opportunities to practice your English!

If you live in an apartment (either on- or off-campus), you will have a kitchen and can cook meals at home. If you live in an on-campus residence hall, you will not have your own kitchen, but you will have a meal plan to eat at campus dining halls and have access to shared kitchen facilities in your residence hall. There are also many great restaurants near campus to eat at!

Fun Tip: Bring along your favorite recipe from home to try making while you are in the United States. It’s a great way to feel connected to home while sharing your culture with friends!

You can walk or take public transportation to a number of grocery stores near campus. Grocery delivery services make grocery shopping even easier!

Fun Tip: Meal planning can be a helpful way to figure out which groceries to buy each week. There are even apps to help with this!

All on-campus student housing features a laundry facility where unlimited use of washing machines and dryers is included at no extra cost. Most off-campus apartments will provide a laundry facility as well for a small cost. Laundromats are another option in case laundry is not available in your building.

Fun Tip: Find a good time to do laundry each week and stick to it, since you are more likely to complete this task when it is part of your regular routine.

Managing money is a new skill that some students develop when they are away from home for the first time. From rent to tuition, you will be responsible for making payments on time. Most students open a bank account at one of the on-campus banks when they arrive (TCF Bank and US Bank) in order to safely access their money through a checking account, savings account, debit card, or ATM withdrawals.

Fun Tip: Watch the video “What You Need to Know About Money for International Students” to learn about banking basics in the United States!

There are many affordable options for transportation available to get around on campus, including walking, biking, and taking the bus or light rail. There are also free campus shuttles and bikes for rent. Most students find that public transportation is much easier and cheaper than driving a car.

Fun Tip: Take a tour of the Twin Cities by light rail! From campus, you can get to downtown Minneapolis or Saint Paul and even the Mall of America and the international airport.

Your safety is very important to us here at the University of Minnesota, which is why campus has its own police department. There are many helpful resources to keep you safe, including text and email alerts and emergency phones across campus.

Fun Tip: UMN Libraries and Coffman Student Union are open late for studying and student events. If you are on-campus late at night, you can call the free SafeWalk Service to have campus security escort you to your car, the light rail, or your apartment!

Having fun, meeting new people, and learning about other cultures is an important part of studying in our program. MELP offers weekly social activities and a conversation group to help our students practice their English. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to join a University student group, attend sporting events, participate in intramural sports, and enjoy the vibrant art scene of the Twin Cities!

Fun Tip: Participating in events and activities outside of class is a great way to improve your English skills while relaxing and having fun!

Learn more in the Student Handbook:

Your physical and mental health are very important! The on-campus recreation center—called the RecWell—offers exercise equipment, pools, group fitness classes, and intramural sports to keep you staying active. The on-campus clinic, Boynton Health Service, provides primary and urgent care, mental health counseling, an eye clinic, a dental clinic, a pharmacy, and much more.

Fun Tip: Join intramural sports or a group fitness class to meet other students who have the same interests as you!

Learn more in the Student Handbook: