University of Florida Homepage

Housing Information

Housing Information included with your letter of acceptance:  Spring 2021 (PDF)

Please note that ELI students are not eligible for residence hall accommodations on campus (dormitories), and homestays are not common in Gainesville.  The ELI does not arrange housing for ELI students directly.

Gainesville is full of student-centered apartment complexes and we are sure you will find somewhere comfortable to live. However, the apartment rental process in the US may be very different from the rental process in your country. It’s important to understand the rental process here so that you can find the best place possible. We all want you to be happy and comfortable in your home here.


The most important thing to know about finding an apartment in the US is that once you sign a contract with an apartment complex, you cannot change anything. Your lease is a legally binding document. Therefore, you must be sure that your lease does not include any rules that you cannot follow.

Many places in the USA want you to sign a lease for one year. This is very normal for the US. However, unless you know that you will definitely be here for a year, do not sign a one-year lease! Once you sign a one-year lease, you are agreeing to pay rent for the entire year. Even if you leave early, you will be responsible for paying for the entire year. It is impossible for anyone at the ELI to get you out of a lease early.

Move-in Fees

Please keep in mind that when you sign a lease, you will probably have to pay some application fees, a security deposit, and first and last month’s rent. You should expect to pay between $1000 and $1500 when you move in to your apartment. Most apartments require that you pay with a check or money order when you first sign your lease, but you can usually pay your monthly rent online after that.

Apartment Types

Most student apartment complexes have “individual leases.” This means that students pay for their own bedrooms (and sometimes bathrooms) individually and share a living room and kitchen with 1-3 roommates. Furniture is included in most of the apartments we recommend, as well as utilities. Students with families will need “joint lease” apartments, which means that they pay for the entire apartment, not just one bedroom.

Moving in

Students can usually move into their apartments one week after signing the lease. All new students will need to stay in a hotel after arriving.

Additional Help

If you would like help finding an apartment, you can contact the Student Life Coordinator, Victoria Dolce, with questions.