Housing for International Students

  • Welcome to YSU!

    Congratulations on your admission- we look forward to welcoming you to campus soon.  The Housing & Residence Life team works closely with our partners in the International Programs Office to provide welcoming housing options for Youngstown State University’s international student community.

  • What you need to know about living on campus:

    Effective in the Spring 2023 semester, all international undergraduate students whose first term of enrollment at YSU is a Spring semester will be REQUIRED to live on campus in a YSU residence hall, unless they meet one of the exemption criteria (See 2nd drop-down under Frequently asked questions on this page. It is titled Exemption from the housing requirement)

    J-1 exchange students and English Language Institute participants are REQUIRED to live in university housing for a defined contract period regardless of their term of entry.

    Undergraduate international students whose first term of enrollment at YSU is a Fall semester are encouraged to live in university housing for their first year of enrollment.

    Each incoming international student is eligible to receive a $1,000 housing scholarship per semester, totaling $2,000 total for the academic year for students beginning during the fall semester. This scholarship will be applied toward the cost of room and board each semester.

    English Language Institute participants are not eligible for the international student housing scholarships.

  • Why is there a housing requirement for international students at YSU?

    A safe and well-maintained living environment that meets essential needs provides a foundation for academic success. University Housing is best suited to provide a learning environment supportive of the university’s academic missions and create a sense of belonging for first year students through peer interactions and extracurricular activities. In order to secure this foundation for incoming international students, and to contribute to their academic persistence and success, Youngstown State University has established housing requirements for incoming undergraduate international students.

  • Want to learn more?  Attend a Virtual Housing Information Session!

    We’d love you to connect with us at one of our virtual sessions to learn more about living on campus and connect in real time with staff members from the Housing team with any questions you may have!  Please attend one of the following virtual housing sessions for international admitted students:

  • Coming in the Spring and ready to take action?  Follow the below outlined plan to ensure your smooth arrival to campus!

    Step 1: Let the Housing team know you’re coming!

    In order to arrive in time for the international student orientation (which occurs prior to the official start of the Spring semester) you must do three things:

    1. Complete the Spring 2024 housing application which opens November 1st!
    2. In order to arrive in time for international student orientation, please complete a request to arrive early (before the official traditional start of housing move-in, which occurs January 7th) by completing and submitting a form here, after you have received your housing room assignment:  Housing Contract Extension Request | YSU
      1. Please note that international students arriving January 2nd and beyond will not incur any ‘early arrival’ charge, because they are required to arrive early to attend the international orientation
      2. Regardless of move-in date, ALL move-in criteria (including student account payment in full or enrollment in University payment plan) must be complete
    3. Request airport pickup from the Pittsburgh airport via the IPO airport shuttle
      1. Please note, airport pickup will be Tuesday, January 2nd only from the Pittsburgh airport so you should plan your travel arrangements accordingly
    Please note that the earliest arrival date for Spring incoming international students is Tuesday, January 2nd.  There will be no exceptions to this date.

    For questions about housing options or the housing application process, please contact the Housing & Residence Life team at housing@ysu.edu.

    Step 2: Complete All Move-In Requirements Before You Travel:

    The following items must be taken care of in order for you to receive keys to move into your residence hall room:

    • Did you complete your housing contract?  
    • Is your student account bill (housing AND tuition) paid in full or have you registered for a payment plan?  For instructions on how to sign up for a payment plan, please visit the Instructions on How To Sign Up For a Payment Plan webpage
    • Have you met the immunization requirement?  
      • Students have two options to complete this requirement: 1) create a free account at medproctor.com and upload a screenshot of your immunization history for MedProctor to verify OR 2) complete the waiver form and have it notarized. Students can request the immunization waiver form by emailing housing@ysu.edu.
      • For more information about this requirement, please visit the Immunization Requirements webpage
    • Are you registered full-time for classes?
      • Students living on campus need to be registered at 12 credit hours (full time status)
      • Students will be required to be registered for 12 credit hours by the end of international orientation

    Please contact us with specific questions at housing@ysu.edu or (330) 941 3547.

    For additional guidance on how you can prepare to ensure that you enjoy a successful arrival, please visit IPO’s page for Admitted International Students: Admitted International Students | YSU

    Step 3: Getting to Campus

    IPO offers a shuttle pick up service from the Pittsburgh International Airport (this year, the shuttles will occur on Tuesday, January 2nd) for all international students incoming for the Spring semester.  You should communicate directly with IPO for more details to ensure that you can plan your travel plans accordingly and secure your seat on one of the shuttles for your arrival.  Please check information for admitted students section on the IPO website for more information about this service.

    You can arrive at your assigned residence hall to pick up your keys and check-in once completion of your move-in requirements has been verified.  Below is a list of our residence halls, their addresses and desk contact information.  Please know that our residence hall desks are staffed 24/7, so you are able to arrive and check-in with a Housing staff member as late (or early!) as your travel plans necessitate.

    Cafaro House
    205 Madison Ave.
    Youngstown, OH 44504-1611

    Cafaro Desk: (330) 941 4742

    Lyden House
    251 Madison Ave.
    Youngstown, OH 44504-1611

    Lyden Desk: (330) 941 1981

    Kilcawley House
    117 University Plaza
    Youngstown, OH 44502-1208

    Kilcawley Desk: (330) 941 2187

    Wick House
    656 Wick Ave.
    Youngstown, OH 44502

    Weller House
    658 Wick Ave.
    Youngstown, OH 44502-1215

    Step 4: Settling in Once You Arrive

    • There are staff members who live in the residence halls who can help you with any questions that you may have. These staff members are called Resident Assistants or RAs.
    • Upon arrival, your move-in requirements status will be verified, and provided you’ve met all move-in requirements, you will be permitted to check into your residence hall room.
    • During check-in, you will be issued your residence hall room key and your Y-card student ID that provides residence hall entry access as well as your meal plan.  You will also be gifted a welcome kit from the Housing & Residence Life team.
    • You should plan to bring your own bed linens and pillow or be sure to order them ahead of your arrival.  The beds in the residence hall are size ‘Extra-Long Twin’.


  • Trouble Connecting to the internet?

    Using your YSU login information, you will be able to connect to the internet easily using Wifi or wired connection.  If using WiFi, please connect using the following:

        Wireless network: YSU_Housing_Residents
        Key: Penguins22-23

    We recommend you check the instructions based on your device on the YSU IT Services website.  If you have issues connecting, please contact the IT Help Desk at (330) 941 1595.

  • Bed & Furniture Adjustments

    Our residence halls offer a variety of room, suite, apartment, lounge, bathroom, and hallway layouts. Rooms are typically furnished with extra-long, single beds (standard college beds), chest of drawers and/or a closet/wardrobe unit, microfridge unit (combined microwave, refrigerator, and freezer unit), desks and desk chairs or table and chairs.  Furniture set-up also varies across the halls, with different combinations of standard-height, lofted, or bunked beds in various rooms.  

    No bed adjustments will be made in rooms ahead of time.  If students decide, at move in, that they would prefer a different bed height, they are able to head down to their specific desk and place their request with the Desk Attendant.  The Housing staff will make every effort to take care of these (by list order) as time and availability of bed adjustment furniture pieces permit.  

    Students with any accommodations that necessitate specific bed and furniture set ups should work with the Office of Accessibility Services to get their accommodations officially on file.  The Office of Accessibility Services will then communicate to Housing & Residence Life, who will make the required accommodation in advance of the student moving in.

    Please note that the combination of room configuration and furniture in Kilcawley House does not allow for any bed adjustments in any rooms in that building. Therefore, students with room reservations in Kilcawley House must ensure that they address any needs for specific bed heights ahead of time.

  • YSU Meal Plans

    YSU Dining by Chartwells is proud to provide a meal plan service to the YSU community.  Fall semester meal plans will begin on Sunday, January 7.  All residential students default to the 12-bronze meal plan option and will have until Friday, January 19th to change their meal plan. You are able to change your meal plan through the Y-Card portal (ycard.ysu.edu).  Any upgrades above and beyond the ‘bronze’ plans will be charged to your student account.  Any technical difficulties with meal plans should be communicated to cardoffice@ysu.edu for assistance.

    Do you have specific dining needs or restrictions and would like to connect with the Chartwells team to discuss ways that you can successfully enjoy dining on campus?  Please complete the form here:  Residential Dining Needs Inquiry (office.com)

    See the YSU Dining by Chartwells | Residential Meal Plans webpage to learn more about residential plans available to students.

  • Pete's Points

    A Pete’s Points plan is a prepaid account allowing you to dine or snack on campus and at several locations near campus without using cash. While all residential students receive a full meal plan, a Pete’s Points meal plan would be a great option for winter break or if you simply want to add more Pete’s Points than the residential meal plans provide.
    Your YSU ID is your form of payment.  $1 of Pete’s Points = $1 of cash. Just swipe your card and go! OR use your virtual YSU ID, accessed through the YSU App for hands-free purchasing!  It just takes a few minutes to purchase Pete’s Points! Purchase them using your charge card on the YSU App. Go to the Y-Card tile, and from there go to “Reload ID Card Balance.” Points can be added at any time and as many times as you wish throughout the semester.

    Pete's Points can be used at all campus dining locations and Pete's Treats and More in Kilcawley Center, and a number of off campus restaurants including Hot Head Burritos, YSU McDonalds, Pressed Coffee Bar and Eatery, YSU Subway, Barnes & Noble Café, and many other locations near campus.

    Pete’s Points (on the Pete’s Points Plan only), never expire.

  • Dining Locations and Hours of Operation:

    See the Dining on campus | locations & hours webpage for the hours of all on-campus dining services.




  • Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

    What should I do for break housing?

    • YSU does provide housing over break periods for students who live in the residence halls.  If you are a student with an Academic Year contract (encompassing Fall and Spring semesters), you can request housing over winter break by visiting the Housing Contract Extension Request webpage to complete and submit your request.

    How do I know if I must live on campus?

    • If you are a first-time undergraduate student and your first term of enrollment at YSU is a Spring semester, you are required to live on campus in a YSU residence hall.   
    • J-1 exchange students and English Language Institute participants are required to live in university housing for a defined contract period (Academic Year contract if arriving in Fall, or Spring Only contract if arriving in Spring) regardless of their term of entry.
    • All other undergraduate international students whose first term of enrollment at YSU is a Fall semester are encouraged (but not required) to live in university housing for their first year of enrollment.
  • Who is eligible for the international student housing scholarship?

    Any incoming F-1 or J-1 student who is enrolled as a full-time YSU student. 

  • When will I see the scholarship applied to my student account?

    The University will not disperse the scholarship funds to the student account until confirmation that official transcript has been received.  The University recommends enrolling in the University payment plan as the method of payment in case there is a delay in the scholarship being applied.  Once the scholarship funds are applied, future payments will automatically reflect the updated total.

  • Can the scholarship be renewed?

    No.  The scholarship is only available for a period of two semesters for a student arriving in the Fall OR a one semester for a student arriving in the Spring.

  • Are there tax implications for my international student housing scholarship?

    Yes.  Housing scholarships awarded to international students who meet criteria for award do require tax reporting and withholding.  The withholding rate for students with F-1 or J-1 immigration status is 14%.  Scholarships awarded to students of other immigration status are subject to up to 30% withholding.  Recipients of taxable scholarships will receive a year-end tax form, IRS form 1042-S no later than March 15 of the following calendar year.  This form will then be used to file a tax return with the IRS by April 15.

  • What options are available for me to pay my bill?

    Your student account will feature your tuition AND your housing charge. Students may pay their YSU bill online through the Penguin Portal. The payment options are credit card, debit card, and electronic check. If a student is paying with a credit or debit card, there is a 2.85% convenience fee for each transaction.
    For complete directions on how to make payments through your Penguin Portal, please visit here.

    • Payment Plan

    The university offers a payment plan to all YSU students. A payment plan allows students to divide their total account balance into equal monthly payments throughout the semester. There is also a $50 enrollment fee due with the first payment. The monthly payment installments are based on the total account balance divided by the number of remaining due dates for the semester (either four, three, or two).
    For more information about how to enroll into payment plan, please visit here.

    • Flywire and Transfermate

    Students needing to pay by international wire may also consider using Flywire or Transfermate. It should be noted that these options can take some time to process, so international students should plan accordingly by organizing payment prior to their travel to campus for move-in.
    For more information about how to pay through Flywire, please visit here.
    For more information about how to pay through Transfermate, please visit here.

    • Cash

    Cash payments only accepted during Open Cashier office hours Monday - Friday 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Cash payments should only be made in person at the Student Accounts Office Cashier’s window, Room 223, Meshel Hall. Please do not mail cash, or put cash in the payment drop box.
    If you wish to bring a bank draft, (all bank drafts must be drawn on a US bank) use the tuition estimator for an estimate of your tuition costs. NOTE: The actual cost of tuition may vary depending on how many credits you register for and lab/course fees. You must be prepared to pay the difference upon arrival to campus and course registration.

  • Exemption from the housing requirement

    Is there any way for international students to be considered exempt from the housing requirement?

    • Youngstown State University recognizes that some students may have valid reasons to request exemption from the international housing requirement. Exemption criteria have been established and students may request exemption by submitting a completed exemption form.  The exemption application and documentation will be reviewed by Associate Vice President of Student Experience and Associate Provost of International Programs.   
    • Deadline to request exemption from the academic year contract: August 15  
    • Deadline to request exemption from Spring only contract: December 15
    • It is strongly recommended you do not make alternative housing arrangements until you have received written notification that your request for exemption has been approved.
    • Inability to afford YSU housing will not be considered as grounds for an exemption as students must document sufficient liquid funds for one year’s academic and living costs in order to receive an I-20.
    • Students under the age of 17 years old require approval of the Director of Housing & Residence Life to live in a university residence hall.

    What are the criteria for exemption?

    • The student has resided in the region prior to enrolling at Youngstown State University for minimum of 6 months.   
    • The student’s parents or other immediate family members reside in the region  
    • The student is married or has a dependent
    • The student has thirty or more transferred credits earned beyond high school graduation
    • The student is over age 23
    • The student has medical or other condition, subject to documentation and review
    • The student has dietary restrictions that dining services cannot accommodate. Before submitting a request for exemption based on dietary restrictions, a student must complete this form to communicate their dietary needs to dining services.
    • The student has extraordinary circumstances as determined by the by the Associate Vice President of Student Experience and Associate Provost of International Programs.
  • How can I access the exemption form?
  • How do I complete a housing contract?
    • You are able to complete a housing contract online via your Housing Portal.
  • Where will I live once I arrive?
    • Housing & Residence Life will make every effort for you to check directly into your assigned room.
  • What if I need to arrive prior to January 2nd (the designated airport pickup date)?
    • The early arrival period begins January 2nd.  Requests for arrival prior to this date cannot be accommodated; unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this.  Students arriving prior to January 2nd should make plans to stay at a local hotel until January 2nd.
    • While there are several local hotels you could consider, the University recommends the DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown at 44 East Federal Plaza, Youngstown, OH.  You can call to inquire about reservations at +1-866-568-0896
    • Regardless of move-in date, ALL move-in criteria (including student account payment in full or enrollment in University payment plan) must be complete
  • How do I know if I will be denied check-in upon arrival?
    • If you arrive on campus prior to August 14, you should plan to stay in a hotel until the early arrival period begins on August 14
    • If you arrive on campus and have not completed a housing application, you should plan to stay in a hotel until you are able to complete a housing application and meet the move-in requirements
    • If you arrive on campus and have not completed your move-in criteria (including payment of your full student account balance or enrollment in the University payment plan), you should plan to stay in a hotel until you have met all move-in requirements
  • Who will my roommate be?
    • Students will receive their housing assignment and any roommate information via their YSU email.  Original roommate assignment and/or assigned roommate may ultimately change due to many factors; if this is the case, the Housing & Residence Life team will do their best to communicate updates to you prior to your arrival
  • Can I request a new roommate?
    • In the event that you would like to change rooms, please note that the room freeze period is in effect through September 8 and no request will be considered during this time.
    • After September 8, you should reach out to your RA and Housing Coordinator (the professional staff member who manages your residence hall).  Inquiries will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Can I cook my own food?
    • The cost to live on campus includes a full meal plan.  Meal plans for residential students are mandatory.  To review permitted items (cooking appliances, etc.) please review the resident handbook. All residence halls have kitchens which you are welcome to use outside of eating in the dining hall and other campus dining locations.
  • Where can students wash clothes?
    • There are washers and dryers available in every residence hall basement. Using the washers and dryers is free for all residents.
  • Can I smoke and drink on campus?
    • YSU is a tobacco free campus, use of tobacco products are prohibited within the residence halls. Additionally, the residence halls are alcohol-free locations and residents are not permitted to consume alcohol (or any other drugs), regardless of their age.
  • What happens if I do not comply with the international housing requirement?

    Except for those with an exemption as provided in the international housing requirement policy, any first-year international student who fails to reside in university housing may be subject to immediate administrative withdrawal by the university or assessment of residence hall fees for the semester(s) that the student failed to reside in university housing as required by this policy. The Director of Housing & Residence Life, upon finding that any such first-year student, during the first year, failed to reside in university housing, shall notify the Associate Vice President of Student Experience and Associate Provost of International Programs. Upon approval, the Director of Housing & Residence Life shall assess fees as appropriate.

Miss the virtual session and want to learn more?

Check out this live recording so you know what you missed.

Need to access the slides from the presentation?

Here is the International Student Housing- Spring 2023 & Beyond.pdf!*