UIS usually has sufficient housing for all international students who desire to live on campus. However, the number of openings in each type of housing is limited. Prospective students that apply early are more likely to receive a housing assignment that matches their preferences. Those who wait until late to apply may have only one type of housing from which to choose, or, some semesters, may have no option but to choose off-campus housing.
There are many advantages to living on campus as opposed to finding your own off-campus housing, not the least of which is knowing that you will have a place to live as soon as you arrive. Although some off-campus housing may be available at a lower cost, the difference will seldom offset the cost in transportation expenses, time commuting each day, the general inconvenience of living far from where you study, and the loss of campus social life. You should seriously consider living on campus at least until you have gotten settled in the U.S.
If, after you have paid your housing deposit, your student visa should be denied, your deposit will be refunded. Simply contact the Housing Office, request the refund, and send them a copy of the denial letter issued by the U.S. consular official. So, please do not wait until late to request your campus housing. Doing so will make things much more difficult for the Housing Office and for you. Contact Housing as soon as you receive your admission.
As you plan your travel to the U.S., keep in mind that some offices affecting your housing arrangements are only open Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:00. For example, all residence hall rooms require the use of your university ID card in order to gain access to both the building and your room. The ID card office will close at 5:00 on Friday and will not open again until 8:30 on Monday. You will not be able to move into your room in the residence hall, or leave and return without your card. The Housing Office also needs to make sure that they have staff available to assist you with your check-in. Therefore, they require that you make an appointment with them at least 24 hours prior to the time that you would like to move into your on-campus housing. You will want to contact them to make that appointment before you leave your country.
Once your housing assignment is made, unless you follow the correct procedures for obtaining permission to break your contract and that permission is granted, you will be obligated to pay for the entire cost of the period under contract. Please read the Housing application carefully and contact the Housing Office with any question you may have before submitting the application.
If you should prefer to live off-campus, you will want to consider the following: application requirements, whether the housing is near a bus stop, the contract period, furnishings, etc. You should contact the apartment managers as soon as possible, since most of them fill quickly. (Note: Neither the University of Illinois Springfield nor the Office of International Student Services recommends or endorses any of these apartments. All arrangements are between the apartment management and the occupants.)
Although most students will want to make their housing arrangements several months in advance of their arrival, we do understand that some will have valid reasons for waiting until they actually get to Springfield. For you, a few nights in a hotel may be required. The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau has complied a list of hotels divided by areas. The university is in the Southeast part of the city.