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Pitt Textbook Series

There are three housing options available to ELI students:

  • homestays arranged through OvECS
  • apartments in the university area and nearby neighborhoods
  • residence hall in Downtown Pitttsburgh
  • university dormitories (May - August only)


The ELI is partnering with OvECS to arrange homestays for students who prefer to live with a family. Homestay families are supervised by an experienced homestay coordinator. The student will pay the family a monthly fee that includes airport pickup, a private room, and two meals per day. Please note that you cannot cook your own food if you live with a family, and you must be willing to share a bathroom. Also, many families have pets, such as dogs and cats. Pets usually live in the house with the family, not outside. Please see the OvECS website for details.


Apartments near the university are available and reasonably inexpensive. Although students are responsible for making their own apartment leasing arrangements, the ELI Housing Assistant can help students to locate suitable apartments. The ELI Housing Assistant cannot find an apartment for students before they arrive. Students MUST make hotel arrangements for at least 3-4 days. Please fill out an online housing questionnaire if you need help from the ELI Housing Assistant.

The ELI Housing Assistant can help students...

  • locate an apartment
  • make telephone calls to landlords
  • visit apartments
  • arrange utilities (such as phone and electricity)
  • take care of housing problems that develop during the term.

If you plan on working with the ELI housing assistant and looking for an apartment when you get here, you MUST make hotel reservations in advance. You can expect to stay in the hotel for three or more days while you look for and sign the papers for an apartment. Go to the ELI's arrival page for hotel information.

The University's Office of Student Affairs has produced a series of short videos about finding housing, Pittsburgh's neighborhoods, finding housing while abroad, and other helpful information.

More information about renting an apartment can be found be on the University of Pittsburgh's Housing Resource Center web pages:

  • Student Guide (a University of Pittsburgh publication containing information about how to find an apartment, find a roommate, be a good neighbor, etc)
  • Apartment Listings (a searchable database of apartments and sublets near campus)
  • Renter's Guide (basics of renting an apartment and signing a lease)
  • University of Pittsburgh Roommate Matching Service (list of students who have apartments and are seeking roommates and a list of students who are looking for rooms in apartments)

Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh

Most students who choose to live in apartments live in the Oakland (North, South, Central, or West), Shadyside or Squirrel Hill areas of Pittsburgh. Other neighborhoods that also are convenient and affordable but not as close to the university are Greenfield, Bloomfield, Friendship, Highland Park, or Regent Square. Frequent buses go to all of these areas, and you will be able to ride the bus for free with your Pitt ID.

To see maps of these areas, go to the Neighborhood Maps website. To find the location of an apartment, go to Map Blast and enter the address.

Penn Commons Residence Hall

The ELI is partnering with Penn Commons Residence Hall for students who prefer to live in a dormitory with other students. Penn Commons is located in Downtown Pittsburgh, in the middle of the historic cultural district, and a short ride to the ELI. Students will be in a suite with a shared kitchen and bathroom, but private bedroom. There is a recreation room, and Penn Commons plans many activities for its residents each semester. Students come from a variety of colleges and universities in Pittsburgh.

Private, furnished rooms are reasonably priced, and leases are for a semester. Please see their website at for more information and to apply.

University Dormitory - Summer Only

During the Summer Term (May- August), housing usually is available in the university dormitories. A minimum stay of 4 weeks is required.

Send requests for Summer Term room reservations to:
Housing Office (Click here for website)
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 USA


Revised 01-15-13