If you are starting college in the U.S., you might be one of the lucky freshmen moving into a fancy new dormitory. Many U.S. colleges have been on a building spree and adding luxury amenities to their dormitory buildings. And some schools attract students with their fabled, historic living quarters.

Whether a college offers you a chance to live among faculty, to enjoy smart technology or to study at a desk like the one at which Edgar Allan Poe penned stories, you are sure to learn a lot and make new friends.

If you study at Brandeis University, you might live in a castle listed under the National Register of Historic Places. (Mike Lovett)
Students at the University of Cincinnati enjoy floor-to-ceiling views of campus. The windows don’t need blinds or curtains. Students can adjust the color of the glass to their preference or change the level of light transmission to increase or decrease privacy. (Courtesy UC Photo Services)
Student housing along The Lawn at the University of Virginia, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was designed by Thomas Jefferson. Upperclassmen are chosen to live in the rooms, which have 19th-century-style furnishings and working fireplaces, based on their achievements. (Creative Commons)
The University of Akron offers contemporary rooms with high ceilings and large windows, allowing students to be creative with their living space. (Courtesy Maguirephoto.com)
Osprey Fountains, a dorm at the University of North Florida, boasts a pool resembling the “lazy rivers” found at many U.S. amusement parks. Students can float along in an inner tube, relaxing with a book, as an artificial current moves them slowly along the pool’s track. (Creative Commons)
Yale Dorm
Yale’s residential colleges allow students to live in the same community all four years. Two professors (each with his or her family) live in the community, eating meals and sharing daily life with the students, while also serving as resident advisers. (Norman McGrath)

Remember, there are many things, in addition to amenities, to consider when deciding where to live. Daniel F. Chambliss — a professor who followed nearly 100 students throughout college in researching the book How College Works — reports in Inside Higher Ed that he finds that “high-contact” settings, such as traditional dorms, are best.

These settings feature long hallways, shared rooms and common bathrooms, where students have no choice but to meet lots of peers. According to Chambliss, amenities or not, such configurations “are the single best device for helping new students to solve their biggest problem: finding friends.”

Get helpful information on how to study in the U.S. from EducationUSA and learn how other international students are thriving at U.S. colleges from ShareAmerica.