For international students

For international students

Considering graduate school in the United States is a big decision. We realize that as an international student you probably have lots of questions about life both in the US and in Nebraska. Lincoln combines a small-town feeling with a vibrant city center, and is a great place to call home. Some of the most common questions we hear about life in Lincoln and the US are:

Can you tell me more about the community?

Information about Lincoln can be found at About Lincoln Nebraska .

What’s the weather like in Nebraska?

Nebraska is in the central United States, and we experience a little bit of all sorts of weather. Summers in Nebraska can get quite warm, which is why Lincoln residents love spending time outside at the pool or at our local parks. In the winter, you can expect the snow and cold to roll in. No matter what your favorite season – spring, summer, winter, or fall -- you’ll get to experience it in Nebraska.

Is Lincoln a safe community?

Absolutely. Forbes magazine rated Lincoln the 5th safest metropolitan community in the United States (2011).

Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center

At 30,000 square feet the Gaughan Center is the nation’s largest multicultural center attached to a student union. The Gaughan Center provides multiple study and lounge spaces as well as student organization offices, meeting and conference rooms, a music room, a kitchen and a computer lab. Visit the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center.

Transportation and Driving

Many international students use Lincoln’s bus system for their transportation (free to all UNL students). Another convenient option if you don’t have a car is the bike trail system. Purchasing a bike is relatively cheap, and the trails run all across Lincoln. Some international students choose to purchase a car, especially those with families. To drive a car, you’ll need a valid Nebraska driver’s license. All cars must be registered with the county clerk, and insurance coverage is mandatory in the state of Nebraska.


Finding housing in a brand-new country is a challenge! You’ll have two options: arrange for permanent housing before you arrive, or use short-term housing temporarily while you search.

Long-term housing:

Students can choose to live either on-campus or off-campus. On-campus housing is available for international students in Husker Hall (near City Campus) and in Selleck Quadrangle (on City Campus). Students who are married or with children may also apply to live in Family Housing, however there is usually a 6-12 month waiting period. For more information about on-campus housing, visit Most international students choose to live off-campus and rent an apartment. There are lots of rental properties available within a short distance of East Campus. Usually rental properties in Nebraska require an application fee of $10-30, a security deposit of no more than one month’s rent, and the first month’s rent in advance. Students are also encouraged to purchase renters insurance (about $10 per month).

Short-term housing:

Some students decide to arrange for short-term accommodation in Lincoln, and start the search for a permanent home once they’ve arrived. These students usually decide to stay in an extended-stay hotel or in one of the on-campus residence halls. However we encourage students to do their best to find long-term housing before they arrive, as rental properties can fill up.

Furnishing your home:

Most apartments and homes in Lincoln come unfurnished. There are lots of ways to save money on furniture, including:

  • Local stores: Lincoln has several consignment and second-hand furniture stores that offer good deals, and will sometimes negotiate prices. Chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target have cheap, quality furniture and other home goods available, but do not negotiate.
  • Garage sales: Neighborhood garage sales are a great place to get a deal on used furniture! Be friendly, and you can usually negotiate a great price. Garage sales usually occur on weekends during the summer and early fall. You can check classifieds in the Lincoln Journal Star or on Craigslist for sales listings.
  • Online classifieds: The Lincoln Journal Star and Craigslist have online classifieds for furniture and other home necessities.