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The Ultimate Guide to USC Move-In Day 2024

The Ultimate Guide to USC Move-In Day 2024

Jul 15, 2024

Table of contents

  • What Is USC Move-In Day?
  • Preparing for Move-In Day
  • Move-In Day Logistics
  • Settling In
  • Preparedness for A New School Year

USC move-in day is one of the most exciting times of your life. Whether you are an eager freshman, an upperclassman, or a seasoned grad student, there is nothing quite like the fresh start of move-in day. If you are looking for all things USC, you’ve come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know about living near USC. 

USC campus

What Is USC Move-In Day?

USC Move-In Day is an annual event that marks the beginning of the academic year for students at the University of Southern California (USC). It is the day when new and returning students move into their dorm rooms or apartments on or near the USC campus. Move-In Day typically takes place a few days before classes start, allowing students to settle in and get comfortable in their new living spaces.

Move-In Day can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking for students. It is an opportunity to meet new people, explore campus life, and begin a new chapter of life; yet for many, it can also be stressful as this may be their first experience living away from home.

Preparedness is key when it comes to making the most of Move-In Day, including registering for it and understanding USC housing requirements, packing appropriately and parking appropriately. USC also provides a comprehensive Move-In Guide which helps students navigate all aspects of this important day - parking and transportation needs, checking in with USC Housing, receiving room keys/ID cards, etc.

Once on campus, you'll have an opportunity to meet your roommates and begin making yourself at home. This may involve unpacking, setting up your room, familiarizing yourself with campus life and its surrounding community as well as becoming acquainted with USC resources such as academic advising, counseling and career services that provide additional assistance in making sure students make the most out of their college experience.

Move-In Day at USC marks an important step in students' college journey. When prepared and approached properly, it can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, which sets the groundwork for a productive academic year ahead.

Why Being Prepared Is So Important?

Preparing for USC Move-In Day is key to an enjoyable and stress-free experience, and one key way of doing that is by registering on the USC Housing portal - this ensures you have been assigned an arrival slot so USC Housing can prepare accordingly for your arrival.

Understanding USC housing requirements is also critical, including familiarizing yourself with their Housing Contract which details rules and regulations for living on campus. You should also create a packing checklist so you ensure all essentials for living are included while not including prohibited or unnecessary items in your new living space.

Shipping items directly to campus is another effective strategy for streamlining the move-in process. USC works with several shipping and storage providers who specialize in serving college students - allowing you to ship all your belongings directly to your dorm or apartment.

Spending some time decorating your dorm room can go a long way toward making it feel like a home away from home. From bedding and wall art to rugs and throw pillows, there are endless ways to personalize and customize this living space.

What Can You Expect on Move-In Day at USC?

On USC Move-In Day, students arriving both new and returning are treated to an exciting atmosphere as they start their academic year in Berkeley. Our USC Housing staff and volunteers will also be present on campus to guide them through this process - usually comprising these steps:

  1. Parking and Transportation: Depending on where you come from, parking in an authorized lot and taking a shuttle bus ride might be required to reach your dorm or apartment building.

  2. Checking in with USC HousingOnce at your designated move-in site, USC Housing staff must be present so you may obtain both your room key and ID card.

  3. Navigating campus: As you travel towards your living quarters, take time to discover and navigate your way around campus and gain a feel of its layout.

  4. Moving Your Belongings: Moving your belongings can often be one of the longest processes; you need to transport items from your car into the dorm or USC apartments. USC provides rolling carts and other tools to make this easier.

  5. Settling in: Once in your room, it's time to unpack and organize your possessions before setting up your room and meeting up with roommates.

Overall, Move-In Day can be both exciting and exhausting; with proper preparation and mindset, however, you can maximize this important milestone of your college journey.

When Can I Move to USC? 

Your move-in date will depend on a few things. Most on-campus housing move-in dates will start around the middle of August. Residents of McCarthy Honors College may have an opportunity to move in a few days early. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that approximately 65% of USC students live off campus. Off-campus housing move-in dates will vary based on the housing community, your lease, and more. Some off campus housing will offer earlier or later move-in dates depending on your needs and what they have available. 

Don’t forget to check out when your meal plan kicks in if you plan to use one. Some on campus dining options may not open until the school year officially begins. 

Can You Live off Campus Freshman Year at USC?

Yes! USC Freshman students are not required to live on campus. Many students prefer the flexibility and independence of living off campus. Forget awkward roommate matchups or someone eyeing your every move. With off campus housing, you will find yourself with more freedom and more privacy. If you are having a hard time deciding if on-campus living is the right fit, check out this article for a list of pros and cons. 

Preparing for Move-In Day

Where Do Most USC Students Live Off Campus?

Many USC students who prefer to live off campus still want to be close enough to experience all the perks USC offers. From football games to social events and Greek life, being a USC student is an experience unlike any other. 

Students often flock to residences on 28th and 29th street. Not only does the area offer easy access to campus, it’s also nearby USC Village. USC Village offers shopping, dining, and retail. In this area, you can easily stroll through Target sipping on your favorite Starbucks and load up on all the back to school necessities. It’s no wonder the USC Village is a Trojan favorite. 

Another common area for off campus living is Figueroa Street. Figueroa Street offers a convenient location for students with majors on the east side of campus. It’s also close to McCarthy Quad, USC Hotel, the Galen Center, the Coliseum, Exposition Park, and more. 

Science and Engineering students often live near the west side of campus off Vermont Street. The west side of campus houses the Viterbi School of Engineering, Olin Hall of Engineering, the Science & Engineering Library, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Computer Science Center, and more. This makes trips to campus quick and convenient. The west side of campus is also near numerous eateries and retail options. 

Can Off Campus USC Students Have a Meal Plan?

restaurants in the USC

Yes! Living off campus doesn’t mean you are on the hook to fend for yourself or live at USC Village for CAVA and City Tacos. Many off campus students have an on campus meal plan and take advantage of all that campus dining has to offer. 

USC Hospitality has two campus cafes and three dining halls. In the UPC area there are four full service restaurants like The Lab Gastropub and Moreton Fig. UPC also has 17 quick service locations including Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Filone’s Pasta Kitchen, and The Slice Shop for delicious Detroit style pizza. The HSC features one full service restaurant and three quick service hotspots like Panda Express and Taco-Taco. The buffet-style dining halls are also popular food options and offer something for everyone. The USC Village Dining Hall features a Flexitarian station, Vegan-friendly area, and dessert station, so you won’t go hungry regardless of your diet. 

With so many housing options close to campus, students can easily utilize on campus meal plans living off campus. USC Hospitality and USC Village are a great resource for hangry students looking for good eats. 

USC Hospitality Quick Facts

USC Hospitality

USC Hospitality offers seven different meal plans. The cost, availability, and price per semester ranges depending on what plan you get. Plans range from approximately $3,465 to $790 each semester. Be sure to consider how often you plan to eat on campus, your food budget, and any other factors important to your diet.

Move-In Day Logistics 

Top Tips for USC Off Campus Living

four students in the USC campus

Research which areas of campus you want to be closest to. Whether you enjoy long trips to the library, prefer close access to classes, or want to be near USC Village or USC Hospitality, a little research can go a long way. 

Find a community environment that meets your needs. Consider how you function best. Do you like to live in an active environment or prefer something a little more private? Either way, living off campus doesn’t mean you have to be secluded unless you want it that way. 

What is your meal plan preference? If you are a self proclaimed chef and love to whip up your own breakfast, make sure your living quarters offer a kitchen. If your cooking 

experience is likened to pouring cereal in a bowl, you will want to make sure you purchase a meal plan and take advantage of all that USC Hospitality and campus dining has to offer. 

Enjoy! College is meant to be one of the best times of your life. You will experience a journey filled with learning- both academically and socially. Your living community will play a large role in your day to day life so be sure it’s a place you want to be. 

Settling In

Getting to Know Your Roommates

Build connections among your fellow college students on Move-In Day - it's one of the key aspects of life at college! Take time to introduce yourself and get acquainted with each roommate; get to know one another as much as you can before heading home for finals week!

Sharing interests, hobbies and backgrounds as well as discussing living preferences and boundaries are essential to creating strong bonds between partners.

Unpacking and Organizing Your Belongings

Unpacking and organizing can be time consuming process, but it provides the chance for fresh starts in your new living space. To simplify this task it can help having a plan laid out on how you wish to organize your belongings.

Use storage bins, shelves or any other organizational tools available to maintain an orderly and efficient space.

Setting Up Your Room

Arranging the furniture in your room to create the ideal atmosphere is integral to creating a livable, welcoming space. This could involve personal touches like photos, posters or decorations as well as optimizing space with strategic placement of furnishings to make for maximum comfort.

Never be afraid to let your imagination wander and experiment with different layouts and design elements to personalize the room in which you live.

Exploring the Campus

Move-In Day provides students and newcomers an exciting opportunity to discover the USC campus and understand its surrounding community by taking a stroll across campus, visiting shops or restaurants nearby or attending orientation activities and events.

USC offers students access to an array of resources and support services aimed at making college life as rewarding and memorable as possible, including academic advising, counseling and career services - helping you make the most of your university experience.

Finding Support

Beginning college can be daunting, yet USC provides numerous resources and support services to ease this transition process. These may include academic advising - which helps with course selection - counseling services (which offer emotional support & guidance) as well as career services which allow you to explore possible future job options).

Feel confident to reach out for help and use all the resources USC can offer you.

Preparedness for A New School Year

Preparing for a new school year brings a lot of anxious excitement. Figuring out where to live, finding friends, community, navigating campus, and discovering all things USC Hospitality and dining is all part of the adventure. If you are considering living off campus, you can push many of these fears aside. USC off campus housing can be your ticket to freedom and fun. Each community offers something different. Some housing options such as Tripalink offer upscale amenities, fast response maintenance teams, residence events and more. With their convenient app, you can find rentals, pay rent, manage your smart lock, access community perks, request maintenance, and more. 

A solid living community allows you less stress, worry, and more time to spend enjoying the full college experience. Whether you are planning to spend hours at the library or hanging at USC Village, the glory of being a USC Trojan is yours for the taking. 

four students in the USC off campus housing


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