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Main Points Edit

  • Sharing a room is normal here. This may or may not be an issue for you - if you feel it might be, pick dorms to avoid it (e.g. Macgregor, Baker, Simmons).
  • Many dorms have compulsory meal plans. These are extremely expensive and of questionable quality. Most FSILGs will have meal plans which come with your rent, or are not too pricey.
  • Location: campus isn’t all that big, so most locations are pretty close to everything else. That said, East Campus is generally more convenient for restaurants, shops, and the subway to Harvard and greater Boston, while West Campus (where the vast majority of accommodation is) is a bit more into suburbia. The frats across the river in Back Bay, Boston, get the advantage of being right in the middle of a really nice area of a major city, but the downside of having to walk over the bridge every day (which isn’t a lot of fun in the depths of winter).

Dormitories Edit

If you’re like most British people and want a single room for yourself, your best bet is to go for a dorm room. Certain dorms have particular things that they are known for (hint: East Campus), so you’ll want to check that the dorm suits you before you decide on your choices (use i3 videos). They’re all conveniently close to campus.

Dorm rooms are typically more expensive than FSILGs, and some dorms have a requirement that you must purchase a meal plan, which is not particularly good for your wallet or your taste buds. Only certain dorms offer dining, so if you live in a dorm without dining and you have a meal plan, you’ll just have to go to somewhere that does (Maseeh is probably the best biggest and with the most options at any given time but for other places you will find that food quality is often dependent on who's working that day- so make friends with the dining staff!).

Dorm Description
Baker House
  • Most likely to get a single.
  • Convenient location
  • Dining plan, food is … ok...(Alex disagrees with this statement... food is poor, but you can go to other canteens like Maseeh which is close)
  • Not a very new dorm but facilities are decent
  • Most rooms face the river, good view. Near to the sports center/gym.
  • My room was quite loud last year... all rooms face onto a major road but have a nice view!
  • Very Expensive for a single!
East Campus
  • Almost entirely singles
  • Really convenient location
  • No dining plan
  • Lots of cool things going on, but can be a bit of a bubble
  • Truly grim. <- not wholly true, but probably try to not live on 5E
MacGregor House
  • Almost entirely singles
  • No dining plan
  • West Campus
  • Split into 9 different sections (“entries”) of 32 people which generally don’t mix much. Entries vary quite a lot by culture but there is a matching process at the beginning of the year so hopefully you’d find somewhere you like.
  • A entry has a lot of fun people and great views of Boston
  • J entry also has lots of great people
Random Hall
  • Likely to get a single room, since you get dibs over the freshmen.
  • North of the rest of campus, but convenient for access to the MBTA (metro system)
  • Workshop in the basement, complete with laser cutter!
  • Big spatious and clean kitchens, with community pans, utensils and spices
  • No dining plan required
  • Super close to a grocery store
Simmons Hall
  • A mix of singles and doubles, but you will most likely have a choice
  • West Campus: A 10 minute walk/5 minute tech shuttle to main campus
  • Very clean and new with good quality facilities, pretty quiet, semi private bathrooms shared by a maximum of 3 people
  • Expensive and requires dining plan, but the made-to-order eggs, stirfry, and grill are usually quite good
  • Has it's own pretty nice gym as well as being close to the Z center
  • A nice place to live, but you have to make an effort to go out and socialise with other people/go to parties, it can be a little isolated


In-House Rush/Temporary Rooms Edit

Don’t unpack until you know you have a permanent room assignment.

Quite a few of us didn’t realise that the dorm rooms we were assigned by email are only for the first few days.  Most dorms have a process called in-house rush in which you are then assigned to a permanent room. This process is different in each dorm.

For example, in Macgregor, all the new students get put into groups and go round and visit each section (“entry”) in the building and talk to the people who live there for about 20 minutes. At the end of the night, each student ranks to entries 1-9 in order of preference and the entries also rate the students. Overnight, an algorithm is run to optimise the assignments and you find out, and move room, the next day. You may not get your first choice, but you should get one of the top few.

FSILGs Edit

Fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups. Frats are typically male-only, sororities are female only, and ILGs are for any other groups of people who want to live together but don’t want to be bracketed under the first two names. These are your choices if you don’t want to live in a dormitory. Student typically choose to live in FSILGs for a more American experience, and you tend to get to know the people you live with better than if you lived in a dorm. Not all FSILGs will be recruiting CMEs, so you will be told which ones are available to you.

It usually costs less to live in a frat compared to a dorm, and obviously there is no requirement that you buy a meal plan like at certain dorms. Some food is usually included in the cost of rent. Often duties are given to everyone in order to help run the house.

Once you’ve found a few you like the look of, you will need to contact them to arrange an “interview” (more like a chance for both parties to get to know each other). It’s rather difficult to gauge how it’s really like to live somewhere even after going on their websites and doing the interviews, so you should talk to people who have lived there in the past.

FSILG Description
Alpha Delta Phi (ADPhi) All male frat situated towards Central on the Cambridge side
  • About 5 minutes walk from north campus
  • Tends to be considered slightly more tame and civilised than the stereotypical frat, but have a lot of fantastic events and parties.
  • Dinner and lunch provided 5 days per week by chef, tends to require kitchen duty for one of these meals per week.
  • Have all single rooms, which is very rare for a fraternity.
  • Will allow CMEs to Rush, if they believe that the CMEs will move to live with them upon pledging (Yes you can do this). They tend to take pledge training very seriously though which can take up a fair amount of time, especially considering the busy schedule of a CME, but this is an enjoyable and worthwhile experience should you choose to pledge and get initiated.
  • Very clean, and some of the best bathrooms on campus, but this is because there is a requirement to clean typically once a week.
  • Yes, they do have a hot tub.
Delta Tau Delta (Delts) All male frat situated near the river on the Boston side
  • Known for their parties (almost every weekend)
  • Resembles the stereotypical frat the most
  • No single rooms, will probably be put into double or triple
  • Room ballots every semester, so you’ll probably have different rooms in the Fall and Spring
  • 15 min walk across the bridge from campus
  • No duties for CMEs
  • Food cooked by chef 5 times a week
  • Questionable cleanliness
St Anthony Hall

(Number Six Club)

The international frat - lots of people from around the world.
  • Residence for both males and females.
  • Very welcoming and nice, let their CME students pledge to the frat which is a lot of fun
  • Have parties every Friday plus more social stuff
  • You’ll almost definitely have a double room
Tau Epsilon Phi (tEp)
Theta Chi
WILG (Women's Independent Living Group)
  • A women's only independent living group: about 30 women in a fun & supportive community
  • One of the cheapest, best price-to-living-quality options with (veggie-friendly) dinner 6 nights a week included and open pantry stocked weekly. Boarders do weekly house and kitchen jobs.
  • 7 min. walk to main campus, 5 min. walk to Central Square subway station, 5 second walk to bus stop, and 2 minute walk to Shaw’s (grocery store)
  • Mostly singles, but also 1-room and 2-room doubles. Contact wilg (wilg-boarding@mit.edu) earlier in the summer to guarantee a single and you MUST email before the school year if you want to live here.

Fraternity Rush Edit

At the start of the fall term, there is a week long “Rush” period where fraternities put on activities to actively recruit freshmen. It’s rather mad and chaotic and there are lots of fun things to do at each frat. Whilst many frats do not take CMEs, most frats still allow them to take part in whatever activities they’re putting on for free. This includes: indoor skydiving, jet skiing, boat trips, go karting, paintballing, and LOTS of food especially steak and lobster. Be sure to take full advantage of this at the start of the year.

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