International students placed in unfurnished housing


A majority of Butler University’s international students are living in University Terrace and Apartment Village this yearboth partially unfurnished.

Maria Kurikko, an international student from Finland, lives in University Terrace. She is a senior at Butler, studies marketing and is here for one semester. Initially, she thought all the international students were going to live in Fairview House and then found out they would in the UT.

“I felt confused and little disappointed, as we were promised to live in Fairview and now we are so far away from others,” she said. “However, after living here in UT, I like it here. Although compared to other residencies, I find it is too far away from campus.”

AV is roughly a 10 to 15 minute walk from the main part of campus, while UT is located a little further down Boulevard Place and is about a 20 minute walk to campus.

UT has more living options than AV, but most of those options include shared bedrooms, whereas AV has single bedrooms. AV comes with furnished bedrooms, a furnished kitchen and an unfurnished living room space.

UT comes with an unfurnished kitchen. For example, microwaves are provided in AV but not in UT.

Victor Goldman is another international student at Butler. He is a junior business major from France. Goldman is here for the entire school year and lives in UT.

“They don’t provide any furniture or kitchen utensils, but luckily I got an American roommate who bought all the furniture and stuff for our suite,” Goldman says, “It didn’t make sense for me to buy so much stuff when I’m leaving so soon.”

In previous years, international students chose where to live.

Sarah O’Neall, associate director of international exchanges, said the large first year class led to limited options.

“Unfortunately, what was left were the apartments,” she said. “I will say that we were not aware the apartments were unfurnished, which is usually left to Residence Life. Many people were let down because they had high expectations which were not met. They are working with Residence Life to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

In over 20 years, a situation like this never happened before.

Despite the adversity, the international students are adapting and like their new homes and friends.

Before school started, the international students had an orientation program that included mandatory workshops, a trip to King’s Island, bowling and going to the movies.

“I think people here have done a good job with planning the program. Our diversity ambassadors have been awesome and super helpful, special thanks to them.” Kurikko said. “I think the program would be better for internationals if we could have even a few furniture items provided in our apartment. Otherwise, everything has been really good.”

“The people are really cool here,” Goldman said. “The only main problem is the housing.”

The International Exchange Program is working to improve their program to ensure the international students experience Butler comfortably each year.