Transfer and Exchange: Living and learning in your new home

Student sitting at laptop
Second-Year Experience

On-campus living serves as the foundation of community during your Case Western Reserve University undergraduate experience. The University believes that on-campus living has a positive impact on student success, and as such, second-year students are required to live in residence halls or within their fraternity/sorority communities. The Office of Residence Life works in partnership with all residential students to seek out a meaningful experience that fits their specific needs as they transition into, through and beyond CWRU. 

Our programs, events and guidance center on helping you to connect with campus resources and to develop the  skills and behaviors necessary for being successful at CWRU. We strive to touch on multiple dimensions of your everyday life—examples include: connecting to a new institution, transitioning academically and co-curricularly, and ensuring that you find success here at CWRU. 

We recognize that this will be a process and look different for every student, including those that began their journey elsewhere. We look forward to what you will discover by exploring campus, making lasting friendships, learning new skills, and developing habits for success both inside and outside the classroom. 

Upperclass Experience

Holistically, we believe that on-campus living serves as the foundation of community during your Case Western Reserve University undergraduate experience—and nearly two thirds of upperclass undergraduate students choose to continue living within our on-campus residential communities! However, we recognize that upperclass students have different needs and require different levels of attention and support. The Office of Residence Life works in partnership with our residential students to make informed decisions regarding your residential experience beyond your first two years at CWRU. Your living experience, both on and off-campus, is crucial to developing and maximizing skills that support your transitions into, through and beyond CWRU. 

We offer two residential experience “tracks” for our students matriculating beyond the second year: the Upperclass Experience (UCE) and the Independent Living Experience (ILE).

  • Within the Upperclass Experience (UCE), the Residence Life team strives to foster an environment where residents can focus on a vision for their future by offering experiences to celebrate the final years at CWRU and prepare for life after graduation. Students' paths are increasingly divergent and require tailored support as individual students with unique goals, pathways and milestones to achieve.


  • In recognizing that some upperclass students desire a different type of campus connection, the Independent Living Experience (ILE) allows residents the opportunity to increase their independence while retaining the assistance that on-campus living provides. ILE concentrates predominantly on the individual apartment experience more than the community as a whole. Residence Life staff continue to assist residents living within these less traditional housing options and communities. Graduate Resident Directors will provide guidance and respond to student needs within these more independent, dynamic environments. This experience aims to bring forward the most effective components of the Upperclass Experience while acknowledging that some students will thrive with less support.

Regardless of the path you choose, these experiences aim to provide you with a balance between connecting with your campus community and finding autonomy in the ways that benefit your individual needs and lifestyle.