The Macalester College Language Houses are  located on Vernon and Princeton Streets at the Southwest corner of campus. Residents in the Russian, Japan, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish houses immerse themselves in the language and culture of the given house. One or two Native Speakers also live in the house to help students improve their language skills and to provide authentic information about the culture of the country from which they hail. Room cost for Language Houses and the Eco House for 2020-2021 is  $TBA per semester; $TBAper academic year.  A dining plan is not required but language house residents have to option to purchase dining plan A, B,C or the Commuter Meal Plan each semester.

Language Houses Locations and Application Deadlines

List of house language type, location, capacity and application deadline
Chinese House 216 Vernon Street 5 February 20, 2020
French House 182 Vernon Street 6
German House 190 Vernon Street 6
Japan House 1661 and 1663 Princeton Court 5 February 20, 2020
Russian House 1668 Princeton Street 3
Spanish House 196 Vernon Street 10


  • Bathrooms: Each house has 1 to 3 single use bathrooms.
  • Laundry Facilities: Coin-operated laundry facilities.
  • Kitchen: Full kitchens with a cook top, oven, full-sized refrigerator, and a sink. Residents are exempt from the residence hall meal plan requirement, but they may request a full or commuter meal plan each semester.
  • Computer Labs/Internet Access: Ethernet and WiFi.
  • Common space: Intentional large gathering spaces. Houses are located on a quiet residential street with porches, and front and back yards.  Residents are responsible for cleaning the kitchen, bathrooms, and common area. Also, residents of each house are responsible for shoveling snow from the front door to the public sidewalk and for taking out their own trash and recycling for pickup.
  • Room types: The number of bedrooms in each house varies. Rooms are singles and doubles; does not include the native speaker spaces.

Application Process

The language houses are an opportunity for students to expand their language skills and cultural knowledge outside of the classroom. Living in a language house is a great option for students planning to study abroad in a country associated with the language they are studying.  Each department that supervises a language house has an application process and requirements that students must meet to be accepted to the house. Room and roommate  placement within the house is determined by the department.

Residential Life requires students to complete at least two semesters of first-year housing (or be in their spring semester of first year housing) to apply to live in a language house the following fall semester.  The housing contract is for the entire year unless the resident studies abroad for spring or fall semester.

Departments usually accept applications during the month of February for the following academic year and selection is completed at least two weeks before the start of roomdraw.   Contact the department associated with language house to apply.