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Special Living Option

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Residence LifeDo you want to meet people and make friends in IST before your first day of class? Are you looking to connect with your IST classmates outside of the classroom? Ready to dive right into the IST community and make it your own? Do you want to forge friendships with other IST students that will last long after college? If you want to get the most out of your time at IST, let’s talk about a 24/7 experience. Let’s talk about the IST Special Living Option (SLO).

A Special Living Option is a housing option available to first-year students where you get to live in a designated dorm with other students who have similar academic or lifestyle choices and build a sense of community at Penn State.

The IST SLO is located at University Park on the second floor of Thompson Hall (West Halls Residence Area) right down the street from the Westgate Building. West Halls is home to the largest dorms on campus and offers spacious doubles and singles with moveable furniture so you can configure your room in a way that works best for you.

There’s a lot more to the IST SLO beyond just living with your IST classmates: throughout the year you’ll be invited to take part in all kinds of special events with your floormates. As a matter of fact, attending the special events (and receiving points for attending) is how you get to choose your room and stay on the floor after your freshman year. This is a big deal, because we have plenty of seniors who have elected to live in the SLO instead of taking an apartment off-campus—it really is that good of an experience!

Visit the IST SLO website to see how you can find your home away from home.

Benefits of Living in the SLO

  • Guaranteed housing if you participate in SLO events.You can even pick the room you want for following years on the floor.
  • Convenient location, close to the Westgate Building and a majority of general education classroom buildings.
  • Large dorm rooms with moveable furniture.
  • Close proximity to peers who have taken the same classes you will be taking and can offer advice and help with assignments and studying.
  • One-on-one access to IST club leaders so you can learn about the IST student orgs that are right for you.
  • Most importantly, have fun with fellow classmates, academically and socially, who you will be seeing for the next four years.