To encourage a close relationship between everyone, Bowdoin requires that students live on campus for at least the first two years of college. After that, the College doesn't especially promote that students live off campus, but students can conduct their own off-campus housing search via Craigslist, the local newspaper, or bulletin boards throughout campus. Apartments and houses can be found anywhere from right down the street to 20 minutes away in Bath. Students who live off campus often feel the need to have their own car for getting to and from school, but some nice locations and streets are directly connected to Maine Street and within walking and biking distance.
Living off campus gives students an increased sense of independence and a chance to become more immersed in the community. Often, students live together to share the rent of an apartment, which results in cheaper housing costs per person. Also, student who live off campus have the option of getting partial meal plans and Polar Points to be used at on-campus dining facilities. In general, although there are many on-campus housing options and living on campus is encouraged to foster the idea of a "residential college," there are very pleasant options for living outside of the Bowdoin Bubble, if a student chooses.