iHouse is one of the various living groups in New House (located in the first two floors of House 1) and is MIT’s only living-learning community. It focuses specifically on international development, global leadership, and also celebrates all the different forms of diversity in our world. It is also a diverse house in itself, consisting of people from many different ethnic groups, majors, and interests.
Some of the global development issues that iHouse members learn about and try to tackle are public health, water sanitation and access, and even environmental sustainability. Because of their deep interests in global development, students in iHouse are very involved in many different service projects. For instance, a group of members went to Mexico to empower and teach schoolchildren about science and engineering. Others also went to Uganda to work on building a tank system for harvesting rainwater. These are just examples of the range of service work iHouse members involve themselves in.
iHouse is not all about all work and no play. The house is also quite social and has monthly social events and parties. In the beginning of every year, the house goes on a weekend retreat, where everyone get to know each other, especially with new freshmen around. With such a close knit community, many birthday celebrations, spontaneous dinner gatherings, and Wii playing happens during the year.
If you are interested in living in iHouse, there are a few things that you have to accomplish during your time at MIT:
- Freshmen have to take 6 unit seminar on international development during their first semester.
- Each resident has to participate in or help develop an international development project over their four years and attend the monthly iHouse speaker series
- Each resident must take 2 international development classes while at MIT
All these requirements are show why iHouse is considered a living-learning community. However, these requirements also count for credit towards an international development minor. Note that iHouse also has a small application to complete if you are interested in joining the house.