Are you about to start a new term and to try to decide whether you should live alone or with other students? Choosing the perfect student accommodation is an integral part of your journey in studying abroad. It’s the place you’ll call home for the next 4-5 years, so it has to be well-suited to your needs and personality. Check out our blog Why Students Care About Room Types to learn more about why it’s such an important step. You might think the best option is to live alone because you’re worried about living with strangers. However, sharing a flat with other students could be one of the best decisions you could make.
Here is why most international students prefer shared living:
One of the most significant advantages of living in a shared flat is how cost-effective it is. Being a student abroad can be expensive, and you should look for ways to save money while you’re studying abroad for the sake of your parents’ bank account! Shared flats usually cost less than private ones, not to mention you’ll be splitting that cost with one or more other students. It’s not only rent, but you also save money on utilities and groceries since everything will be divided between you and your flatmate(s). From time to time, this helps you save up and have extra cash for emergencies or to treat yourself to something you want. Your parents will surely thank you for not asking them to send more money!
Moving to a new country can be a bit overwhelming, but if you’re living in a shared flat, forget about feeling like a stranger in a strange land. Having flatmate(s) who are around your age is bound to earn you a lifelong friendship. Your flatmate(s) will be the first people you meet and most likely the first friends you make. Whether they’re a local or also an international student, you will either have a tour guide or an adventure buddy to help you explore around your new hometown. You can decide together as you stroll about what are your favourite spots to hang about in your free time or discover the perfect pizza place. It’s thrilling not knowing what kind of flatmate you’ll have, but it could be one of these in our 6 Types of Roommates You’ll Meet in College blog. Who knows, you could meet someone who will change your entire perspective! For example, if you’re a shy person, you might have a flatmate who will make you gain more confidence and help you venture into the world! You will be meeting even more students when your flatmate(s) introduce you to the friends they make plus your own, so always be prepared to socialize!
One of the best things about being in shared student accommodation is the cultural exposure you get from meeting people from all around the world! You’ll feel like you travelled somewhere new once you learn about your flatmate’s home and their culture. You’ll enjoy teaching them about yours as well; it will remind you of your home country and will make you feel more connected to your roots. Eventually, it turns into a full cultural immersion when you share books, arts, and cook recipes together from your hometowns. You could even learn a new language! It’s a great way to broaden your horizons and have a better understanding of the world.
Now that you’re studying abroad, you will be out of that safe, cosy bubble that has your family, friends, and usual surroundings in it. Moving in with students you’ve never met before will put you on an exciting self-discovery journey. Interacting with students from diverse backgrounds and different values will teach you more about who you are as a person without the outside pressure from family or society. You will learn more about your likes and dislikes, and you may develop new interests. Living with other students will also teach you invaluable social skills like tolerance, patience, and compassion. You will value those skills more when you delve into the working world after university.
Being away from family and friends could be difficult but being in a shared student room means that you’ll have someone to talk to almost always. You can ease your homesickness by building a family out of your flatmates, having someone to vent to after a long day and another who cheers you up when you’re down will boost your mental health and mitigate your mood swings. If you’re struggling with a subject at school, you might be lucky enough to have a flatmate who is excellent at it. You’ll have someone to proofread your essays and help you with projects. You could host parties or brunches together or sit in your pyjamas, watching movies and eating popcorn. There will always be someone to rely on when you face any challenges or problems. It’s a one-of-a-kind support system that’ll always be there for you while you experience life away from home in a new city.
Ultimately, the choice of student accommodation depends on your preferences and character. Check our Secrets of Choosing Your Perfect Student Room blog for tips on how to make the right decision. To conclude, putting living in a shared student accommodation into serious consideration, at least for your first term or year abroad, is a once in a lifetime experience!