Make Yourself at Home – 12 Tips for International Students
Moving into a new home can be a huge worry, especially when it’s in a different country! If you are an international student studying in the UK or a graduate that is changing homes to live closer to their work, this is the guide for you! Below are 12 tips on how to feel more comfortable living in a new accommodation.
1. Give it some time
Maybe an usual tip, but spending some time in your bedroom and knowing where light switches and plug sockets are will really help you settle into a new place. When surveying international graduates in the UK, a whopping 92% of them spend 2 hours or more a day in their room while still awake, so you really should consider getting to know all about it.
2. Unpack your belongings
Leaving the majority of your clothes in a suitcase beside your bed is one way to not feel settled. Looking through it on a daily basis for personal items will make you feel as though you are on holiday away from home, rather than adjusting to your new home..
We asked international graduates from France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Norway and Latvia (all staying in the UK) “How did you make yourself at home in a new accommodation?” Rearranging their room was the most popular answer amongst everybody surveyed and doing so will really help give you a sense of “room ownership”.
4. Listening to music
The second most popular way of adjusting to your new place was playing familiar music. By playing music that rekindles happy thoughts from the past, you will associate your new home with good times and this also helps to relax you.
If you are trying to master all the grammatical idioms and phrases in the English language, reading plenty of books in your own quite space will help speed up the process. Over two-thirds of international graduates said they felt settled in their new accommodation within one month and most agreed being relaxed while reading books in their room was beneficial.
A brilliant way to add colour and personality to blank walls and wardrobes is to put up pictures that remind you of home. You will look forward to coming back to your room seeing smiling faces of friends and scenes from home in your photos. It is also a great conversation starter when inviting new friends over.
7. National objects / Flags
Embrace where you are from and keep unique items that link to your home country on your desk or windowsill. This helps create a personalised space and you will notice that people who are not familiar with these objects will often pick them up and inspect them before asking what it is or where it’s from.
8. Bedroom furnishings
You shouldn’t live in an empty bedroom because if from first glance it seems like no one lives there then you won’t feel like you actually live there! Students don’t always have stacks of money so if you are coming from abroad; consider furnishings that are not to expensive but still personal such as lamps, pillows, quirky items etc.
9. Video Calling
Being able to stay in touch with people we hold dearest is easier than ever before! Video calling friends and family from back home is a great way to settle into your new place. Using a free online service like Skype you can communicate with them and even show around your new place via the webcam on your computer.
10. Your bed
If your bed is not comfortable it is worth checking with the landlord and seeing if a new one is needed as some beds may not have been replaced for a very long time. It is definitely worth while investing in comfortable bedding and pillows so that you are at ease when spending on average 7 hours a night in bed.
Certain scents change our mood and even our attitude. Think back to what aromas you really enjoyed back home. It could have been homemade food, flowers or even scented candles that smell familiar to you. Try and incorporate these aromas back into your life so that you feel instantly at home when you walk through the door.
12. Throw a big party
Last but not least, throw a ridiculous party! Or a sen
sible one, your choice. Getting to know your other roommates and introducing old friends to new friends is a great way to feel at home and make a statement to yourself that you have officially moved in!