Making Yourself at Home as a Student Living Abroad

living in rental apartments

Being an expat student can be exciting yet challenging. Moving to a new country, adapting to a different culture, and being far away from your familiar surroundings can sometimes make you feel out of place. However, there are several ways you can make yourself feel at home as an expat student. In this blog, we’ll explore some practical tips and strategies to help you create a warm and welcoming environment that truly feels like home.

  1. Embrace the Local Culture: One of the keys to feeling at home in a foreign country is to immerse yourself in the local culture. Take the time to learn about your new home’s customs, traditions, and language. Engage with locals, participate in cultural events, and explore local cuisine. By embracing the local culture, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your new surroundings and also feel more connected and integrated into the community.
  2. Create a Comfortable Living Space: Transforming your living space into a cosy and personalised haven is essential for feeling at home. Bring items from your home country that hold sentimental value or remind you of your loved ones. Decorate your room with pictures, artwork, or other mementoes that bring you joy and make you feel connected to your roots. Additionally, consider adding plants, soft lighting, frames, wall art, and comfortable furniture to create a welcoming ambience that reflects your personality.
  3. Establish Routines and Familiarize Yourself with the Area: Building routines can provide stability and familiarity in an unfamiliar environment. Establish a daily routine that includes activities you enjoy, such as exercising, reading, or exploring your surroundings. Get to know your neighbourhood. Discover nearby cafes, parks, and other places of interest. By becoming familiar with your surroundings, you’ll begin to feel more at ease and soon develop a sense of belonging.
  4. Connect with Fellow Expats and Local Communities: Seek out communities of fellow expats who can relate to your experiences and provide support. Joining international student organisations, clubs, or online forums can be a very effective way to connect with like-minded individuals and make new friends. Additionally, don’t forget to reach out to local communities and interact with others around you. Engaging in social activities and forming meaningful relationships will help you build a support network and create a sense of community.
  5. Stay Connected with Family and Friends: Feeling homesick is a very common experience for expat students. So, you can try to combat this by staying connected with your family and friends back home. Schedule regular video calls, exchange emails or letters, and share your experiences with them. Their support and love will give you a sense of familiarity and remind you that you’re not alone on this journey, even when living in rental apartments that may lack the personal touch of a permanent home.
  6. Learn the Local Language: While it may not be necessary to become fluent in the local language, making an effort to learn basic phrases and conversational skills can greatly enhance your experience as an expat student. It allows you to communicate with locals more effectively, understand cultural nuances, and feel more integrated into your surroundings. So, you may want to consider enrolling in language classes or using language-learning apps to improve your language skills.
  7. Explore and Appreciate Your New Surroundings: Take advantage of the opportunity to explore your newly situated surroundings. Embark on weekend trips, visit nearby landmarks, and discover your host country’s natural beauty. Engaging in local activities and venturing beyond your campus or accommodation will not only broaden your horizons but also deepen your connection with the place you now call home.
  8. Seek Out Expat Student Services: Many universities and educational institutions provide dedicated services for international or expat students. These services can offer valuable resources, support in finding your Berlin studio flat, and guidance tailored specifically to your needs. Make your transition easier and more enjoyable by taking advantage of the resources available on campus, such as academic assistance and cultural integration programs.
  9. Create a Support System: Building a support system is crucial for your well-being as an expat student. Connect with other expat students, not just from your home country but from different parts of the world as well. Feel free to share your experiences, challenges, and triumphs with one another. Additionally, seek support from university counselors or professionals who specialize in supporting international students. Having a strong support system can make a significant difference in how you adapt to your chosen environment.

Remember, the key to feeling at home as an expat student is to embrace opportunities, be open to exploring experiences, and nurture connections with fellow expats and locals. So, let yourself soak in the goodness of the new home.

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