If you’re studying abroad, meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds will be a big part of your experience. Especially if you’re living in student accommodation you will meet fellow residents from different parts of the world who also traveled to pursue their dreams and goals.
It can be intimidating at first to get out there and chat with your flatmates but it will be important to get to know them since you will be sharing a living space together. And most often your new flatmates will feel like a family soon after you start to spend time together.
It’s such a great experience to live with a new group of people but every individual is different so there can be problems or misunderstandings sometimes. That is why we wanted to share our tips to help you avoid or resolve these issues easily.
Here are our tips on how to make friends with your new flatmates!
Freshers week will be one of the highlights of your university life so make sure you go to the events with your flatmates. You will be able to meet people that have similar interests and make the first step to make your new group of friends. These events will allow you to learn about other people’s hobbies and interests by giving you lots to talk about and try together.
It’s always recommended to go to daytime Freshers’ events as you will be able to meet people when they are still sober as you might not really get to know people after they had a couple of shots. After the Freshers’ week, make sure to organise a time to meet with your new friends to hang out or do something fun together.
When meeting new people for the first time, try not to judge them right away or jump to conclusions about your new flatmates. You might get opinions based on first impressions but remember that other people may be stressful, nervous or shy as they also moved to a new country.
When we are open to interacting with others we have the chance to learn more about them and also learn more about yourself. Don’t listen to other people has told you about certain people and take the time to get to know your flatmates and make one another feel welcome and comfortable.
After all, your living space is also their living space so it will make it easier for all of you if you can get along and have a good relationship. Don’t forget that living with others requires being considerate of the things that are important to you and your flatmates so make sure to communicate these things with each other.
One of the best ways to get to know other people is to share experiences and doing fun things together. These could be walking to the class together, going out for drinks in a group or cooking together. This is a great opportunity to bond with your new friends as it will give some ideas about what type of person they are.
Most likely both you and your flatmates won’t know the town you moved that well so you can organise activities together that will let you get to know it better. You can take some time to explore your area, find good shops, visit some tourist attractions, go to parks and do whatever else you might find interesting together.
Other opportunities could be playing a sport together or share your language knowledge with your new friends. Everyone’s good at something and your living space can benefit from each other talents so once you identify each other’s key skills you will be one step closer to becoming close friends. Also as time goes you will notice that these activities with your flatmates will be more frequent.
People who have not grown up in the same country may sometimes interpret other’s behaviors as offensive or disrespectful. Seek feedback and advice from your friends and family to avoid this and find out more about your culture and which parts of it might be misunderstood by other people.
If you have a better understanding of what your flatmates perceive you, you will have the chance to address and clarify some issues and avoid awkward situations. By approaching your flatmates with some information and explanation you won’t be letting other people stereotyping you and misunderstanding you.
Sharing eating time together is another great way to bond with your flatmates. Your flatmates will appreciate it if you offer them a cup of coffee or tea and you can always strike up a conversation while you’re enjoying your beverages.
Another good idea is to share your alcoholic drink with your friends which will definitely get the conversation going. You can start by asking where do they come from, if they have any siblings or where were they for their summer holiday? This is a simple but effective way to build conversations with your flatmates.
Also, you can ask them if they want anything when you order a takeaway or you can bake your best recipe and leave it in the kitchen for everyone to enjoy. These types of sweet gestures don’t cost a lot and they will encourage them to return the favour.
Although it can be boring to do so, setting some rules is necessary when you are living with other people from different backgrounds and cultures.
It’s important to be on the same page with the people you are living with about the washing schedules, playing music at late hours, bringing guests, using the kitchen, etc. This way everyone’s expectations and responsibilities get more clear and any misunderstandings will be avoided.
You might not have imagined that your uni life would include many rules but it’s essential to keep the peace and stay friends with your flatmates.
Living in a shared space with fellow students is an amazing experience and exposes you to to a variety of different cultures. Make sure to be open-minded, have clear communication and enjoy your time abroad while making great memories.
And if you haven’t found your ideal student accommodation check our residences! Our multi-lingual team is ready to help you for an amazing study abroad experience.