In this edition of ‘Study abroad tips’, Compare&Choose share with us what they believe are the 4 key steps to explore your new student home when you study abroad.
Living abroad feels like starting another life, and the first step should always be getting to know the place you’re living in. You could wander around and see what you find, but you’ll remember much more if you take a planned approach to exploring your new place of residence.
Plan out your neighbourhood
Getting lost in your own neighbourhood is quite easy when you don’t know the area, especially if all the houses look identical. Print out a map of the streets near your house and see if you can do a circuit of all the streets. If it helps, mark down landmarks or street names until you have a clear idea of how far away different things are from your new home.
If there are shops, restaurants or other businesses nearby, try to use them as a reference point for everything else. You’ll probably be passing one quite regularly, so it can be really helpful to use it as a signpost if you get lost.
Look for recurring events
If you see any signs or posters advertising a ‘weekly’, ‘monthly’ or ‘annual’ event, take a photo or write down a note of the date. You might be able to meet some new people if it’s a social event or get to experience something cheaper if it’s a sale, and you won’t be out of a loop if a neighbour mentions it to you later on. Any fliers and newspapers delivered to your house can be useful for this, too.
Travel further than your city limits
Don’t limit yourself to the streets near your home. Call a car or campervan hire company and explore some other towns and cities in the same part of the country: knowing the nearby towns will give you a much broader understanding of the area you live in. If you’re living with roommates or friends, consider arranging a group trip to make things less lonely for you.
Take your time to explore your new student home
Don’t rush around trying to experience everything in under a week when you explore your new student home. You have plenty of time to take in your new home, so move slowly and learn your way around. If you don’t have time to constantly take walks and explore on foot, use the internet to search for different points of interest and visit a different one every few days – you’ll eventually have memorised the fastest route from the main roads back to your house.