Career path? Sorted. Study destination? Tick. Now, it’s time to consider where you’ll rest after a day of classes, and how to elevate your living space. Check out our tips and tricks on how to make your student accommodation feel more like home.
1. Choose the right accommodation type
A few factors will come into play before you decide on the most suitable accommodation for you. Do you prefer your own space? A studio could be the perfect option. Would you like to live with other people, be social, and make friends? Shared student accommodation is a great choice.
When looking for accommodation, make sure you consider your budget, the location, as well as proximity to public transport. Remember not to rush your decision; take time to weigh your options. Draw up a list of pros and cons, which can help you understand your priorities.
2. Add personal touches to your space
Integrating personal touches can be something as simple as putting up pictures of loved ones in your space, something that Sydney-based mechanical engineering student, Adit Shah, implements in his own room.
“This makes the room more homely and helps you stay close to loved ones,” he says.
Adit also mentions that notice boards are an excellent addition to any student home.
“You can create a personalised display to make your room look ten times better. Pin pictures, tickets, wristbands, leaflets, and anything else you gather during your time as a student.”
3. Take time to socialise
It’s important to socialise during your time as a student. The best way to feel at home is to make strong connections in your new environment. So, say yes to going to the student night party, meeting a friend from down the hall for a stroll in a park, or going for coffee at a local cafe. Good times spent with people from your student accommodation will help create a happy home.
Adit also suggests:
“Signing up for social events like sports and meet and greets. These help you make new friends and settle into your new accommodation quickly. They can also help in relieving stress.”
4. Invite friends into your home
Welcoming people over to your space to hang out is one of the best ways to feel at home. Why not organise a movie and popcorn night, or host a potluck dinner evening where everyone brings a dish?
Making your accommodation an inviting space for friends will help you love your home even more.
Commerce student, Anton, completely agrees.
“Talking to people and sharing your experiences and culture from back home can help people understand who you are and even help you feel at home,” he says.
5. Stay connected online
While you may be living away from your family during your studies, it’s important to keep in touch. Get into a routine on a weekly catch-up call from your couch with your parents, siblings or friends. Whether you Skype or Facetime, once you see those familiar faces, you’ll feel right at home.
6. Light up your space
There’s something to be said about the way Danish people live. They follow a concept called hygge, which essentially means ‘a quality of cosiness and comfort that evokes a feeling of wellbeing’. For them, hygge is a warm blanket, a hot cup of tea, or proper lighting to lift a space. The addition of lamps or candles can easily infuse a sense of hygge into your home.
7. Become a plant parent
Adding greenery to the living space is another way to improve your home. Not only do plants look fantastic, but they can also increase the air quality in your home. Most supermarkets in Australia sell plants, so if you can’t make it to the nursery, stock up during your next grocery trip.
8. Decorate your home for the seasons
As an international student, you have an opportunity to bring your accommodation to life through the celebration of festivals.
There are often parties organised in student accommodation for significant holidays, including Ramadan, Christmas, Halloween, Holi, and Lunar New Year. You could even set up your own party! Take the time to celebrate holidays with your new student family.
As shared by Anton:
“Talking to people and sharing your experiences and culture from back home can help you feel at home.”
9. Rearrange the layout
Don’t be afraid to add a little feng shui to your space to make it work for you. Sometimes, it takes simple steps like moving your study space to another corner of the room before it feels right for you. A little tip for a significant impact is to keep all your furniture up against the walls and add some mirrors to reflect light, which helps to open up your living space.
10. Make it smell like home
Scents can instil positive feelings and transport us to places of comfort and familiarity. Add some scents throughout your space, like incense or air fresheners, which will provide a nice fragrance to your home.
Remember: Home is where the heart is, so fill your space with love and items that warm your heart!