Settling into your new home abroad

If you’re coming to study with us in the next couple of weeks there are some exciting new experiences ahead for you. But of course, with new experiences come some amount of anxiety of the unknown.

One of the biggest changes you’ll deal with when you move is that of your home life; where you choose to live when studying abroad is one of the most important things to consider. Your new accommodation is likely to be quite different from your home country, and if you’re living away from your family for the first time you may also be learning the basic aspects fending for yourself.

From cooking to cleaning to doing laundry, there are some interesting new challenges in store, and if you know how to handle them, settling into life in a new country can be lots of fun.

INTO has two types of accommodation: Residential Accommodation and Homestay. Each offers something different in terms of living abroad – below we look at each one in a little more detail.

    Halls of Residence

If this is your first time away from home, moving into residential accommodation truly signifies the start of your independence. Living in Halls offers endless opportunities to make friends, and it can be great fun living amongst your classmates and peers.

A good way to get off to a harmonious start with your housemates is to sit down together at the beginning of term and decide on some basic ‘house rules’. Not only will you be able to tackle some practical issues like agreeing a cleaning rota, it also gives you a great opportunity to get to know each other better.

Another good way to get to know your housemates is to organise communal meals. In the video below, Lini from INTO Scotland at Glasgow Caledonian University shows how you can make the most of the social aspect of living in Halls of Residence.


Living with a host family is a great way to settle into life in a new country whilst still enjoying the benefits of home comforts. The customs and cultures of a UK family home may be quite different from those of your home country, which means you can expect some rich experience in British family life.

The other major benefit of living in a Homestay is the opportunity to learn and hone your language skills on a daily basis with your host family; living with native speakers means you can practise English in a relaxed and informal environment.

The best way to make the most of living with a host family is to get stuck in and be prepared to contribute as part of the family.

Having said that, it’s equally as important that you stay involved in events and social activities outside of the home, and make an effort to engage with your classmates out of lessons. In the following video some INTO Newcastle University students share their favourite things about living with a host family.

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