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Living in a Dorm for the First Time

May 16, 2017

Living in a dorm for the first time while studying abroad sounded like a challenge from the beginning. I have always lived with my family because my university in Argentina is in my hometown, but I was ready to take on this challenge and live the student life from a different perspective. For this experience I decided I wanted to live in a dorm. I was about to embark on a new adventure where I didn’t know anyone or speak the language, and living in a dorm sounded like the perfect opportunity to socialize.

One of the main problems is not having wireless internet. My cellphone uses mobile data in my house and can be quite expensive. The internet on my laptop can only be used with a cable in each of the rooms. Of course this depends on where you are living. If Wi-Fi is a big part of your life, you should consult someone about how it works before signing a contract. On the bright side I can say I have been a lot more detached from my phone to the point where I feel I don’t need it most of the time.

Dorms can also be quite messy. Living with 20 people on the same floor can mean things are not as clean as you might be used to. My floor is divided into two sections, with a kitchen on each side and one common area shared by all. I was lucky enough to live with reasonable people who understand what living in a community means. Although it is difficult to adapt to others’ ways of living, we were all able to talk about how we can make it as clean as possible and it has worked so far. Sharing the bathroom can also be difficult but I can guarantee that after one week there is no remedy other than adapting to the environment.

On the positive side I can say I am obsessed with the dorm I live in. From the beginning it has made me feel at home and safe. It is a warm place full of people who are also far from home and wanting to make the experience of living abroad as joyful as possible. Although I have met a lot of people this past month, my closest friends live in my same building. Our days are full of conversations in the living room, movie nights, cooking together and a lot of music and gatherings. Living with others means that there is a lot of cultural exchange and sharing food from all over the world. Being able to communicate with others and understand their way of living is a great exercise in adaptation and getting out of your comfort zone. I couldn’t be happier to have chosen a dorm in Hannover. As someone who is very attached to my family, I am glad that the exchange students here are able to form a community that goes from one continent to another.

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