One of my biggest concerns about starting my year abroad here was the fact that I was going to be sharing a room for the first time, and as many of you may be in the same situation (whether you’re starting out at Leicester or are applying for a year abroad) I thought that I’d share my experiences of it with you. When I applied for accommodation at one of the colleges, I was offered the choice of a single room, or a shared room with 20% off of the boarding fee. As staying in halls in Australia is fairly expensive, I decided to save some money whilst giving myself the opportunity to experience sharing a room with someone for the first time (plus the room comes with an en-suite and a balcony).
When I arrived at my room, my roommate wasn’t in, but he’d left me a note explaining a bit about where he’s from and what his interests were, which was very welcoming. When he turned up I was definitely nervous, but it was surprising how quickly we got to know each other and got comfortable with each other’s presence. He told me that he’s from Singapore, and so had to do two years compulsory national service, and even managed to get to the rank of sergeant – which was only slightly intimidating. However, since then we’ve become really good friends, and it’s nice to be able to start out knowing someone else when you start out, especially knowing that they’re in the same boat as you are. It’s also a good way of meeting new people quickly and our friend groups have naturally merged as a result of us being roommates. If you’re someone who values their personal space, it’s easy to forget how little time you actually spend in your room when you’re at University, and if you get sick of the other person you can always just take a walk or head to the city – something which is especially easy to do if you live in a place as beautiful as Perth. Sharing a room can seem daunting when you’re applying for accommodation, but when you arrive the likelihood is that you’ll become good friends with your roommate, and I haven’t met anyone here who dislikes their roommate or has fallen out with them. If you’re sharing whilst on your year abroad, it also gives you the opportunity to get to know someone from a completely different culture to yours. I thoroughly recommend that you try sharing a room if you’re given the option, in from my experience it’ll only enhance your year abroad.