Barcelona, Milan, London, Paris, or any other city: no matter what European cosmopolite city you have chosen as your dream destination for your semester studying abroad, you’ll discover that they all present amazing opportunities to enjoy your time there. Study Abroad Apartments can help you find the perfect accommodation from a wide range of choices, whether it’s a room in a student hall or in an apartment or a full apartment to yourself and your colleagues, in any of those places. As you’ll soon realize, life off-campus in any city comes with one thing in common: neighbors.
While dealing with an unhappy neighbor can be very frustrating (especially if they are locals or they don’t speak English as fluently as you’d expect), making friends with your neighbors while you are abroad can enrich your experience and, more importantly, keep it hassle-free. That effort will not cost you and it’s based mostly on common sense, respect and communication.
First of all, when you arrive, take your time to know your new home, your building and the neighborhood. If you are in a condo or an apartment, introduce yourself to your neighbors and encourage them to contact you if they have any concern. Don’t dwell on those awkward elevator silences: break them and show them you are a real person, not just some crazy foreign student next door that doesn’t care. Make small talk, be personable and likable. Even those few sentences in the local language that you can learn on the plane will suffice: locals tend to be very appreciative of a foreigner trying to speak their language, and your attempts will be welcome. Find out about any building and common areas’ rules that apply to you, and make sure the friends you invite also know them and respect them as much as possible.
Noise is the number one complaint when it comes to neighbors. A good rule of thumb here is to keep the noise (voices, music, etc.) down between 10pm and 8am. If you are hosting a party, it doesn’t hurt to inform your neighbors on the hallway, or at least the one you ‘feel’ he or she might be more concerned about it. If they know you or know what to expect from you, they will be a bit more lenient on that one time you’d want them to be instead of vilifying you. For example, you can find out the time their children go to bed or nap, and plan your activities accordingly. However, keep in mind that generally, very large or loud parties tend to attract problems, and some neighbors (particularly those with children, or elders) might call the police on you if they get out of hand.
On the positive side, having a good relationship with your neighbors has a lot of added mutual benefits: your neighbors can provide tips on the best places to eat or hang out nearby, and they can become your last resort if you are in need of something such as medicine, a can opener or some pantry staples. Someone might even be interested in having some language exchange conversation with you. Bottom line is: you’ll be sharing the place with your neighbors during your stay, so might as well make the most out of it and prevent unnecessary conflicts.
Are you about to embark on the trip of a lifetime? Study Abroad Apartments offers some great options for students planning to study abroad. Just get in touch with us if you need any help finding somewhere to stay and we’ll make sure you have one of the best options out there!