As I was preparing to come to Ireland and working with Learn International on my housing, I had initially requested to have a place of my own. At home, this is what I’m used to and what I know I prefer because I am a huge introvert. I was told that this could be an option, but it was also suggested that I consider living in a shared house, with my own bedroom. After some consideration, I took the advice and went with a shared home.
Now that I am here and have been living in my house for a couple of months, I do not regret my decision. My roommates have been so friendly and welcoming, and it is a nice mix of students and non-students. Mostly we all keep to ourselves, but when the opportunity presents itself we will have a house dinner or all go out for pints together. When I first arrived it was nice having instant friends, people to ask for advice, to answer my questions about living in Ireland, and to show me around town.
It has been a bit difficult for me getting used to living with other people again, dealing with the usual things that come with living in a shared space, such as trying to keep the kitchen clean, noise at odd hours because everybody has a different schedule, jockeying for the washing machine, and figuring out whose turn it is to buy toilet paper. All in all though, it has been worth it to have the built-in community, and to have the opportunity to meet more cool people while I’m in Ireland
When planning for your time abroad, I think it is important to know yourself and know what you need to be comfortable. But, I think it is equally important to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone sometimes and be open to new experiences.