Master’s student Jhulia moved from Brazil to come study in Aberdeen and has been living in Ramsay Development, one of RGU’s student accommodation sites. She shares her experience moving into a new home and the benefits of living in halls.
Planning my move into student accommodation
Leaving your home country to pursue an education abroad is no easy task. You have to plan it carefully, and think about details regarding your finances for example. One of the most important things to sort out before moving is to ensure you have a place to stay. You should research your options and analyse what your needs are to determine what option suits you better.
As a scholarship holder, I did not choose my accommodation, but all the arrangements were made for me. I know this is not a perfect scenario for everyone, but I really enjoy living in Ramsay Development. If you do have the choice of selecting your halls, you will see that RGU has different options available.
Settling in a new home
When I first arrived in my new accommodation, I felt a bit awkward. As I arrived in January, everyone was still on Winter holidays, so the flat was empty. It was cold and I didn’t even know how to turn on the heater or have any bedding.
However, the ResLife student in my flat was really helpful and went to Asda, a supermarket nearby, with me to buy some essential items so that I could have a more comfortable first night in my room. It made me feel welcome, and I very much appreciated the help after still being jetlagged from my 18-hour trip from Curitiba to Aberdeen. I was so tired that I could barely think and speak English, but the ResLife person was patient and understanding.
Even though the first days were a bit hard, I quickly acclimatised to my environment. After meeting my flatmates and starting my classes, I really started to settle in. It really helps if you make an effort to go out and try to start conversations to build friendships.
Living in Ramsay Development
Ramsay Development is an accommodation exclusively for mature and postgraduate students. It is a calmer place, with very few parties organised in the halls. I have a well-equipped room with an ensuite bathroom, and a kitchen shared with my five flatmates.
The biggest benefit of living in Ramsay Development is that I do not have to pay to use the washing machine. Many other accommodations make you pay per laundry, so I can confidently say that I must have saved a lot of money living here. The other bonus is my private bathroom. I love having the comfort of my own little private place where I can do my skin care routine, or have a nice hot shower whenever I want after a long busy day.
My accommodation is situated within a 10-minute walk to campus. This is really handy when I have early classes in the morning. There are also bus stops nearby that can take me to the city centre in just 25 minutes. Having easy access to town is very important for me as I work there four times a week! Otherwise, there are amenities close by like supermarkets such as Asda and Sainsbury’s as well as Boots, a beauty and health store, and Curry’s, an electrical retailer, all only a 15-minute walk away. I find it convenient to take my bags and go alone to do my shopping since it is not so far from home. I also have a pharmacy and an NHS Clinic in the neighbourhood, so every time I need to see my GP or get medication, I can access these services easily.
Making friends and being supported by a friendly team
The most interesting part of living in student accommodation is being in contact with people from different countries and cultures, and hearing different accents. I feel like I learn something every day when I talk to my flatmates. I enjoy it everytime we get together to do some group activities. The fact that I made good friends while living here is amazing and I’ll always treasure that.
Although experiences may differ from person to person, having to adapt to cultural differences is part of the experience of studying abroad. I try to see the small adversities as opportunities to gain experience and grow. I’m sure that when I’ll look back, I will miss this exciting time of my student life.
But if you do experience issues, there is always support in case a problem happens within the accommodation building. The ResLife team is really helpful and can enforce house rules to allow residents to live as harmoniously as possible. The team has been going above and beyond during my time living in Ramsay Development. Thanks to them, I reached out to the Inclusion Centre at RGU after going through some difficulties I couldn’t understand at the time. I became good friends with my ResLife flatmate and it feels good to have someone to talk to on site.
RGU accommodation can be a safe option to start your journey in a new place, with a feeling of safety with the assistance of the university. I recommend the experience as it’s been a pleasant journey so far.