You’ve moved into your new room, put up pictures of your friends and family and bonded with your new roommates. If you have your own room at home, learning to live with someone else might be a challenge, but whether you have the space to yourself or you’re living with the same person you have math with, there are several things you will learn during this time that will benefit you for years to come.
It’s likely that this is your first time managing your own money and you will quickly learn that it’s not just fun and games. Think ahead: shampoo, toothpaste, snacks, school supplies, tickets to a concert, train fare to London or Manhattan… these are all things that you will spend money on throughout the school year. It’s up to you to manage where and how you spend your money, and make sure it lasts however long it needs to. Being able to budget your money is something that will prove to be useful at every stage of your life, and learning how to budget at a young age – or at least having some experience with managing what is in your wallet or bank account – is incredibly valuable.
At our residences, you live under the watchful eyes of house parents, teachers and counselors, and there will always be someone there for you when you need help, but it’s up to you to make the most of study hall, meet your deadlines and get involved in clubs and activities after the school day and on the weekends. Living in the residences gives you a certain amount of freedom you may not have had at home, but with this comes a certain level of responsibility as well. You won’t have your parents there to guide you from one thing to the next and that means you will perfect your time-management skills. You will establish your own routine, determine what study methods and patterns work best for you and figure out how to balance your schoolwork and social life – and you will do it without mom and dad telling you what to do.
Missing socks, whites that are now pink, faded darks, bleached blues – oh, the dangers of doing laundry! Many of our students have said that learning to do laundry was among the challenges they faced when moving away from home for the first time. Our advice: learn how your parents do laundry at home and pick up their tricks before you leave so you know what to do when it’s time for the real deal. Doing laundry is something you will have to do the for the rest of your life, why not learn how to do it now? And if you ever figure out where all those missing socks go, let us know.
Sharing a space with a “stranger,” whether it’s your room, bathroom, hall or house, can be a little uncomfortable at first. You want to feel at home, but someone is in your way. That will all change as soon as you learn to respect one another. Set some ground rules, be honest about what you need/like/dislike and make sure you listen and keep an open mind. If any issues come up, your house parents or guidance counselor will be there to help, but keep in mind that patience, understanding and respect for someone’s wishes, needs and space can go a long way. And who knows, maybe that stranger will turn out to be your best friend.
5. New languages
At EF Academy, we are dedicated to giving our students an international experience that opens their world. We do this just as much in the residences as we do in the classroom. That’s why we make sure that students living together speak different languages, which helps ensure that you use English as often as possible. Living with someone from a different country also means that you can pick up a new language, maybe one you even plan on studying at EF Academy. Beyond that, you will also learn about a different culture, and you will live with someone who can be your own personal tour guide when you visit their home.
Students at our international boarding schools make life-long friends, experience the culture of their host country and find their passion in the sports, clubs and activities that inspire them most. Our student life program is powered by their engagement and school spirit.