One of the aspects of my life I value is being able to stay active and participating in sports whenever I can.
When I was choosing my student accommodation, I did not consider how important it would be to me to find a gym where I could work out that was close to my room, but when faced with the challenge of finding one, I was reminded how important it was to me.
The one I ended up choosing belongs to the university, and is frequented by students and staff. It has all of the necessary equipment, and many classes. In London, basketball (which is my main sport) is not very popular, but I was able to pick up other activities such as boxing and soccer, which allowed me to maintain my active lifestyle. At the gym, there are competitions and many students who have similar interest, which ensures that you’ll have people to socialize with.
When you get on the ground in your new country, it’s important to find aspects of these that feel like home to you. It can make the six months go by faster, and help as a form of reflection and comfort as you maneuver your way through your new environment.
For everyone, I think that there is an aspect of their life at home that they attribute major comfort to. Athletics just happens to be mine, but for other people, this can come in the shape of music, or a library, or a comfortable little coffee shop.
Whatever it is, I cannot stress how important it is that you incorporate these aspects into your life abroad, as they will help you feel more centered and balanced, and allow you to interact with people who have similar interests.