When studying abroad, remember that your new home may be very different from what you are used to in the United States. As with everything regarding your experience abroad, keep an open mind.
Apartments and dorms
For those of you moving into a dormitory, residence hall or an apartment, you must remember that it will not be like Bentley. The following are some guidelines to make sure your stay will be enjoyable:
- Upon your arrival, introduce yourself to the landlord or superintendent or residence director or warden.
- Take a walk through the residence with the landlord or superintendent and take an inventory of what the apartment has and what is damaged or is in need of repair.
- Review all of the rules and regulations of the apartment complex. Remember that in some cases you may have to set up certain utilities.
- Treat your new home with care and respect. Students living in apartments need to be aware of their neighbors. Loud noise and late-night gatherings may bother families, working people and other students.
Depending on your program, you may not receive information about your hosts until you arrive. If you do receive information, it is a good idea to initiate contact with your hosts, even if it is a quick note introducing yourself and saying how much you are looking forward to meeting them. When you arrive, bring a small yet thoughtful gift for your hosts. Be respectful and familiarize yourself with the customs and rules of your hosts. Also try to share some of yourself with them. Show pictures of your own family and friends and talk about where you are from. You will find that hosts are very accommodating and that often they have hosted international students before, so they likely will understand what you are going through. Still, you should follow these guidelines:
- Keep your room neat and clean.
- Let them know your plans. If you are going away for the weekend or are going out for the night, make sure that they are informed.
- Be respectful when you enter the house at night.
- Consumption of drugs or excess alcohol is NOT PERMITTED.
- If you would like to invite company, ask your hosts first.
- Keep the name, address and phone number of your hosts with you at all times.
- Be patient; your relationship with your hosts will take time to develop. The more effort you put in, the more you get in return. Take time early on to understand their expectations.
- Establish and follow rules regarding such things as the utilities, the telephone and the kitchen.