Jumbo Exchange: Residential experience

It is often said “to every bird, his own nest is beautiful.” It might be obvious to many people that what kind of house or room you live in is really important. Your home would be where you can fully relax and perhaps where you spend the most of your time for eating, school work and everything in between. Today, I am going to talk about my residential experience here as an exchange student.

I used to live in an apartment by myself back in Japan. In fact, it is very common for Japanese college students to do so instead of living in a shared house or in on-campus housing like dorms. So, before coming here, I couldn’t imagine that I would live with other people. However, at the same time, I was really excited by it and expected much interaction with roommates and other students.

However, last semester, I was assigned to live in a single in Carmichael Hall, which did not entirely match my expectations. Although us residents shared some common spaces like the bathrooms, kitchen, etc., because it is such a big building, you cannot really get to know all the people living there. On the other hand, I honestly enjoyed living there because I could have my own space and my personal time without getting disturbed by someone else. I also really appreciated that the hall has a dining space in it. If you live there, you don’t even have to go outside to grab food, so I spent a lot of time eating and working at the dining hall. My times in the dining hall was when and where I could mingle with people the most. Overall, I enjoyed living in Carmichael Hall.

For this semester, I moved into the Japanese Language House (J-House). There are 11 awesome students living there, of which there are two Japanese students, including myself. It’s a small house, but it has what I have always wanted from residential life during my study abroad. Through interactions such as cooking and eating together, I feel like I am finally getting to understand what living with other people is like. I think it has been so much fun. Of course, there are always pros and cons: for example, while I like the small house, sometimes it feels inconvenient to have only one washer and dryer and two bathrooms in the house. But given my preference and priority, I can say that I am very satisfied with my current residence.

Although the two types of residences are quite different in many aspects, overall they have given me a lot of experiences that I have never had back home. Besides, it is always extremely exciting to live in a different environment than what you are familiar with. I am guessing that many of you are now searching for housing for the next school year, and I hope all of you will find the best place for you!

P.S. The J-House has “chat time” from 6–7 p.m. on Wednesdays where you can speak Japanese with us. Please join us!