Hey friends!

Welcome back to my series where I talk about my experience of moving overseas for university and the tips and tricks I found to make the whole process that bit easier. Plus I thought it'd be nice to share with you my experience about it just so you can have an idea about how it was like for me!

So, this post will be all about the accommodation - the one I stayed in, how I made it my home and where I found to be the best places to get my home bits!


Before moving to Manchester, I have not stepped foot into the UK one bit. I've only seen parts of it through blogs, youtube videos and stories from the people around me. But somehow, someway I found a love for it - a love for a place I have never been, never known and never experienced. Weird isn't it? But part of me has always wanted to chase that feeling, that dream you know?

I had some friends in the UK so I could ask for recommendations, advice and all the stuff to get an idea of how I wanted to plan out things. Here are a couple of things you can take into consideration when looking for a flat/place to stay in a new country.

1: Location - find out where are some of the safest/dangerous place in the city, how far is it from your work or school. You can do it by reading news articles, going on social media to ask around or even check out crime rates websites.

I took this back in 2016 on my first winter morning experience!

2. Transportation - being in Singapore really spoilt me where a bus stop is less than three minutes walk away, train station is about ten and the access to other transportation is super easy. Since I was convinced that Uber rides costs about a limb in the UK, I was determined to find a place that is near a bus stop or at least some form of transport since I am not a driver nor do I own other transport methods.

3. Budget - when renting a flat in a new country, look around to find the average price and then adjust it to your budget. Set a maximum and minimum range so you can make sure your flat fits all the categories!

Okay, now that you got your place sorted, make sure that you set aside your money to pay rent. Just be aware that some places require you to pay upfront, either full or in six months worth simply because you're not a resident of the country. So before you pay completely, make sure you have done your research - read reviews of the places, find facebook groups of the accommodation and ask the current residents on their fav/least fav parts of the place and what not. This is so you can get an idea before you put a lump sum of your life savings into something.

Moving onto the next part - settling into your new home. Here are some of the steps I found that have helped me adapt to a new space and hopefully, it will help you too.

1. Have a routine
I don't know about you but a routine always helps me get things in motion. Having a fixed set of things you follow through helps you set your roots, so if you do little things like make your bed, wake up at specific times, carry out certain things at certain times of the day etc. By doing so, you can have things to look forward to, know what to expect especially when you're in a new situation and place where you don't know what to expect.

2. Decorate
Making your space feel as homely as possible in ways that you personally enjoy, is one of the best ways to help you settle in quickly and easily. I found that putting up pictures of my friends and family, getting cushions and cute bedding sets and adding little knick knacks like candles, diffusers, rugs and plants really helped.

Picture from my first flat, pinned up all my cards and sentimental items on the board above my desk

My first bed! Made it extra comfy with cushions of different sizes and textures.

Here are some of the things you can consider to add to your cart when decorating your home -

And I get that some of this things can cost a lot, so make sure again, do your research, do your online shopping to find the best options. Look to places like:

- Asda
- Home Sense
- PoundLand
- Primark
- B&M
- Ikea

for affordable home bits where you can get stuff for lower prices. Just make sure that you plan out well so you don't get buyers remorse when you find something similar but at a much lower price!

3. Scents
Building onto the previous point, having scents can help set a mood pretty nicely. Look for scents that are relaxing like camomile, lavender or if you like your treats, Home Sense does candles that smell like a fruit cake or even a Starbucks drink.

Primark is a pretty good place to get candles at low prices

So find your favourite smells and put them in your new place, after all, smells rings bells and what better than with some of these:

4. Spend a lot of time in it
Personally, this is how I get used to a place. After moving to three different flats, I found that the best way for me to settle into one is to spend a lot of time in it. Finding a favourite spot in your flat like your bed, the couch, kitchen, anyway that makes you feel the most at home, stay in it. Feel comfortable and safe so you recognize that it is now YOUR space.

When I moved into my new flat, I stayed in doors for way too long because of many reasons but that time helped me ease into this place very well that I voluntarily stay at home just because I wanted to. And that is very different for me because I use to love going out every single day but now I can't think of a better place for me to be than at my flat.


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