The first period of time is always a lot. This semester in Vietnam is my fourth semester with
Kulturstudier, and it still is a lot to take in. The first few days, even weeks, at a new place are
very intense. Especially in a bubble like Kulturstudier often feels like, there is so much to process and take in.

When arriving to a place where you don’t know anyone, or close to no one, it can be a bit
uncomfortable because there is no safety net and you have to get to know everyone. During my
semester, we were about seventy students, and just the thought of having to remember seventy
names belonging to seventy different faces can feel quite overwhelming. The good thing is that
this is the same for everyone. Everyone will be going through this phase of trying to get to know
everyone, while also trying to find your place in the group, at school, in the house and in general.

Sharing a room with someone you’ve never met before can be exhausting. Often, our room is a
place where we can pull back to, relax, and be by ourselves. Now, your room is also a space
where you have to get to know someone. Although this feels like a lot in the beginning, getting
to know your new roommate is often a fun process and it usually works out pretty well.

Regardless of what kind of person you are, being able to communicate well with your roommate
will often make the process easier and more comfortable for the both of you. Expressing if and
when you need some alone time or if you want to just be quiet will make life a lot easier.

Adapting to a new routine, everyday life, and school situation will take up a lot of time in the
beginning. Having moved to a new house and a new city, you don’t know where anything is
located or how things work. Creating a new morning routine with getting ready, breakfast, and
commute to university takes some getting used to, but it always works out. Sharing a bathroom
with your roommate, you´re forced to make a morning routine that accompanies both of you. As
my roommate needs a little more time in the mornings than me, she wakes up before me. Then, I
wake up some twenty minutes after her, and we both get our time in the bathroom without
getting in each other’s hair. We ride our bikes, often in groups form the house.

We have all found our favorite breakfast spots where we get a Bahn mi, which is a Vietnamese sandwich,
and then we continue on our way to the university. Finding a balance between schoolwork and social
activities might also take some time, but everyone eventually finds a balance that suits them and their needs.

Good luck with the process of settling in! Although it might be hard, it is also very exciting!

– Nathalie