By Céline Brandstötter, Visiting Student Blogger
My name is Céline and I am a Belgian, third year European visiting student at Trinity College Dublin coming from the European Law School at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. I will be studying in the Law department for the upcoming academic year 2016-2017. I currently live in the student housing of the Binary Hub so this blog is inspired by my own experiences living there. The pictures included are also from the Binary Hub housing.
Going abroad is one of the most exciting things that will happen during your studies. New country, new people, a new home. But what if you have never been abroad or have never been to Europe? What do you bring and what will be provided for? The latter question is one that not many students think about and then they are surprised that when they arrive in their accommodation, there is not as much provided for as they expected. Also, the Irish weather must be taken into account when coming to Dublin. This is also something that not a great deal of students thinks of when they arrive during a warm summer’s day in Dublin.
When packing your suitcase you have to think ahead. Unfortunately, summer does not last forever and it will make place for the falling leaves and strong winds of autumn. Therefore, it is important that you bring a nice warm jacket in addition to your summer clothes, and one of your favorite scarves to keep you warm. For some inspiration you can look at the enclosed list of essentials to put in your suitcase:
- 6 tops
- 6 long sleeve shirts
- 6 shirts/blouses
- 4 pairs of trousers
- 2 big sweaters
- 2 regular sweaters
- Underwear (Take enough for about 2-3 weeks so you don’t have to do laundry so often)
- Socks (same as for underwear)
- Work out clothing
- Backpack or a bag (good for daytrips or just for going to school)
- Rain jacket
- Winter jacket
- Scarf, gloves and hat
- Formal wear (blazers, suits, dresses/skirts for girls)
- At least one pair of comfortable (girls: flat!) shoes (you will be walking a lot in Dublin)
- Changeable travel socket and an extension cord with the sockets you use at home
- School supplies
In student accommodation, you might have to share a bathroom. If you are lucky, you will have your own, but in any case, space will be concise and you will have to see how you will either fit everything in your own bathroom or how you will organise carrying everything back and forth from your room to the bathroom. I recommend packing:
- Small-size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, skin care and others (buy full size when you arrive, you will need every inch of your suitcase for other essentials)
- Hairbrush and accessories
- For girls: Make up and all that goes with it
- Your Room
Suitcase packed, saying bye to friends and family, and you are on your way to an exciting semester or year in Dublin!
Once you arrive at your accommodation and get your keys and paperwork sorted, it’s time to go see your room for the first time. On first sight, it might look very empty. Some of you might think that because you only stay for a couple of months, you don’t have to decorate. However, I would strongly recommend to not leave your room empty since it might become very depressing. Put up some pictures of home or a poster. Also, you can put up some coloured lights. Small things will make a big difference in a small room! Use the list below as inspiration to decorate your room with small (and cheap!) details.
- Use tape or pins depending on what your housing allows
- Coloured or regular fairy lights
- (Penney’s: https://www.primark.com/en-ie/product/40-led-battery-operated-lights,D35397118102296)
- Fairview beach has the most beautiful view but you can also find amazing seashells that you can pick up and use to decorate your room
- If you are careful, you can also buy colourful scented candles
- (Penney’s: https://www.primark.com/en-ie/product/white-jasmine-scented-candle,D35397118848989)
Outside of decorations, you might also need some practical things in your room.
Essentials to bring for your room and bathroom or to buy once you arrived:
- Duvet and pillow(s)
- Bed sheets
- Matrass cover
- 1 big and 2 small towels
- Cleaning essentials (toilet brush, cloths, shower and toilet products)
- Toilet paper
- Laundry basket and product
- A bin
- The Kitchen
Not only will you be spending a lot of time in your room, your kitchen will also be well- loved. Not every accommodation will carry a full set of pans and crockery, so make sure to check with your accommodation to ask what they will provide before making your budgets. The best shops to buy these are Tesco Supermarket, TK Maxx, Dealz or Eurogiant. If you have flatmates who also will be staying for only a short period of time, you can ask them if they want to share. Also, your fridge and cupboard space might be limited so don’t buy too much! Usually an ironing board, mop and broom are provided in the mutual kitchen but an iron is not.
- Pot and pan (number varies based on how much you plan to cook)
- Tea towels
- Cleaning products (washing up liquid, sponges…)
Now you are ready for you new adventure in Dublin! Regardless of whether you brought everything or not, your stay here will be remarkable and one of most amazing experiences of your life. And if you happen to forget something, like everyone does, other students will be happy to help you out in any way they can.