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Advice for StudentsSettling in

4 things I do to feel more connected to home in Cardiff

18 May 2022

Feeling connected to my home in India, as an international student in Cardiff is very important to me, as would be for most students living independently for the first time. Adding special touches to your surroundings that remind you of home is great way to create a familiar environment while at university.

Here are a few things I do to feel more connected to my home in Cardiff:

1—Cooking a dish from home weekly: My favourite dishes from home are also my comfort food. But juggling adulting and studies is like having a full-time job, and so, most of my days are packed with to-do lists; leaving me with little motivation to cook elaborate meals. But once every week, I make the time to one dish from my list of comfort foods, almost always something Indian, and enjoy some self-pampering. This little ritual helps me care for myself and are an emotional reminder of mum’s cooking.

I highly recommend reaching out to family members and dig out your favourite family recipes. Putting in the effort to make them weekly, or even occasionally might sound exhausting, but speaking from experience— it is absolutely worth it!

2—Adding bits of home in my room décor: The first time I visited home after starting university, I brought back small décor pieces from my room. A photo frame, my tapestry, and an essential oil burner were a few things that added sentimental value to my roomand also enhanced my room décor uniquely.

Why not bring back some things you love at home — a blanket, a coffee cup, photo frames or anything else — the next time you visit. A uni room definitely feels more comforting and happier with familiar items.

3—Dancing to my Bollywood playlist alone: Another self-care ritual, I have learnt that dancing to upbeat Hindi music always helps me manage pressure; it’s a strange way to relax.

I have learnt that personal activities such as this are a fun way to connect with your roots. For me it’s enjoying my embarrassing dance moves alone; for you it could be listening to music, cooking, calling old friends, or something else. You could even create your own ritual!

4—Going to society events to make new friends from home: Cardiff University has 200+ clubs and societies for students to choose from. Amidst so many choices, joining a society that represents your nationality is a great way to meet people from similar backgrounds. This not only helped me form a connection to home several miles away from it, but also was a fun way to make new friends. Especially if you are a fresher or an international student, you should definitely explore country-based societies.

Why not try some of these tips or employ creative ways to personalize them? Feeling comfortable while away from home is essential to a good university experience. When you know you have a familiar room, or activities to rely on for self-care, you will enjoy getting out of your comfort zone and try new things too. Hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me over the past three years.

Stay tuned for more blogs. You can also reach out for comments/questions here.

Kasvi :))