So your mind’s made up, you’re ready for an adventure and you’ll be moving to a new city. Your student accommodation is sorted. Flights booked. What’s next?
These 7 simple hacks will change the first hours of your life, allowing you to go from lonely to at-home within 24 hours.
1. Do your research
It sounds like a no-brainer, but of course your adventure starts at home. Once you’ve made sure you’ve found the right city for you, start to find out everything you need to know. Find out where you are expected to register (at university? In your residence? In the town hall?) and what are the most interesting things you can do around town.
Are you thinking of getting a job while you study? Find out if it has the right job market, what bureaucracies you’ll have to overcome, what are the major employers in this city. Top tips: use resources that locals use (student or college job boards are a good place to start).
2. Social media
You’re moving to a new city? Don’t be afraid to change your Facebook and LinkedIn locations, even in those last hours at home. Let the world know on Twitter and Instagram that you’re getting ready to move. You never know if an old school friend’s made the same move a few years back, or if anybody in your network knows somebody over there. Even somebody you’ve never talked to before might offer to help you out.
It’s important once you make these connections to move them offline as quickly as possible. Once you’ve started a dialogue, offer to meet up with the person, buy them a coffee or a drink. This way you’re not holding on for a reply, and you’ll be able to get a lot more information out of them.
3. Really see the city
When you finally move to a new city, make sure you really explore it, and not just the tourist traps. Throw your guide book in the bin and go out for a long walk. You’re far more likely to see the genuine culture of your new city, and find places where the locals go. This will give you the chance to really understand your new home.
4. Never say no
After you’ve found a few of the local hotspots, it’s important that you keep yourself open to opportunities. Take people up on their offers: go out for coffee, see some pubs, join random people when they take day trips out. Go to the movies, move around! By always saying yes when you’re invited, chances are you’ll ingratiate much quicker. You decided to move in the first place for some adventure, so don’t be afraid to do something new!
5. Use the internets
If you’re finding it difficult to meet other people in your new city, don’t be afraid to use the amazing resources that you can find online. Sites like Meet Up, Internations (or even apps like Tinder!) allow strangers to connect. The best people to contact are those who’ve been in your situation before; they’ll know how hard it can be, and are often the most likely to go the extra mile.
6. Volunteer or join a society
If you’re looking to give something back, find a local NGO that feels close to your heart and ask if they need any volunteers. It’s a great way of putting yourself in a position to meet people. Alongside the obvious perks of being a great opportunity to be in a rewarding, meaningful environment, it can be a great way to get experience in a new city. It could even be a great opportunity to get some experience in marketing, PR or finance, for example.
Also, check out all the cool (or just strange?) student societies at your university. If you’ve got any hobby or interest, you’ll find people that share your passion here. If you don’t, this might be the perfect opportunity to take up a new hobby or interest!
7. Ask for help
Once you’ve started to meet a few people, it’s time to use them! The truth is, most people you’ll be spending time with have friends they’ll be happy to introduce you to. Hang around, make friends, move from circle to circle. You never know when you’ll be introduced to your future beau, employer or, who knows, business partner; they’ll be able to connect you to a future employer.
Matt Arnerich works as a content writer for the UK’s leading graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns. He writes about everything to do with graduate jobs, internships and general graduate careers advice. If you’re looking for your first step on the career ladder or looking to hire a graduate, then get in touch!
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Can you think of more hacks students should know before moving to a new city? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.