The school here in Oxford offers both accommodation and host family, every student gets to choose where they would like to stay for the duration of their study. I prefer to be close to the school and be around friends, so I live on campus. This meant that I had to share a room with someone from the school. The school doesn’t let you room with someone from your own country (smart choice) so you are kinda forced to speak English. It is also good to know that you can have a private conversation with your family or friends without having to leave your own room..
My roommate happens to be from Indonesia, her name is Nadya. She is smart and funny and we have a great dynamic. We motivate and help each other out, without being smothering (thankfully).
We live in a separate building from most of the other girls, which i find to be more relaxing. We also have a bigger room thanks to some coincidences. Its actually really fun, because we have similar habits when it comes to sleeping in and not really staying up late on weekends, so we’re on the same level.
Living with someone from a different culture and language really helps with developing an open mind. Everyone at school comes from different backgrounds and parts of the world and its a learning experience without really putting in too much effort.
One thing I find important is making the room your own. When you arrive at school, the room feels empty and more like a temporary place and not a place you are going to live for almost a year. Bringing old photos from home and decorating with personal items really makes a difference.
The school does provide bedsheets and two pillows, but I prefer to buy my own bedsheets or bring some from home, it makes it feel more like my room and my bed. For me personally, this really helps against feeling homesick.
Of course, homesickness is a part of being here, but the people here, the friends you make, really support you through it, since they all can relate to your situation. This experience has really helped me grow as a person and its one of my best decisions so far.