Study abroad students face a housing dilemma


Are you considering going abroad for a fall or winter term? Are you aware that students returning from terms abroad have no input whatsoever as to where they live when they come back?

After being submerged in a different country and culture for an extended period of time, most are looking forward to the comfort and normalcy of home. Nothing proclaims “Welcome back!” You are likely to be placed on the outskirts of campus in CPH with a messy, loud-snoring stranger of a roommate.

It’s understandable as to why students can’t pick their rooms before leaving due to the limited space on campus, but I’m sure there could be a more efficient system that compromises on both ends.

Union students are expected to look at one another as equals no matter if you’re a first-year or a senior, but the system put in place around us do not view us in this way. For example, the petition system favors upperclassmen as it is a seniority system, which leaves underclassmen stressed about completing credits.

Though upperclassmen get first pick for courses, juniors and seniors returning from abroad have less of a residence choice than underclassmen.

When you can count your terms left at Union on one hand, you should be able to have a say as to where you’ll live for the rest of it. If you and a friend are in a fraternity or sorority that does not have room to house you when you return, why can’t you choose to live with your friend?

Although some living situations are only temporary, students should have some input as to where they live when they return from abroad.

Next term I will be studying abroad in York, England. While I am excited for this amazing opportunity, I also have butterflies about returning home. What happens if all my friends are living together in upper campus, while I’m stuck with strangers on the opposite end? I’ll have to bundle up and venture into the snow for a mild hike to frat row.

On the bright side, it could be an opportunity to make new friends and have fewer distractions to do my work. Depending on where I am placed on campus, I could be closer to my classes, Schaffer Library, and Reamer Campus Center.

In short, it is intimidating going abroad for a term, but also returning home without a clue as to where you’ll live.

Hopefully in the future there will be another system for room selection. But for now I’ll keep my fingers crossed and buy myself some earplugs for my future roommate.


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