Living Alone vs With Others When Studying Abroad: What Is Best?

Embarking on a journey to study abroad is an exhilarating experience filled with endless possibilities and personal growth. It presents an opportunity to immerse oneself in a new culture, acquire global perspectives and broaden horizons. 

One of the critical decisions prospective international students face when planning their study abroad adventure is the choice between living alone or with others. Both options offer unique advantages and challenges, catering to different individuals and their varying needs. 

The pros and cons of living alone

Living alone can be a liberating and transformative choice. It offers a range of advantages. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges. 

X1 Cheltenham Place – Housing in Manchester

Advantages of living alone

  • Autonomy and self-discovery

Residing independently allows you to fully embrace your independence and embark on a journey of personal growth. You have the freedom to establish your own routines, make decisions based solely on your preferences, and create a space that reflects your personality. This autonomy fosters personal growth, self-reliance and a stronger sense of identity.

  • Privacy

It also offers uninterrupted moments of introspection, reflection and relaxation. This privacy is invaluable for studying, focusing on personal projects or enjoying some downtime without external distractions.

  • Flexibility and freedom

When you live by yourself, you can come and go as you please. You’re in a position to explore your host city or country at your own pace without having to coordinate with roommates. This flexibility enables you to take advantage of spontaneous opportunities.

  • Personal responsibility and life skills

A solo lifestyle demands taking full responsibility for your living arrangements. You must manage finances, pay bills, handle household chores and ensure personal safety. These abilities will benefit you throughout your life.

  • Immersive community experience

Living alone offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a vibrant and inclusive community. For instance, residents of X1 Cheltenham Place in Manchester see themselves as part of a supportive network of like-minded individuals who share the same journey.

X1 Cheltenham Place provides a conducive environment for forging meaningful connections, engaging in intercultural exchanges and building lasting friendships with fellow students from diverse backgrounds. 

X1 Cheltenham Place -room image

Disadvantages of living alone

  • Potential isolation and loneliness

Pursuing independence can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation, particularly for individuals who thrive in social settings. Without roommates, there may be limited opportunities for spontaneous social interactions. It may require more effort to seek out social connections and build a support network actively.

  • Higher costs: 

“Going solo” can be more expensive than sharing accommodation with others. You bear the full financial responsibility for rent, utilities and other expenses. Depending on the location, finding affordable housing options suitable for one person might be challenging, potentially impacting your budget.

  • Lack of built-in support system

Living alone means you don’t have immediate access to roommates who can provide emotional support or practical assistance. During challenging times or emergencies, you may need to rely on external resources or establish connections beyond your living space to seek help or guidance.

  • Sole responsibility for household tasks

With no co-habitants to share the load, you are solely responsible for managing household tasks, such as cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping. These responsibilities can become time-consuming and require careful planning and organization to ensure a comfortable and well-maintained environment.

The pros and cons of living with others

Living with others can be a dynamic and socially engaging choice. But it also has disadvantages. 

Pros of living with others

  • Social connections and friendship

It provides ample opportunities for social interaction, fostering the formation of new friendships. Roommates can become lifelong friends, offering companionship, emotional support and a built-in social network. Sharing spaces with fellow students lets you learn about different cultures, languages and perspectives, promoting a more inclusive and diverse experience. When this exchange of worldviews occurs in the comfort and elegance of places such as Novella, an upscale building in Manchester, the journey becomes even more profound and meaningful.

Novella building in Manchester

  • Shared responsibilities and support

Tasks and responsibilities can be divided among roommates. Sharing household chores, cooking and grocery shopping can alleviate individual burdens and create a supportive environment. Roommates can offer practical assistance, advice and guidance during challenging times.

  • Cultural exchange

Daily interactions with individuals from different countries promote a broader perspective and a deeper understanding of global issues. This exposure to diverse perspectives and cultures enhances personal growth, adaptability and empathy. 

  • Affordability

Sharing a place can significantly reduce expenses, as costs such as rent, utilities and groceries are split among roommates. It helps you save money and allocate resources for other aspects of your study experience.

Cons of living with others

  • Conflicts and adjustments

Living with roommates means navigating differences in habits, lifestyles and cultural norms. Conflicts may arise due to varying expectations, communication styles or personal boundaries. Adjusting to communal dynamics requires compromise and open-mindedness. Resolving disputes and finding common ground may take time and effort.

  • Lack of privacy

Sharing apartments means compromising privacy. Finding solitude or quiet time can be challenging, impacting your ability to study or recharge. Balancing communal activities with individual needs can require negotiation and setting boundaries to ensure everyone’s comfort.

  • Dependency 

This arrangement can sometimes create dependency on others for daily routines and decision-making. It may require coordination and compromise when making plans or decisions that impact the entire household. This interdependence can be either supportive or restrictive.

  • Compatibility problems

Harmony among roommates plays a crucial role in the overall living experience. Differences in lifestyle, cleanliness standards, sleep schedules or study habits can lead to tension and discomfort. 

Simply put, living with others may be the right choice if you value social connections, shared responsibilities and a community experience. However, if you prioritize privacy, independence and self-discovery, living alone could be a more suitable alternative. Ultimately, the decision should align with your personal goals and contribute to a rewarding and transformative experience.