As an international exchange student, I arrived one week before the semester started. During the first week we had orientation, which was very well organized. There was a lot of obvious stuff and repetitions, but also some pretty essential information.
The move-in itself was just normal, like checking into a hotel. Get the key and you’re set. All of my roommates were American, so I would have the apartment for myself the first week. This had it’s perks, but it also meant that I didn’t have any kitchenware. Luckily you can find almost any food in a microwave version at Walmart. Also, I got the basic kitchenware from a fellow exchange student whose apartment kitchen was full of stuff from the old occupant.
Each apartment has rooms for 4 people and a common area with kitchen and sofas. To see how the apartment looks, you can check out this fairly awkward video:
I basically had a trouble free move-in. Others however got a more interesting experience. For instance, one of the exchange-students luggage was accidentally sent to Alaska by the airline and one of the German guys had a random guy sleeping on the sofa in the common area of the apartment.
As I arrived a couple of days earlier than the official move-in date, I had a great chance to follow from the side when the other students moved in. Luckily I had woken up early that day (jet-lag does that to you), so when my new roommates arrived, I was already ready. It was a weird sight to see students coming with their own cars, their parents coming with another. Some people where more independent, doing everything themselves and others would sit on their beds while the parents did all the moving in for them.
I was really happy however to get to stay with 3 other Americans, since almost all the other exchange students lives with at least one other exchange student.
- Try to arrange it, if you can, so that you get to stay with the local people. This way you can learn more about the culture and connect to more people