If you plan on traveling while you’re abroad you may have to face the decision between a hostel or a hotel. I recommend that you travel at least once while you’re abroad because you’re only studying abroad for so long until it’s time to come back home, therefore you might as well see one new place other than your designated country while you’re at it. If I’m going to be completely honest, I had no idea what a hostel was before studying abroad and once I did find out what it was, I was immediately turned off.
In the average room in a hostel, it is you and quite a few other strangers sleeping in the same room for a night while you’re visiting a new country. The reason why so many people choose hostels is because a three-day stay in a nice hostel is incredibly cheaper than a three-day stay in a regular hotel. Depending on what country you’re visiting, I recommend that you don’t immediately run to a hotel over a hostel because I believe everyone should try a hostel at least once abroad. It is not for everyone, not even for me, but I’m glad I got to experience it.
I stayed in two hostels while I was abroad. I did one hostel with my friend in Belgium and one alone in London. Because I had my friend with me in the hostel in Belgium, I was way less anxious even though I was sleeping in the same room as 4 other strangers. Therefore, I recommend that when you do decide to stay in a hostel, you visit with a friend so that you feel comfortable with your arrangements. For my second hostel, I stayed alone in London at the Wombat City Hostel. I was very nervous because when I booked it, I knew I was staying in a room with five strangers. Still, after doing research on TikTok, I realized that this specific hostel was trendy among people my age who were traveling in London which is why I felt safer. It was also very nice inside, and the staff was friendly and young. I even got to know the other girls staying in my room, which is quite unheard of in hostels because, most of the time, everyone keeps to themselves. We were all around the same age and all born in different countries, so it was cool to talk to them and hear about where they were coming from and what made them come to London.
While I would not do a hostel again because I prefer the comfort of my own space, I would not have been able to meet those girls from all over the world if I had chosen a hotel more in my comfort zone. The point is that if you stay in your comfort zone and don’t do things that make you uncomfortable during your study abroad, you’re not going to meet as many people, and you won’t learn as much about new cultures and yourself. I’m happy I stayed in that hostel in London because I would have never stayed up all night talking to those people and learning about Finland, Switzerland, and Hawaii. I highly recommend you stay in at least one hostel while you’re abroad.
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My name is Alicia Strader and I am currently a junior at Fordham University. I am an International Studies major and I have a minor in the French language. I enjoy reading, socializing with my friends, and trying new restaurants.