Written by Laura Sevigny, International Student Ambassador from the University of Limerick.
Below are five simple, easy hacks you can do to make your village dorm feel homelier during your stay in Ireland! I am writing specifically about my experience in the University of Limerick student villages, but this is applicable across the board!
Use your duvet as memory foam.
When you first arrive at your UL apartment you will be welcomed by a fully made bed. Trust me when I say you will be eternally grateful for this kind gesture, especially if you have been traveling for multiple hours. The bed will have two pillows, two pillowcases, a bed sheet, a duvet and a duvet cover. The pillowcases, bed sheets and duvet cover are only a loan for the first week (eventually you will need to buy your own, but don’t worry you will do so during an organized school trip to Penney’s (a cheap department store in the City Center that has everything from fashionable coats and purses to flip flops and shampoo). I will mention though that you are allowed to keep the pillows and duvet! So my first hack is put your duvet under your bed lining! This will make the bed comfier as it will act as memory foam!
Heat your room fast.
Electricity in Ireland is expensive, so for good reason the heating is turned off during the winter break while the students are away. When you first arrive your rooms may be a bit cold but here’s the trick to heat them fast! Turn on your regular heater but also turn on the condenser for the bathroom! This is the switch located near the bathroom door that will light up when you turn it on (it will sound like a fan and if you want to make sure it’s the right switch just walk into the bathroom as you should immediately feel hot air)!
Find a way to allow your door to stay open.
The doors in most villages automatically close for privacy reasons. What my roommates and I did was create make shift door stoppers to keep the public area doors open as well as our bedroom door’s when we felt like being social. You can find doorstoppers at the dollar stores around Ireland and they are only a euro or two but don’t be afraid to get creative! We used the corner of a pizza box and some tape! Worked perfectly! This might seem like a little thing, but those open doors between the rooms in your apartment, will help you creat
Use the heater as a steamer.
Remember the condenser switch I mentioned to you in tip number two? Well if you are anything like me and simply shove your clothes in your suitcase then listen up! Turn the condenser on, put your shirt underneath and voila! Wrinkle free!
Bring your national flag for wall décor.
When you first arrive the walls will be bare so bring your countries flag! It is a great make shift wall decoration that you can put up in your room or in the common area. It will come in handy more than you might think (e.i. bring it along when you go to iconic Irish sites for photo opts. or wear it as part of a costume on International Student’s night!). There is also a massive poster sale which arrives on UL campus in the first few weeks of the semester. This is an ideal opportunity to pick up massive posters for really cheap, to make your room feel like home!