I’m only in this house for a few more days, but when our new housemate arrived from Hong Kong yesterday, I put in the effort to be welcoming and take him on a grand tour of the house, point out cool things on the Melbourne map, etc.
Part of my motivation for doing this is that many people seemed rather indifferent – hostile, even – to my presence when I went to France. It didn’t kill me as I’m fairly self-sufficient, but I just wanted to tacklehug the people who did something as simple as saying hi and asking me about my life back home. Just acknowledging an international student can make so much difference.
I knew I had achieved my goal when one of my other housemates told me later that it was a nice thing to do. We have mostly international students stay here, so hopefully the other tenants took note and will do no less in the future.