So one of the things that international students (including me!) tend to underestimate is just how cold the winter here can get. Starting around November, the temperature can drop to 0 and the highest during midday will be 10 degrees. And if your accommodation unfortunately doesn’t have adequate heating or you’re trying to save a bit of money from electricity bills, this blog post will cover some tips that I have discovered throughout my time here in Dundee (and also wished I knew them in 1st year) and hopefully will be of some use to you especially for the coming months.
Obviously if you have travelled from a country that already has cold climate, then I’m sure you may already have your own way or a better way than the ones that I suggest, but for those who have travelled from warmer climates such as Hong Kong, hopefully this will be of use!
First thing, GET a sleeping bag for your bed! Sometimes your duvet isn’t thick enough and just doesn’t cut it. And the bed is the place where you will spend the night which can get freezing cold. Being able to stay warm isn’t just a luxury, its essential if you don’t want to fall ill. Sleeping bags come rated in terms of how much insulation they offer for the temperature. Some are suitable for extreme low temperatures but tend to be much more expensive. I don’t recommend those as they’re kind overkill, for guidance I would suggest either getting a sleeping bag rated for minimum temperature of 9 degrees or 4 degrees Celsius ( which is what I’m using). Sleeping bags can be bought online (Amazon) or from outdoor shops such as Mountain Warehouse or Blacks (although their products are expensive). I got mine for about 30 pounds and it has lasted me a good 2 years.
Secondly, get a thermal flask. Having a hot beverage on standby ready for you saves so much time instead of having to go to the kitchen and wait for the kettle to boil, and lets not forget, it reminds you to stay hydrated. Thermal flask are relatively cheap, you can find them in Tesco or online under 15 quid. Now its up to you on what hot beverage you drink, usually I go for hot water although to my knowledge, its not a common ‘thing’ here. (Fun fact, its normal to drink hot water in HK, Asians generally don’t really like cold beverages even in summer)
Lastly, and I think some readers may have guessed it, is to simply wear thermal clothes. For me I’m wearing a thermal shirt (similar to a base-layer but its made of cotton and not nylon) and a microfleece on top which is a blend of cotton and polyester. For trousers, I’m simply wearing sweatpants and fuzzy wool-like slippers. While I think it might be overkill to wear a parka indoors, that decision depends on the readers living situation.
Anyway thanks for reading and hope you stay warm over Christmas!