How to Deal With Roommates When Studying Abroad
Not Every Roommate Is Going To Be The Watson To Your Sherlock
You must have surely enjoyed the liberty of having the room to yourself while living with parents or your guardian in India. But be ready to make room for some changes in your life as you plan on studying abroad. Sure it comes with its own perks, but you will need to make some adjustments as well. Since living alone in a foreign country can get pretty expensive if you are going to get by on a student budget, you may have to share your apartment with a roommate.It is a good idea to prepare for this in advance by thinking about the issues you may face and how to solve them.
It is possible that you and your roommate are polar opposite when it comes to cleanliness standards. While you may want the living space to always look pitch perfect, on the other hand. your roommate might only want to clean the house when the dust is actually visible. It is better to search for a roommate whose cleanliness habits match yours and vice versa. This can make your room stay hassle-free to a large extent on an everyday basis. Also if you want to keep cleanliness quarrels at bay it is best if you and your roommate plan out a room cleaning schedule and stick firmly to it. You can also switch chores if you so wish. For e.g on Mondays, it is your job to scrub the kitchen counters, and on Wednesdays, your roommate tackles the bathroom floor.
Although you and your roommate will have a shared responsibility to make timely payment of bills like room rent and utilities, it can be of help if one takes complete charge of household money matters. If you think you can responsibly manage household accounts then go ahead and volunteer to take charge of money matters. This way you can ensure that bills are always paid on time. To prevent any confusion or financial surprises, decide on a specific time each month to remind your roommate/s of their share of the rent.
If you are a hardcore Indian vegetarian and prefer a roommate whose eating habits match yours, then you should openly discuss it someone in charge of student accommodation. However. if you are comfortable living with a meat lover provided that boundaries are maintained then you should talk about house rules first and foremost. Will you share utensils or each use your own? Will you wash your own dishes right after eating, or only later at night? Discuss what you both can expect from each other and figure out ways to be respectful.
You might be an extrovert who talks loudly on Skype with your family on weekends and enjoys listening to music at all times. Conversely, your roommate may prefer a more peaceful, and quiet environment. Maybe they require a lot of alone-time, and would rather you not host study groups at home. These are things you will want to be aware of beforehand. Try to find a roommate whose noise and activity level is similar to yours, or with whom you can agree on the start of quiet hours at a certain hour at night.
You might be open to having guests or friends over at your place or might want to invite a family member from India for a couple of days to stay over. But it might not please your roommate to have an extra member occupy the already congested apartment. So make sure that you find a roommate who is okay with this. Try to find someone who is on the same page with you regarding visitors, so that your bestie can start booking flights to come check out your new crib.
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About the Writer: Mirva Lempiäinen is a US-educated freelance journalist from Finland. After calling New York City home for about a decade, she now resides on the French-Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.
About the Co-Author: Mustafa Sutarwala is an all-round creative marketing graduate from Amity University Dubai, and is currently working in Dubai. He's inclined to digital marketing communications and works as the Creative Ninja for SchoolApply.