How to stay in harmony with your roomie in a very little room

roomieOkay, so the first two weeks have passed by so fast I can barely believe it. What a fun experience this is! Everything here is so different from home, for example the weather, which by the way is awesome here.

One major difference is also the way we live, eat and sleep together with other IIB-students. For those of you whom do not know what I mean, we are all pared up with another IIB-student from another country. Together two and two, we are living in small motel rooms. Cross-cultural integration is important to IIB, therefore this is an important step for all of the students. Before I got here I knew nothing about my new roomie. Therefore, I was a little bit nervous when we first met. But I was also excited to get to know a new friend. And how great it turned out to be!

My roomies name is Ann Kristin (or apparently you can call her either Ann or Kristin, as some Americans do) and I’m so happy that she is my roomie. Why this? Because Ann Kristin and I are both trying our best every day to live in harmony. We are actually more similar than I first thought in consideration to the two different cultures we come from. But, in other ways we are also a bit different. Some might think this is a disadvantage but neither of us feel that way. We see this as an opportunity to learn new things of life.

Ann Kristin is from Germany and she drinks tea and eats cottage cheese and jam on her toast in the mornings. I drink coffee and I have salami on my toasts. She is very kind and she laughs a lot, I think I do as well. She always shares her things with me like her cereal , water or bananas. I share my Reese (peanut butter candy’s) with her. Ann Kristin really accepts me for who I’m and I do the same with her. We always keep in touch so neither of us need to worry and before we go to bed we always talk about pretty much everything from heaven to earth. We really respect each other. So, for those of you who are thinking of applying to this program but are worried about the living situation, please don’t be. It’s truly a great experience to get to know someone from another country. But if you are still in doubt, I will present some simple tips below of “how to stay in harmony with your roomie”.

1. Talk about your expectations 

It’s most likely that you and your roomie have different expectations of this abroad experience. Don’t be shy, talk about them. This will save you and your roomie a lot of misunderstandings. Picture yourself being woken up in the middle of the night by your roomie. This could be annoying right? (Sorry Ann Kristin if you have experienced this hehe!) But if you talk about it, you could reach a point of understanding for one another. So, in a situation like this, you simple put your earplugs in and go back to sleep.

Must have: Bring earplugs and an understanding status of mind.

 2. Communicate 

Don’t let your roomie wonder about where you are. And don’t let your roomie get worried! This may become a trigger. Even if you aren’t responsible for your roomie, you do feel the responsibility. It’s so easy to send a message with a status update of your arrival time, and ask your roomie to do the same.

Must have: Whatsaap or Facebook messenger on your phone and the number of your roomie.

3. Keep it clean in the room and don’t let you roomie see your dirty clothes 

Yes, this might be ridiculous to point out, but the fact is that every one has different routines when it comes to cleaning. It’s better to point it out than to get irritated at each other. Keep your dirty clothes in a plastic bag. Also do the laundry together with your roomie. In this way both of you will occasionally have dirty clothes lying around. And when you wash together, your room will smell extra fresh from the softener of your newly washed clothes. And you can use the time waiting for the laundry to be done to watch a movie together.

Must have: Plastic bag, movies and a fresh softener.

4. Let your roomie have some alone time 

Even if you love to hang out with your roomie sooo much, it’s important to give your roomie some space. Everyone needs some alone time. Go out for a run or take a walk! You will need it here ;).

Must have: Comfortable walking shoes!

I hope you found my tips useful and helpful! Stay in harmony! Peace out!