• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3
8 things you learn in an international flatshare
Photo courtesy of Weroom.

8 things you learn in an international flatshare

· 15 Feb 2016, 09:21

Published: 15 Feb 2016 07:21 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Feb 2016 09:21 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

1. The toilet paper will always run out


Photo: m01229/Flickr

It doesn’t matter if you live with two people or ten – at some point you will be left sitting on the toilet shouting through the door, hoping that there is a roll hidden somewhere in a closet halfway to Narnia.

For many flatsharers, group shopping becomes a way of life, and a rotating schedule of shopping duties can be the key to de-stressing your roomie interactions (and bathroom visits).

As one flatsharer from London told us, group shopping becomes the standard "not just for rent itself, but for core groceries, cleaning products, taxis home, and Netflix subscriptions". Hey, sharing is caring!

2. Keep it clean

Photo: Cavalier92/Flickr

Speaking of rotating duties, cleaning may be one of those.

"We had a schedule for weekly cleaning and rubbish emptying duties, and if you got behind on the cleaning schedule you’d be reprimanded," one British woman recalled of her flatsharing days in Austria.

“And Brits have a reputation for being useless at cleaning - according to Austrians!”

But sharing cleaning responsibilities with a group of foreigners can lead to some pretty messy faux pas as well. One young woman who shared a flat with French and Italian students in Rome learned that the hard way.

Find your flatshare on Weroom

"In Italian the word 'scopare' means 'to sweep' - but it is also a slang term for having sex, which led to confusion when we were arranging household chores!"

3. Temperature is relative


Photo: Bunches and Bits/Flickr

Just like Goldilocks discovered, hot, cold, and “just right” are very relative terms. Don’t be surprised if a temperature tussle breaks out.

“At university in the UK I shared a flat with a Polish guy, a girl from Greece, and another from Serbia,” a Swedish woman told The Local.

“We could never agree on how warm the flat should be. The two southern Europeans would turn the radiator up as high as possible and walk around in tank tops and hotpants; the Polish guy and I would turn it back down again and wrap up in woollen sweaters. We kept going like this for two years.”

4.  Some people put milk in before the cereal


Photo: Sarah Mahala Photography/Flickr

Different strokes for different folks. You’ll find that your new international roomies do things in unexpected or even shocking ways.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when my Swedish roomie poured milk into her bowl and then plopped down the cereal on top of it,” an American girl recalled. “And they love putting ketchup on pasta, too!”

Find your flatshare on Weroom

And that doesn’t just apply to food. Cohabitating culture clashes mean you might wake up to a strange man sleeping on your living room couch one day.

“We tried to always text each other in advance if we were going to have a friend sleep over – but sometimes we forgot. So you might brew your coffee and turn around and see a random Czech guy in your house!”

5. Welcome to Master Chef, World Edition


Photo courtesy of Weroom.

But there are plenty of perks that come with different tastes. On those days when you would just order take out, chances are at least one of your roomies is cooking something. And it’s a whole new world of culinary experiences.

“I thought I knew how to cook crepes and pasta, but apparently I was doing both wrong,” a young British woman laughed.

“You get exposed to so many new things,” another woman agreed. “Different music, film and food tastes.”

Expand your tastebuds with a Weroom flatshare

But keep in mind that not everyone likes your favourite delicacies from back home.

“I was staying with some Chileans and kindly offered them some of my special marmite jar,” another British reader recalled. “A girl in the family ran crying from the room as she thought I was being really horrible and deliberately giving her something truly nasty and poisonous!”

6. Somebody has to be brave enough to smack the spider


Photo: Jacob Davies/Flickr

Compromise is an essential part of any long-term relationship – flatmates included.

“We were three girls in one flat and we were all terrified of spiders,” an American flatsharer recalled. “So when we found a massive one in the shower, we would all start screaming and no one would do anything. That had to change!”

The same rule applies to everything from new roomies to toilet seats.

“In our flatshare, any new housemate had to be interviewed and be approved by anyone,” one reader pitched in. “And there was a house rule that guys had to sit down to pee!”

7. Like likes like


Photo courtesy of Weroom.

“When I first shared a flat in Spain, I learnt how important it was to share with similar people,” one reader told us.

If you are working and have to be up early, it's best not to share with students who have a completely different daily routine to you, she explained.

“I was working and my student flatmates were so noisy into the night that one night the police turned up. So if you're a young professional, it might be wise to share with other young professionals, if you're on your year abroad, share with other students.”

8. You will make unexpected, lifelong friendships


Photo courtesy of Weroom.

The most important thing, however, is to approach a flatshare with an open mind – you’ll be surprised who becomes your new best friend.

"There are so many people that you would never have thought to socialize with, who can actually become great flatmates and great friends," a Swedish man commented.

"In London I was in a flatshare with a guy Australian nurse who worked at night and was seven years older than me. I wasn't really sure of him or the flat - but he ended up being the best flatmate I ever had."

And it’s not just your flatmates – you’ll have their wider network passing through and meet all the friends of your new friends.

Plus, there’s nothing like fantastic flatmates to help you relax after a bad day.

“Having flatmates to chat to can stop you stewing or stressing all night, by telling you a joke or distracting you with their own problems,” said a British flatsharer.

Make new friends – find a flat on Weroom

This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Weroom flatsharing service. Find your new flatshare here.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

()

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Today's headlines
Teen's murder-rape arrest reignites refugee debate
Flowers and candles set up in Freiburg to honour the student found dead. Photo: DPA.

The German government pleaded for calm on Monday after the arrest of a teenage Afghan asylum seeker for the alleged rape and murder of a German student triggered fresh criticism of the country's liberal refugee policy.

China criticizes US for blocking sale of German firm
Aixtron's headquarter in Herzogenrath in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

The US is reportedly worried that China could use the firm's technology in its nuclear programme.

Germany should deport sick refugees: Merkel party mate
Rejected asylum seekers in Leipzig being taken to the airport. Photo: DPA.

A top member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party on Monday defended his proposal for Germany to deport sick refugees after receiving harsh criticism.

Rail worker jailed over train crash that killed 12
Rescue workers at the scene of the crash. Photo: DPA

A German rail dispatcher who admitted that his negligence caused a train crash that killed 12 people has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Why Germany is worried by Italy's referendum result
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after a crushing referendum defeat on Sunday. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel lost a key ally on Sunday night.

These are Berlin's seven most exquisite restaurants
Two-star chef Tim Raue. Photo: DPA.

The capital city still hasn't managed to snag three stars in the new 2017 Michelin guide released on Thursday, but it still boasts seven two-star eateries. Here's a look at what they have to offer.

Austrian vote a 'good omen for Europe': German minister
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday said that the far-right defeat in Austria's presidential election was "a good omen" for Europe.

VW bosses forced to pay back private jet costs

Bosses at troubled German auto giant Volkswagen have been forced to pay the company back millions of euros for flights on its private jets, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.

Germany arrests Marxist militant 'leader'
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / DPA / AFP file picture

A radical Marxist suspected of belonging to a left-wing extremist group accused of terrorism by Turkey has been arrested in Germany, judicial sources said on Saturday.

Afghan teen arrested over German murder-rape
Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / DPA / AFP file picture

A teenage Afghan asylum seeker has been arrested on suspicion of the rape and murder of a 19-year-old female student in Germany, police and prosecutors said Saturday.

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,552
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd