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Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


17 Apr 2017 156 Book icon 3 mins Share

Is having a roommate when studying abroad well worth the wait!

Reflect: to have or not to have a roomie when studying abroad? Read on to know who should be ready to welcome a roommate when studying abroad and who shouldn’t.

17 Apr 2017 156 Book icon 3 mins Share
Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


Share this article
To have or not to have a roommate when studying abroad

You might be one of these personalities: either someone who likes sitting in one corner in complete solitude with a book in your hand for hours, sipping cups of caffeine after caffeine, or someone who likes rolling down the aisles with your roommates or friends and still manage to score well in your exams. Irrespective of who you are, does this thought – if you need to have a roomie – bother you at times, especially when you feel exasperated with your roommate’s behaviour who takes you for granted? Whose fault is it anyway!

If you feel so, you are reading the right article to help you understand what you should be doing now!

Unfortunately, some roommate experiences turn out to be unpleasant. Imagine living with a person who eats up your brain every day for every small thing.

Though there are plenty of reasons to stay alone, you might want to save more money at the cost of sharing your space and independence. So how will you decide if you should have a roomie when studying abroad?

Here are a few points that you can enquire about the other person who would want to be your roommate:

  1. Will the person respect your privacy and independent nature, if you are a private person, or will that person barge into your work whenever she wants to?
  2. It is important to have a heart-to-heart talk with the person before settling down. You may like the sweet coating of that person initially only to realise later that it was artificial sweetness.
  3. Will she often bring her parents or friends to the room and have the time of her life? If so, and if you are not ok with this, make it clear in the beginning that you might be bothered with such visitor woes and would be forced to move out. Perhaps, you can tell her politely that parents and friends are welcome but occasionally and that too for a shorter duration.
  4. Does she have a pet? Will you be ok with the pet unless it gives you sleepless nights?
  5. Will she be a helping hand in doing household chores? Or is it only you who has to run errands?
  6. Is she ready to share the cost of food and other necessary stuffs like electricity, gas, water and Internet?
  7. Will she help you clean the room or does she like to live in a messy surrounding?
  8. If she is a social butterfly, tell her the house rules. If she complies with your request, welcome her. Another woe that you might face is her habit of talking loud. You may feel like hundred drums beating inside your head when all she says is hell-ooo!
  9. Will your roommate’s smoking or drinking habits bother you? There is nothing wrong in asking these questions.
  10. Do you give importance to cultural barriers and want a roommate who is strictly of your nationality. Don’t forget you are studying abroad! Avoid stereotyping.

Trust me, these are all necessary questions because it’s not just enough to live, eat, study and write your thesis when you are staying in a university's dorm abroad. Well, not all questions will work for you of course.

Next steps!

Once the person, i.e., your would-be roomie, completes answering the above questions, you should ask her if she has any questions for you, and her likes and dislikes as well. This will give a hint of your personality and show that you respect her presence. It is possible that you may start liking all, if not uncanny, the habits of your roommate once you start to understand her point of view and find that she respects you for who you are.

As Harper Lee said in the legendary book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ :

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

However, adjusting and living with someone who is not like you is a skill. It will build patience in you and teach you to have calm over others when they drive you crazy. It’s not a bad idea to have a roomie despite all her idiosyncrasies, if any, when you know she is a nice person to be with – who will listen to your problems, take care of you when needed and prepare home-made tasty food for you.  

Besides all this, you cannot expect the other person to act according to your will. If you are not happy with any of her habits, it is advisable that you better stay alone rather staying like two strangers in one room.


When you speak to a university abroad, don’t forget to ask about accommodation options. There are many websites that will help you find homestays, dorms or private apartments abroad. We know you’ll manage this, not so difficult, part of your study abroad journey. What about the crucial application part? Are you done with that as yet? Our study abroad experts can help you with submitting applications at the universities abroad. Who knows you may also find an accommodation of your choice.

Want to study abroad?

Ashmeet Kaur Ashmeet Kaur,
IDP Expert
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