• Norway's news in English
 
app_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

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 Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

()

Today's headlines
Norway kids and parents tell each other to log off
Parents and kids accuse each other of spending too much time online. Photos: Jan Haas and Frank May / NTB scanpix

Norwegian parents are critical of the amount of time their children spend online but their children feel the exact same way about them.

Norway firm opens office in Minecraft
The Oslo firm set up their island office on Norway's biggest Minecraft server. Screenshot: Heisholt Inc

The company behind the world's first ever live Minecraft concert has now set up shop within the popular gaming platform.

79-year-old Norwegian lands plane with no propeller
Garstad's propeller (left) was found after his crash landing at Sola (right). Photos: Arnstein Løvbrekke/NTB Scanpix and Florian Pépellin/WikiCommons

The veteran pilot said the air traffic controllers were "more flustered than me” when he told them he was coming in for a crash landing.

Norway oil investments set to drop again in 2017
After 15 years of solid growth boosted by rising oil and gas prices, the Norwegian economy has rapidly slumped. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Oil investments, one of the main drivers of Norway's economy, are expected to fall for a third straight year.

App-surd! Norwegians read app terms for 32 hours
The Norwegian consumer protection agency staged the readathon as part of its #appfail campaign. Photo: Forbrukerrådet

In a live-streamed 'readathon' Norway consumers read the "very bad" terms and conditions of popular smartphone apps.

Norway firm to buy portion of Finland defence company
Patria specializes in armoured vehicles. Photo: Patria

A portion of Finnish state-owned defence manufacturer Patria will be privatized through a sell to Kongsberg, a partially state-owned defence company in Norway.

'Historic': McDonald's agrees to contain Arctic cod fishing
The McDonald's on Nedre Slottsgate in Oslo. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX

For the first time ever, major players in the seafood industry have voluntarily imposed limitations on industrial fishing in the Arctic.

Norwegian ship rescues over 1,000 refugees
Kripos said that the ship had never before brought so many people on board. Photo: Kripos/Scanpix

The Norwegian rescue vessel Siem Pilot on Wednesday came to the aid of more than 1,000 people off the coast of Libya.

Shareholders at Norway's Opera accept Chinese bid
Opera's Oslo offices. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / Scanpix

Deal for the world's fight-biggest internet browser will now need US and Chinese approval.

Ryanair departure will doom Norway airport
Passengers depart a Ryanair flight at Moss Airport Rygge. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

The board of directors at Moss Airport Rygge will shut down the airport's commercial operations if Irish carrier Ryanair makes good on its threats to abandon its base there.

Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Memo: Norway 'not mentally prepared' for refugees' impact
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Society
Norway is the world's fourth happiest country
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
National
Norway moves closer to allowing dual citizenship
Politics
Norway's tough asylum plans face resistance
National
'Patriot' group Soldiers of Odin debut in Norway
National
Oslo is the real ‘Capital of Scandinavia’
Health
Norway ads use Hitler teddy bear to scare parents... about dust
National
Migrants: Norway 'sending us to death' in Russia
Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans
2,040
jobs available