One of the exciting parts about college is the opportunity to meet new and different people. You may find that you are placed with other individuals who come from a very different background than yourself. Rather than seeing this as a downside, try to look at it as an opportunity to expand your horizons. On the practical side, be sure not to assume that your roommates share your expectations. For example, your roommates' concept of quiet and loud may be quite different from your own. A roommate agreement could be particularly helpful to address these issues.
The most important thing to remember is that other people have been in the same position, and have even learned from their experience! See what Vanessa had to say about her experience living with international students:
Living with a person with a different background as myself ended up being one of the best experiences of my life. When I first came to BSU as a freshmen both my roommates were from foreign countries, and I have to say that at first I was a little intimidated, but it ended up being a wonderful learning experience. Both my roommates were Ethiopian. Their culture was so different from my own, but as each day went by I learned fascinating things about Ethiopia. My roommates taught me how to say different words in their language. They also let me know about events we had on campus that I could go to with them. In addition they taught me how to cook their foods. I recommend to anyone who is open minded to live with a person of a different race or ethnic background because you can learn a lot from them. They can even teach you things that can benefit you in the long run.
This is just one example of someone who had a great experience after she learned to celebrate the differences between her and her roommates!
Last Modified: January 17, 2011
Contact the Office of Residence Life and Housing at 508-531-1277 or firstname.lastname@example.org