The people with which you're living who make the Erasmus experience worth living.
Of course, it's true that every Erasmus journey is more unique and special than Kanye West believes he is. Yet despite it being a beautifully individual snowflake of an experience, it is hard to deny that some things are an inevitable part of every Erasmus experience; whether it is the professor unable to deal with foreign students, or the daily language battles one must face, they go together with our time studying abroad like salt goes with pepper, or Kanye goes with…Kanye. The point is, although we cannot deny the fact that each and every Erasmus experience is different, there are some things that are actually the same for all. One of these uniting factors has to be those bumbling fools you find yourself living with, also known as your darling flatmates. It seems unavoidable that, at some point during your incredible adventure, you will find yourself living with some, if not all of these student flatmate stereotypes below. And, hey, if you don't recognise them, I am sure you're flatmates will...
1. The Mum.
The “Mum” of the flat, who seems to be male surprisingly often, fits the role of the stereotypical mother perfectly: they will clean, nag, and care, like the good mother-hen they are. They take it upon themselves to the ruler of the roost when it comes to practical things such as bills, rent, and general tidiness, and generally try to ensure there is some domestic order within the chaos that is student life. Rather than just being a diabolical dictator for whom we all live in fear, they also often show their caring nature and lovingness, by making sure they ask you every day how you are, and just giving you a sign of affection or seven, to ensure that you know that they do actually really care about you.
2. The Baby.
Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and with eyes as big of saucers, these flatmates seem to be the human equivalent of an adorable little chipmunk. Although with their assured self-confidence and ridiculously kind, easy-going natures it can be hard at first to identify the baby of the flat household, their joyfully youthful and innocent soul shortly comes through. Whether it is their inability to cook, or the fact they need to ring home every time they want to do a wash, the Babies usually struggle at first to do the basic household chores that the rest of us have had to learn years before, most likely as it is their first time living away from home. Even if at times their level of naivety seems over-whelming, don’t let this put you off them as people, because you will find that they are actually the loveliest and most genuine people you could ever meet and will truly cherish having them in your friendship group. You may just have to wait until after their daily Skype calls with their parents to talk to them.
3. The One Who Is Never There.
This is the flatmate you often forget you have as they seem to disappear for days on end, causing you to jump when you actually do see them within the perimeters of your flat. You often wonder why they bother spend the money they do on rent a month, as it seems their bed is more often empty than actually used. It is usually that these people have an incredibly rich and busy life with your Erasmus city that you are unfortunately just not as much a part of as you both you would like. Or they hate you. One of the two.
4. The One Who Never Leaves Their Room.
In contrast to the one who is never there, this flatmate is so often in your flat, you wonder if someone forgot to tell them they are actually allowed to leave the facility. However, just because they are always in the flat, this doesn't mean you are any more likely to see them than your vagabond ones; if anything you actually see them less as at least you do have the chance of running into your forever absent flatmates somewhere in the city. With our home-loving comrades, on the other hand, sighting them is rare, due to their tendency to remain in their room with the door bolted shut and their earplugs, so they can no longer hear your desperate pleas for attention as they work, study, or, most likely, plot world domination. Although it can feel quite lonely at times living with this type of flatmate, if you really find yourself craving human company, at least take comfort in the fact that if you press your ear really had up against their door, you will probably be able to hear them breathing….That’s something
5. The One Who Seems To Have Connections EVERYWHERE.
Usually also the loudest flatmate with an irrepressible amount of energy, this flatmate, quite often female but not always, seems to have an astonishing ability to charm and win the hearts of all those around them. Not only are they a winner with most of the housemates, but their enchanting ways extend beyond the barriers of your four walled facility, and to the crazy streets of the city in which you live. This flatmate not only seems to run into a friend of theirs every two minutes as you walk down the streets together but they also have the bouncers and the club reps kept under their incantations so that a night out with them often entails you getting free entry into clubs and a ludicrous amount of free drinks. It is worth investing in a friendship with this type of flatmate, if not for their fun-loving and cracking natures, but for the financial gain you are bound to make – just think of all the money you’ll save on going-out!
6. The Local.
The most useful and most feared housemate of an Erasmus student: the one who is a native of the local lingo. Although, granted, to improve your language skills was most likely the reason you decided to do an Erasmus in the first place, the pressure you feel at trying to speak your new language perfectly, in the comfort your new home, can feel quite distressing at times. Having said that, these flatmates are usually some of the kindest and most understanding, happy to practice with you and try to hide (to the best of their ability) their bewildered faces, as they attempt to work out what the hell you just tried to say.
7. The Native English Speaker.
They all look like this.
Often used as a tool to perfect your ability in the universal language, it is hard to gage what level of other language competence this person has as they end up speaking so much in their mother tongue. Despite protests that they want to practise, it is only too easy for this Erasmus type to fall back into their first tea-loving language when pressed. The only issue you face with this flatmate is the fact that, unless they speak with the perfect Hollywood American accent you know from the films, it can be challenging to understand what in darnation this lot are talking about. You’ll get the hang of it in the end though…Maybe.
8. The Older One Who Works.
No longer a student, this greatly wise (wo)man in the world of work is only too ready to look at you wearily and yearn for the days that have gone, as well as giving you get advice for when you have to face such a time (yes it is inevitable. No, it really is, I am not lying). Usually slightly more chilled than most of your flatmates, this one is perfect for if you want advice about travelling or the city, as well as life, as they usually have a wealth of experience that they can use to help guide you. Either that or just to have a laugh with – they’re still (relatively) young(ish), at least at heart.
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9.The Ones Who Become Like Family.
These are the people you will have your best memories with, the people you remember just passing hours in their room laughing, consoling, and having the greatest conversations man has ever known, that no one else has ever had before. Whether it is chilling with a cup of tea, or dancing in the club like the night will never end (which it doesn’t seem to in most Erasmus cities), the time you spend in each other’s company is always so precious and you know that, even when you are simply silent together after a long day, moments with them are the golden encrusted joys that truly make your Erasmus experience. You’re there for each other no matter what, like every great family should be. And, finding a family in the place in which your heart has found a home, can only be a beautiful thing.