If you’re coming from another country to study in America, it may be tempting to live with other international students, especially if they are from your home country.
While that may feel the most comfortable, you’ll miss out on the many opportunities offered by living with an American roommate.
Why should you consider an American roommate? You can:
1. Improve your English.
One of the best ways to learn English is to live with someone who’s a native English speaker! Of course, if you’re studying in America you must have already reached a certain level of expertise in the English language. So what’s the point of living with a native English speaker?
Living with an American roommate will give you real life speaking practice, let you to work on your accent, and give you insight into common American college terminology and slang which you can’t learn in a textbook.
2. Learn the local ropes.
An American roommate will know things about the local community that you, as an international student, may not. They can tell you which stores to go to for cheap clothes and which ones to search for formal wear, how to find an apartment if you want to live off campus, what to expect when you go to a US doctor, and more.
3. Get to know an American family.
Chances are, if you live with an American roommate, you’ll get to know his or her family. This can be a great comfort for an international student whose own family is far away!
For example, you may get to spend weekends with your American roommate’s family or even celebrate national holidays with them. This is a great way to become more integrated into American society and get to know more about American traditions.
4. Become acquainted with the culture.
Living with an American roommate will also help you become acclimated to American culture. If you want to learn all about American youth culture, from television to popular music, having an American roommate is a great way to get started.
5. Get tips on American etiquette.
An American roommate can also give you tips on local etiquette. For example, how do American students address their university professors? What is an acceptable way to decline a date offer from a fellow student? How much are you supposed to tip at a restaurant?
There are many questions that will come up as you are studying in the US. Some questions can be answered by international student services or other campus organizations, but having an American roommate means you’ll have someone around to help you with the “small” things. Adjusting to college life can be easier with an American roommate by your side.