Roommates? What?

Roommates? What?

So, here in Beijing, we have a special program unlike the Rome Center – you have the option of having a Chinese student of the University of International Business and Economics as your roommate!

Of course, you don’t have to, you can elect to have a fellow American student as your roommate, as long as you both have specified you want to, or you can live alone – or even live in an apartment-style dorm in a different dorm. But all those options are more expensive. This semester, only one guy lives alone, and everyone else has a Chinese roommate, or CR as we call them. Trust me, you want to live with them. Not only are they incredibly useful (drag them to the bank, the restaurants – they know the area- and so on, due to being fantastically bilingual) but the TBC screening process means that they are all incredibly nice, wonderful, delightful people and make fast friends. They’re so cool, and come from all different places across China and are interested in all different things.

There’s one this semester who is captain of the alpine ski team, another who is really into Korean culture and dance, another who you can always find cooking in the kitchen, and another who you can count on to always be studying in the lounge, and so on. At first, you might be a little wary, especially you reading this if you haven’t even been to college yet first. But I assure you, the Chinese roommate experience is so awesome!

It really helps you get immersed in the Chinese culture and university life. Unlike Rome, you’re not in a bubble. For example, WeChat games (see my last post) spread like fire between the CRs and the students, since even though there’s a language barrier some games don’t even use words, so – bonus!

Plus, if you have a roommate like mine, they’ll make sure you celebrate Chinese holidays the right way, with the right food. I’m very lucky, since we’re fully in the holiday season, since sometimes I come back from a day of classes and Thea is waiting for me with some new treat or another. If/when you come to TBC, I would highly, highly suggest getting a Chinese roommate. When else will you have this opportunity? With the CRs, we do all sorts of things – from watching Mulan and laughing at the cultural inaccuracies, to walking around the Temple of Heaven area and pretending one of them is secretly famous, and so on. In Rome, I didn’t meet a lot of Romans my age, much less be able to call them my friends. These CRs, it’s only been two months, but I’m very certain that in the future when I come back to China, I won’t miss out on visiting them and seeing them when I can.

Plus, TBC also works hard to match you with a roommate. They won’t put a very clean person and a very messy person together, or if you’re a person against smoking, they won’t put you with someone who smokes heavily (none of the CRs do this semester), just like Loyola does.

All in all, I would more than recommend getting a Chinese roommate. When you’re studying abroad, go the whole yard for new experiences, and don’t be afraid to live with someone from a completely different culture!

Comments are closed.