When living with someone, things can get tough, or not, all depending on how well you and your roommates bond. And it’s always a two-way street. No relationship can successfully work if you’re not willing to put work into the relationship. On the other hand, neither will it work when the other side isn’t willing to make an effort.
But in certain scenarios – like when you share an apartment with a roommate who is not from the land you call home, you have to be a bit more considerate. And if you’ve been living in NYC all your life, you have to put more effort to make them comfortable.
Because when you move to a new place, you’re insecure and unsure of how to behave with other people. And when you have a roommate who is going to be living in NYC for the first time, they would be vulnerable and need your help.
So when you share an apartment with a cross-cultural roommate, start on the right foot by keeping these points in mind, when building your roommate relationship.
1. Tell them about life in NYC but also ask about their home and culture
The first thing you’d want to know is the kind of place they come from. And they would surely want to get to know about living in NYC!
So when you start telling them about your culture, and all about living in NYC, remember that it’s always a good ice breaker to ask them about their life and culture.
So pour some drinks and order in your preferred delicious meal and start up a conversation about both your cultures.
Think of it this way, you’re traveling to another part of the world without moving out of your living room!
Another thing to note here would be the differences in language. If they don’t know English well, volunteer to teach them a few language essentials that will make living in NYC a bit easier for them.
And in the process, learn a few words and phrases in their language too! They will feel less like an outsider, and you’ll start having fun in the process too!
2. Let go of the stereotypes of where they come from
Thanks to the globalization of cultures, we all have a few stereotypes in our minds about other countries or cities or states we might not even have visited and seen for ourselves. So make sure you don’t let such stereotypes come in the way and offend the roommate you’re going to share an apartment with.
Always be respectful of where they come from, and try to get to know your roommate outside of their culture before categorizing them into media-fed stereotypes.
3. Allow them to introduce you to their entertainment culture
What’s better than getting great foreign movie recommendations from your new roommate? A good way to bond and cover the cultural gap is to be curious about their entertainment culture.
Everyone loves Hollywood, yes, but there’s a great amount of entertainment outside of Hollywood too! Ask them to introduce you to some native movies and music to make sharing an apartment with them a lot more fun!
4. Don’t force them to follow your way of life in NYC
It might seem like living in NYC is the only way to live if you don’t look beyond the borders that make this world up. But don’t try and force your ways on to your roomis.
They might have a very different way of living and cohabiting, so always try to respect that instead of telling them what the right thing to do is. Make boundaries that give them the freedom to live the way they like to (as long as they don’t violate the house rules of your apartment.)
5. Respect time zone differences
If you share an apartment with a roomi who comes from a different country, chances are that they’ll take time when adjusting to the new time zone they’ve entered. This also means they might be talking to friends and family in their home country at odd hours.
As long as they’re being respectful of your personal space and not affecting your sleep, let them adjust and take their time!
6. Try asking strangers on the internet what you should do
And if you find yourself sharing an apartment with a roommate you don’t know how to bond with, let strangers on the internet come to the rescue!
Happy co living!
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