Typology of your flatmates

Can you recognize your international roommate?


The Erasmus experience lets you take a deep dive into a new country, new people and new ways of thinking. One of the most immersive ways to do that, is through sharing a flat with people from other countries. 

Depending on which nationality they come from, you’ve probably been surprised by some of their quirky behaviors or traditions.

We often say to not conflate, because everybody is different. But if you look closer, some stereotypes are well-founded. Studvest has studied them closer. Can you recognize your roommate?

Irish: Your guide for parties

Living with an Irish person is maybe one of the best experiences, because they can be both super dynamic and super lazy.

For the Irish, any occasion is good for a party, and the earlier, the better. Hence, when the Irish come to Bergen, they don’t need to adapt to the Norwegian lifestyle. 

If you want to communicate with your Irish roommate, you have to really focus when they talk, because they will not help you understand their sharp accent. They are also the only ones choosing an Erasmus where they can follow lectures in their own language. Lazy I said.

When it comes to food, they usually eat the same simple thing. You have to accept your Irish roommate with their beans. 

Norwegian: The locked door

You arrive in Norway, and you are so happy to have Norwegians flatmates.You imagine that you are going to discover the traditions of this country and share many activities together.

You quickly realize that living with Norwegians is like living alone. You never know if they are in the apartment. Their capacity not to eat or go to the toilet for twenty-four hours is a supernatural phenomenon for you.

Suddenly, when night falls and you are in bed, you hear the latch open, and they finally come out. 

Fridays are another story: you suddenly see your Norwegian flatmate transform into a sociable creature. Obviously helped by Mango IPAs and Breezers.

Spanish or Catalan: Fiesta and sangría, but not the same people

Spanish (or Catalan) people are the most talkative people. They never take a break when they speak, and you can hear them from miles around. Let’s hope your room is well isolated!

A Spanish (or Catalan) person should not, under any circumstances, have a Norwegian flatmate. That would cause an immediate feeling of loneliness and depression. 

They are always overwhelmed and have a real «fast life», but maybe it’s because they start their day at midday… Indeed, don’t expect your Spanish (or Catalan) flatmate to do a “miracle morning” with you.

The thing your Spanish or Catalan flatmates miss most is the sun and warm weather. If you try taking them on a hike with you, the effect will be immediate: they will claim they are freezing.

And the most important thing: Never mistake your Catalan flat mate for being Spanish if you don’t want to die. 

German: The «green» roommate

Your German flatmate is vegan, drinks oat or soy milk, backpacks during summer and probably came to Bergen in a van.

When you ask them «Why did you choose Norway?», they will answer that they came for nature and the landscapes. The German lifestyle also means wearing Birkenstocks with high socks 24/7 and being obsessed with climbing.

He or she probably suffers from a coffee addiction. Fortunately, you will never have to wash their dirty cups. Indeed, Germans are very strict but also very clean. Respect the cleaning plan, nothing should stick out! 

And have your German roommate invited you to an event? Be careful! Be on time. Germans are never late and think you shouldn’t be either. Time is time and we are not kidding about this. 

The rule is the rule.

Italian: La dolce vita and pasta

Everyday life with an Italian is a continuous concert. Their guilty pleasure is to sing Felicità in the shower for hours.

They are always discussing with French people about who has the best gastronomy. To accompany this debate, they talk with their hands, making big gestures.

Speaking of Italian gastronomy, they don’t know how to cook anything other than pasta. Of course, without their Italian mums in town, it’s hard to make pizzas.

Therefore, your Italian roommate in Norway will always be ready to invite you to eat a frozen Grandiosa pizza or taste a slice of parmesan that his family brought with them when they came to visit. They will swear that the cheese is still good after three months in the fridge.

But a word of advice: Don’t accept to eat spaghetti because if you cut them, you'll risk the worst.

The movies were not wrong about Italians. 

French: The rebel roommate

For this part, we must inform you that both journalists are French. That does not make them biased. Not at all. We promise…You know your roommate is French because they are super proud to be French. They’re probably always saying «merde» or «putain». This is part of the romantic French touch. «Pardon my French».

About romance: Don’t be surprised if you meet a new person in your kitchen in the morning every sunday. Your French roommates love dating and regularly have new flirts.

Also, the kitchen is their second bedroom. They are the only ones using the pans at the same time. And they really care about their sweet breakfast. It’s the only moment your French roommates are on time. Otherwise they are never on time, because of the famous “quarter of an hour of politeness”. How polite can a late hour still be? (We are not sure, but you can ask your German flatmate.)

You probably have rules in the apartment, but your French flatmates create their own rules. If you see someone cross the road wherever or when the traffic light is red, you can be sure they are French.Your rebel roommate.

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