Student housing is quite different here in Germany but I definitely love it. There are some major differences between student housing in Germany and in the USA. Here is a short list of some of the major differences between the two.
Student housing in Germany is not owned by the University. - Because of this, the student housing can have people from all different Universities or Hochschule (schools for special studies) Freiburg has a lot of different Hochschules and Uni Freiburg which makes it quite a University City, and plays a role in why dorms are mixed with students from multiple universities. I have 4 roommates and they are all studying at different schools. I do like how they mix different schools here because it gives people the opportunity to meet more people.
Everyone gets a single bedroom (at least from my experience and what my tandem partner says).- This has been super nice cause you don’t have to worry about one person wanting to sleep while the other person wants the light on. You can’t be too loud at early or late hours, but you are able to have your own space.
Apartments are co-ed. - This one was a bit of a shocker for me coming from a catholic university where guys and girls don’t room together. To be honest I think that most universities in the US don’t have co-ed apartments/dorm rooms. I currently have 4 roommates 2 guys and 2 girls. The individual rooms must play a role in this and I think it works really well. All of my roommates are nice. I know the two guys better cause we have similar schedules and see each other more frequently but my roommates have been great so far.
Cleaning plans or Putzplans are a thing that is done no matter how clean or messy the person is. - This is different than in the US where often many roommate disagreements occur about cleanliness. The Germans attempted to solve this issue by creating cleaning plans in student housing. When I got to Freiburg I was added to my WG’s aka my apartments Putzplan. It is a weekly schedule so every week someone has to clean the kitchen and living room area and a separate Putzplan for the bathroom with the same rules. This is different than the US because students tend to not have an organized cleaning schedule and tend to clean when it is dirty which has different meanings to different people.
Student Accommodations come with a kitchen and two bathrooms split between 4-6 people. - Student accommodations in the US tend to be more of a shared bedroom and a shared bathroom and that is about it, except for a few schools including my home university which give apartment-style housing for upperclassmen. In Germany, an apartment-style housing is guaranteed. A standard WG has 4-6 students in each apartment and two bathrooms and a kitchen.
These differences may not be true in all German college towns or all American colleges but it is something that I have noticed so far since I have been here.
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Hey I am Claire, and I am from Des Moines, Iowa. I am studying International Relations, Russian, and German. I am a Midwestern girl who loves to travel, and I can’t wait to see what adventures are ahead this semester.