作者：北美考试教学中心 托福写作组 杜薇
Receiving an offer from a dream university is what students pursue. After enjoying exaltation, students need to determine where they live in a foreign country. In this case, they are confronted with a tricky problem: choosing a roommate from another country or that from their own country. Some may contend that it is a good opportunity to live with a new friend from a different country, while others support choosing a roommate from same country. Retrospecting my past experience, I would rather agree with the latter ones.
Advocates of choosing a roommate from another country may argue that this experience endows them with a great chance to practice a foreign language, learn a new culture, and make a foreign friend. To be more specific, if one Chinese student lives with an American, he/she will be able to practice English every now and then. They have ignored, though, a fact that two individuals with different cultural background tend to have more arguments even conflicts. It is worth mentioning that two strangers, especially who come from different countries, need to accommodate each other. Although two roommates can reach consensus on certain things, it is difficult to change one’s living habits that are closely related with one’s cultural awareness, easily leading to some unnecessary arguments. For example, some people are inclined to having a shower in the morning, while in my country, most people, including me, have gotten accustomed to taking a bath before going to bed. The situation is awkward: one has a morning class and wants to wash, while the other one occupies the bathroom for having a shower. The similar situation exists in the kitchen. The most common cooking method used by Chinese students is to stir-fry vegetables over high heat, during which process there is a large amount of smoke. A roommate from another country may be irritated by choking smoke and even forbid this way of cooking. By contrast, these embarrassments are easily be avoided if two roommates are from the same country.
Apart from different living habits, a strong sense of belonging is another reason for my choice. Admittedly, it is not a good advice to always hang out with people from the same country. In fact, one of the purposes of studying abroad is to learn more cultures, which helps people broaden their perspectives. However, for most of the students, living and studying in an unfamiliar country independently is a great challenge for them. They have to take some time to get used to a new country’s culture and finishing kinds of assignments, some of which are rather daunting. Therefore, their apartment should be a place where they can share their thoughts and have a thorough relaxing. For example, when I studied in UK, I shared one apartment with one Chinese girl who comes from the same country with me. After a tiring day in the library, especially in the exam week, I used to talk about some gossips or my latest thoughts with her in the kitchen. During the Chinese New Year, my roommate and I made dumplings together, watched the Spring Festival Gala, and invited a group of foreign students to celebrate the traditional festival. Living with a person from the same country makes an unfamiliar apartment more like home.Only when two people from the same country live together do they feel more intimacy, which matters a lot for a student who studies in a foreign country alone.
Taking into all the reasons I have mentioned above, I would rather choose living with a person from the same country because similar cultural background can be shared. Furthermore, I harvest a sense of belonging in a foreign country.