Erasmus Flat

This week we visited an Erasmus apartment – we wanted to know how a group of Erasmus students share a flat!

Ana who is from Portugal, Mateusz who’s from Poland, and Soussan who is from France live in a lovely spacious apartment in downtown Budapest. They found each other online in a facebook Erasmus-Budapest group before they  moved to Hungary, and they decided to search for a flat together.

In the first couple of days of the flat-hunt they couldn’t find anything that wasn’t too expensive, had a good location, and had a good layout. So when they checked out this apartment between Oktogon and Nyugati they knew it was the right one for them.

It has three rooms and a big living room with a comfy couch ideal for hosting small parties or inviting friends over to pre-drink before leaving to explore Budapest nightlife. Their usual go-to places involve Instant, some Erasmus parties, ruin-bars and inexpensive places like Gang where you can just hang out and have a beer with friends.

They worked out a system for cleaning to avoid conflicts: they clean every weekend and they rotate the responsibilities so it is fair for everyone. They have been traveling or living with young people before, but living with Erasmus students is a different experience. They say this way they get to  learn more about each other`s culture, meet new people and kind of break out from the bubble of their friends from their home country. They said there was nothing in each other`s cultural habits that was unusual for them. On the contrary, living together is a good experience.

Their only problem with the apartment so far is a crazy neighbour. This lady is  very sensitive about the noise-level and declared war from the first time they had friends over. You can read a bit more about her in Ana`s confession.  So far she has screamed at them in Hungarian, emptied an ashtray on their doormat, and left them an angry note.

Despite all this they all said that it feels like home in the flat. Moreover, Mateusz said that when he was returning to Budapest from a trip from Krakow, his hometown, he had a strange feeling of returning home from home.

Ana, Soussan and Mateusz, thank you so much for hosting us for this interview in your lovely apartment!

To contrast  with this dreaming student flat (Ana, Soussan and Mateusz)

Boris, a French Erasmus student, found his flat mates via a group on Facebook. He has two flat mates, an international student who is Brazilian and one Hungarian student. He found his flat the day before coming to Budapest. His flat is in a central area of Budapest. He choose this flat because he was looking for an apartment that is cheap and new with nice flat mates.  The advert on Facebook appealed to him and they were the only ones to give him a positive answer. He also wanted to live with at least one Hungarian so he could experience the culture.

They don’t do activities together, they live separate lives. From the beginning there was a lack of communication because of the language barrier. It is not that they don’t like each other,  it is just that they all live very different lives, with different friends and they don’t share  much common interests. He thinks that maybe the fact  is that for them  it is the first time that they lived on their own. He also said that their shyness and their reluctance to engage in the collective life of the flat is a big issue. He has already tried to push them to communicate more, but with them all having different interests its very hard to start a conversation. By the way, the problem is not a bad deal (like they don’t like each other) or any specific problem; simply they just share a flat together. The expression Home sweet home is not for him. He’s in his flat only for studying and sleeping, like a long term hostel room and this atmosphere has pushed him to go out of the flat a lot. He’s going to  stay the second semester but he would like to change his flat for those reasons and because most of his Erasmus friends leave, so he thinks that it’s better for him to directly create a new life here, in Budapest.

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