Living in a dormitory

This week I interviewed some Erasmus students living in a dormitory – I wanted to know why they choose a dormitory instead of a flat and compare the life in three differents dormitorys in Budapest.

Tom an Erasmus student who is from Greece lives in the Ajtosi Durer Kollegium, near the Varosliget park. He choose to live there because it was the cheapest solution and because, back in his country, he lives also in a dormitory so he is used to and he likes it. He lives with a roommate, following the regulation in the dormitory, Szilad from Transylvanie.  They don’t speak so much  to each other but mostly because they are rarely in the room at the same time but they have a good relationship and he’s a funny roommate. According to him, the biggest advantage to live in a dorm is the price of the rent (90€ per month) and this way he can afford many more things like traveling more and drinking more beer than he would be in a flat. There is also the fact that there is always someone there for you, when you need something or just want some company without having to leave your cozy place. One of the disadvantages is that you do not have the same amount of privacy as if you had your own flat and the fact that you don’t have your own kitchen but you are sharing one on each floor.

There is many activities organize during the week, like parties, board games gathering, ping pong, poker etc. When he can find the time, he likes to participate to it. He says that is very easy to meet some new people in the dormitory especially if you join the activities on the dormitory or if you go to the kitchen and talk while cooking. Everybody, in his dorm, is very friendly and happy to talk and help there.

His dormitory:

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Maria an Erasmus student who is from Greece lives in the Kollegium of Nándorfejérvári útca. She choose to live in a dormitory because it’s cheaper than renting a flat and it’s really safe and peaceful. She’s living on her own in her room to keep her privacy and because she doesn’t know Hungarian and she would feel uncomfortable being in the same room with people who speak a language that she can’t underrstand.  But she met the guys from her floor. They are really nice and they always help her when she has a problem. For example, they translate to her the hungurian, they give her directions to place that she wants to visit etc.

According to her, there is a lot of advantages to live in a dorm. You have always a warm room and hot water 24/7. Moreover, you don’t have to buy pillows, blankets or plates. You have everything that you need. But sadly, her dorm is far away from the center, this is the only disadvantage according to her.  There were some parties organized in her dorm bit she nerver participated in anything that happens in her dorm because she’s the only foreigner there and all the others speak Hungurian which is difficult for her to follow. At the beginning it was difficult to her to meet some new people but once the people know you, they are friendly and king.

She would like to add that her life in the dormitory is peaceful and at the same time it has quality. The dormitory offers her everything that she needs and she doesn’t regret choosing it. The only problem she has is its location. Sometimes it makes her life miserable, but still…now her dormitory is her home and she loves it.

Her dormitory:

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Nora an Hungarian student live un Korosi Csoma Sandor Kollegium (KCSSK). She choose this dorm because of her friends. She lives with an other roommate but they don’t see each other so much. The main disadvantage to live in a dormitory for her is the lack of privacy and the distance for the university. The advantage is the community life there. She is a member of the organization in her dormitory. There are so many parties and activities organize in her dormitory, called ‘clubs”. These are communities with organized leisure programs, excursions, film clubs, parties, and so on. For her, it was really easy to meet some new people there.

Her dormitory:

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As for me, I was living in the same dormitory than Nora at the beginning of my Erasmus during two weeks and then I moved out in a flat in the city center. In the dormitory, I shared a room with an other girl, the lack of the privacy wasn’t a problem for me. I moved out because I had a lot of problem with the WIFI connexion in there but the main reason was that the dorm was really far from the center, it was taking one hour by bus to go to the university and so in the city center. The most of people lived in there was Hungarian so it wasn’t easy for me to meet new people. I came in Budapest alone so it was really important for me to meet directly new people. When I met my classmates in class they were explaining to me what they did the night before, in which bar they went etc. I was disappointed because every night I was staying in my room because it wasn’t really easy with the transportation to go in the city center during the night and I wasn’t feeling safe when I took the night bus to come back to my dorm. So at the beginning I had the feeling that I was missing the Erasmus experience. The other disadvantage according to me, was the kitchen. There was one kitchen by floor. But I was living in the end of the corridor so the kitchen was far from my room. We had to buy all of our plates and everything, nothing was in the kitchen. So every time I had to take everything to cook from my room to the kitchen. It wasn’t easy and so I was really lazy to cook there even if I love to cook. Since I moved out in the flat my Erasmus life has changed completely. I can enjoy my Eramsus at the maximum. Now I live in the heart of the city. It’s easier to go to the university, to go out, to decide to get a coffee with my friends at the last minute, to eat outside if I forgot to shop etc.  I share my flat with other Erasmus students, so the first week after moved out I met them and their friends.  After only one week, I had more friends than the two precedents weeks in the dorm. I became to go out with my classmates and met the others Eramus. With my flatmates, we organized a lot of pre-drinking and dinner in our flat. Everyday something new happen. But the most advantage is that, after wake up, I can go in the kitchen and eat my breakfast in pyjama.

I hope that this article helped you if you are hesitating between a dormitory or a flat.

Marlène Gillard

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