Your own little comfy space for working, sleeping, chilling or else. Certainly a premise for every student who is arriving in a new city and in a completly foreign country. Especially for international students it could be pretty difficult to get a “WG-Zimmer“ in Weimar. There will be different problems standing between you and the room of your dreams! But a shared room is definitely worth the trouble. Maybe some of you know about the saying: “my home ist my castle“. Let me give you this advice, taking you one step forward to attain your own room (… or castle).
1. Finding a room
Most announcements about free rooms will be published at the digital university pin board. Sometimes you will find here an advertisment for a room. In most cases they will link you to wg-gesucht.de. WG-gesucht is the biggest website in Germany to find a free room. Nearly every WG (which is short for Wohngemeinschaft) make an advertisement about the free room at this page. Especially before the start of the winter semester, between August and October, the page will be full of announcements. Because many people apply for a room, many WG‘s want a small and well written self-introduction from you by mail. Sounds a little weird, but it helps to make a faster decision who is getting invited for an audition.
Wait a second… This sounds like an application for a job? Not in every case, but this is how it often goes. Yes, Germany is sometimes a little edgy. 😉
This might be the most important part. Your possible future flatmates do not want someone just paying the rent. They preferably live with a roomie to also talk, cook, party and in general spending time together they would like to count on you, live with someone they can trust and maybe someone who becomes a really good friend.
So first of all, your self-introduction should be honest. Write about what brings you to Weimar, what your hobbies are or if you have some special interests? What’s your idea of living together? Or if your dish washing skills are top shelf? (..bad joke I know) But these questions help your future flatmates to assess, whether you are the right person or not.
Some people might not respond. In that case you can tell, they are looking for someone else. Writing again or begging will not help. Ignorance is a timeless illness, so better leave them alone. Not everyone can be that lucky to get to know you. 😉
3. First meeting
If you are holding all the aces, they will invite you for a personal meeting. Sounds official? But it is not, so leave your office suit at home. Now it is abo
ut to getting real. When you get an invite, it means people liked your introduction and they want to get know you better! Every meeting is different, but here are some basic things you should remember:
- Be punctual – many WG-meetings are organized in tidily order so there will be other people visiting the flat before and after you
- Don’t be shy, speak with your future flatmates, make eye contact, smile… you know how it works
- Ask questions about the room, the flat and your future roommates
- Don’t bring presents to increase your chances – it will not work …
- … but if they invite you for the evening, you can bring a bottle of wine with you – as a little somthing to get some drinks and loosen up
- Be yourself.
Most of the time your possible flatmates can’t make a decision right then, because they still want to hear some other applicants or want to discuss who to pick. Sometimes that takes more than a week. So be patient, usually there is no need for further queries. They will finally inform you if you are in or out. Don’t panic if you don’t get a room on the first try, most people have serveral audtions before they find a room. So keep calm and meanwhile you can look for other places.
If nothing really helps, you can always apply for a room at the „Studierendenwerk Thüringen“. Here you can register for a student dorm. The registry is in English and the rent is in general cheaper than in a “normal” student flat.
Important: don’t miss the registration deadlines and inform yourself in time!
I hope this little manual will help you find the room (…probably not castle) of your dreams.
Good Luck and stay motivated!
Benjamin Voigt, Architektur (Master)