Friday, June 2, 2017

German dorm life is definitely different from what I have experienced in Hawaii dorms.  There are no resident advisors to take care of any of your problems when they will arise.  There usually is a “house master” whose office hours are literally 1 hour of 1 day during the week.  Most communication needs to be done through email.

Germans told me that they tend to yell at people before getting an outside authority involved.  Rarely are the police called, since most people will acknowledge they are bothering others, and try to refrain from being a continued annoyance.  However, many times alcohol is involved.  A drunken person, who clearly is not as able to comprehend how they are behaving, is going to be more difficult than a sober person.

Alcohol is NOT a way of life in Germany.  It is true that Germans are allowed to drink beer and wine starting at 16, and all other liquors at 18.  Germans apparently fear behaving so poorly in public that they will not be welcome back to an establishment, or be embarrassed by people telling them to watch how much they drink next time.  For this reason, Germans try to be conscientious of their behavior. 

Others (international students under the impression that public intoxication is mandatory in Germany) may not be as aware.  Many of those in international dorms are experiencing life for the 1st time away from their parents or any type of authority figures.  So their behavior is less than acceptable many times.

There was 1 pleasant thing I found about German dorms though.  Co-ed is truly co-ed.  Whereas in Hawaii, you will only have same-sex individuals sharing a flat, German dorms try to integrate the sexes.  While this may not be as advantageous to the women (since men it seems tend to be messier and lack the ability to comprehend personal hygiene…at least the ones I’ve seen living in communal situations), it does seem to work out.  None of the international women seemed to mind living with someone of the opposite sex.  Not in the same room mind you...everyone has their own private room, but a flat is shared with up to 5 people, and it helps foster more of a community.

Many American women also seemed very happy to have males living with them, although I suspect that since many of them had put their relationships on a hold while studying abroad, they were there for something more than just academic. 

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