My living arrangements, however, vary somewhat from the traditional model. Signing my housing contract significantly later than most turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I live with two German Erasmus students, neither of whom I knew before my return to Durham in October.
At breakfast each morning I am fortunate to hear the melody of fluent German. My daily immersion in the language even extends to our house WhatsApp group conversation, through which we organise cleaning rotas, discuss our plans for the weekend, and decide who’s going to buy the next Toilettenpapier.
The three of us seemed to ‘click’ right from the first weekend together. On our first evening, my housemates introduced me to the classic German comedy “Fack Ju Gӧhte“, pausing it continuously so as to interpret fast bits of colloquial German which I struggled to follow. My unique exposure to German popular culture and Jugendsprache has proven invaluable for authenticity in oral classes, and has built up my confidence for the Year Abroad.
For a proactive, sociable languages student like myself, our housing arrangement could not be more perfect. Whether I have a grammar query, an upcoming German oral presentation, or simply require a comforting presence, both girls are always happy to help me. I see them as the sisters I never had. My second year has been enriched culturally and linguistically through this lucky living arrangement, and I feel I have gained the best of both worlds – a fun, supportive household, and two wonderful friends.