Karlsruhe #3: Dorm Life

25 May

It’s been five weeks I’m in Karlsruhe, or, to be more precise, living in this student housing called International Department. Not just a housing for the students, this building is where the department itself is located. There are offices of the administrations, such as the academic advisor, the housing manager, the marketing people, etc. Also, most, if not all, the classes are held here. It’s interesting that this so-called International Department is a part of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, while it has been given the autonomy to manage everything by itself. All the classes are taught in English instead of German. The tuition is multiple times that of the German institute. That’s so much about the background of it.

I will focus on what it looks and feels like to live here in the International Department. As an information, I lived at the residence hall while I was in Purdue, so much of the comparison will be against it. Let’s first take a look how the housing system works.

Living Room

Living Room

The rooms are set up with clusters. Each cluster has a common living room and kitchen. It is provided with stoves, an oven, two refrigerators, and a freezer. In addition to that, there are sofas and coffee table. Most of the kitchens have televisions even though they are not provided. Also, some kitchenwares are already available from the previous residents, such as microwave, toaster, pans and pots, etc. The cool thing about this place is the freedom given to the residents. The rules of the kitchen usage, the refrigerator space and such things are not defined by the department, but instead are based on the mutual consent of all the residents at the particular cluster. In a way, it’s just like an apartment. However, such a great flexibility does come with a consequence. Just as college students’ apartments would be (especially guys’ rooms, =D ), once the school starts and everyone is busy with things here and there, they tend to leave the cleanliness of the common space behind.

Kitchen

Chaotic Kitchen

Unwashed kitchenwares, unknown books and bottles lying around, trash everywhere. Typical. This is the point where regulations and well-written rules are more useful.

Imagine living with six other guys and each has different tidiness level. Disaster. From a personal experience, I used to live with a roommate on my freshman year, and we indeed had a different perception of tidiness, thus the similar situation. In such a situation, however, I don’t know how to act. I simply feel stuck in the middle, not knowing where to go. It’s the circumstances where whichever decision you choose, at least one person would be unhappy about it. Luckily, some of the people here also have the initiative to clean up the place, so at least we have done a “deep-cleaning” once so far. =)

In conclusion, I think the lessons here are:

1. For the future GEARE Karlsruhe students, what to expect if you choose to stay in the International Department,

2. In general, it’s good for one to be able to decide what to do when you are stuck in such a situation where you have to decide between two options, as long as the decision made is the right one.


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One Response to “Karlsruhe #3: Dorm Life”

  1. Arash Moosaei March 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Hello,
    I am a student at Ulm University. I study Energy Science and Technology at M.S level. I have finished the third semester and I am going to do an internship in a company in Karlsruhe. I need a room for at least 6months. I have tried to find a vacant room but up to now, I have received no response. I would be grateful if you help me.
    Regards,
    Arash

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