Do you need to find a roommate in your new country before you relocate? Finding the right roommate is difficult when you are simply moving to a new city–searching for a compatible roommate thousands of miles away is even more daunting. Find out how to successfully search for and find the perfect overseas roommate with these helpful tips.
One of the best ways to get started roommate hunting before your move overseas is using an online tool. There are a variety of websites online where you can search for available roommates and housing–anywhere in the world. While many of these websites only offer services in the U.S., there are several that can connect you with roomies overseas. Some of the top roommate-hunting websites with listing in foreign countries include:
- Sublet.com (while not exclusively a roommate site, it could be useful when seeking affordable housing–you may not need a roommate if you find a great sublet!)
You can also try checking listings on Craigslist.org, but always remember to be wary–the website has a reputation for scams and should be used with caution and discretion.
Network/Ask your employer
If you are moving overseas for work, networking can be a great way to find a trustworthy roommate. Ask your professional contacts in your new country if they have any friends, family, or associates that are looking for a roommate. Finding a roommate through someone you know is safer and more reliable, and allows you to find out more about the individual before you decide to share a home together.
Ask important questions
Once you have found a potential roommate, make sure to ask him or her some important questions to ensure he or she is not only reliable, but compatible with you. Questions to ask include:
- Do you smoke?
- Have you lived with roommates before?
- Do you have a job? What type of job?
- Do you have pets?
- How long do you need a roommate for?
- What are your standards/expectations for cleanliness? Noise?
If you will be moving into your roommate’s existing apartment or home, you may want to ask questions about the size of the space, the cost of rent, and the conditions of the lease. If you will be getting a new place together, who’s names will be on the lease? How will you pay for rent each month? How will you divide up other expenses? Living with a roommate is a complicated arrangement, and it’s important to cover all pertinent topics before moving in–especially when you are starting a whole new life in a country. Being unexpectedly evicted in a foreign place where you know very few people can be a disastrous thing to experience.
Get a native roommate
While you may be tempted to find a fellow expat as a roommate to stay in your comfort zone, living with a local can yield many benefits. If you must learn a new language in your new home country, having a live-in coach will be useful. Ideally, an optimal roommate will speak both your language and the native tongue, so you can effectively communicate as well as practice the local dialect. A native roommate can also show you around town, and recommend the best places to shop dine, or grab a drink. You will assimilate to your new culture and feel comfortable quicker if you resist the temptation to live with a fellow expat.
Consider more than cost
Though you may want to save a dollar and find the most affordable place to live when moving overseas on a tight budget, choosing your roommate based on the rent of their place is not always the best idea. Consider the size and neighborhood of the accommodations, and your compatibility of the roommate(s) you will share it with. Are they of similar age? Is there enough space for everyone to be comfortable? Will you be able to communicate easily? Does everyone smoke, even if you despise the habit? Make sure to ask all pertinent questions about the space and your roommate(s) before making a decision–no matter how appealing the monthly rate may be.