The Student Room Group

issue w/ international student flatmates

hi everyone! i'm just here to find out if anyone is currently "suffering" from the same issue as i am/rant a bit about my situation.

basically, i'm one of the only non-foreign students in my uni dorm (most of the students in the flat are either chinese or indian), and i've noticed a trend of uncleanliness while living with them.

they tend to leave their stuff around, especially different oil spillages that seep into the countertops, not to mention how they never take out the bins and how they tend to leave their dirty dishes everywhere. i've also started noticing how their food stains our walls with sticky oil-like substance after being cooked, which i've tried to scrub off with no luck. the oil makes the whole kitchen stink to the point where it gets stuck on my clothes when i just go and pick up something from the fridge. i rarely cook in there due to the terrible smell-- even air fresheners don't help!

i've tried talking with them, but due to the language barrier with most of my flatmates, i've had a hard time getting my point across. so, basically, do you guys have some tips and tricks on how you've been able to communicate with your foreign student flatmates? and if you guys know any tips and tricks on how to get the oil off the wall, pls share!
Original post by prettyyvibe
hi everyone! i'm just here to find out if anyone is currently "suffering" from the same issue as i am/rant a bit about my situation.

basically, i'm one of the only non-foreign students in my uni dorm (most of the students in the flat are either chinese or indian), and i've noticed a trend of uncleanliness while living with them.

they tend to leave their stuff around, especially different oil spillages that seep into the countertops, not to mention how they never take out the bins and how they tend to leave their dirty dishes everywhere. i've also started noticing how their food stains our walls with sticky oil-like substance after being cooked, which i've tried to scrub off with no luck. the oil makes the whole kitchen stink to the point where it gets stuck on my clothes when i just go and pick up something from the fridge. i rarely cook in there due to the terrible smell-- even air fresheners don't help!

i've tried talking with them, but due to the language barrier with most of my flatmates, i've had a hard time getting my point across. so, basically, do you guys have some tips and tricks on how you've been able to communicate with your foreign student flatmates? and if you guys know any tips and tricks on how to get the oil off the wall, pls share!


TBH this sounds like a problem with "students" as distinct from "internationals", many people arrive at university with radically different levels of house training and expectations of cleanliness. Odds are you won't change your flatmates way of living, you might ask to swap flats if the situation really bugs you if it is uni run.
Original post by Mr Wednesday
TBH this sounds like a problem with "students" as distinct from "internationals", many people arrive at university with radically different levels of house training and expectations of cleanliness. Odds are you won't change your flatmates way of living, you might ask to swap flats if the situation really bugs you if it is uni run.

I agree with the writer and think it’s a cultural problem. In my three years at university I never had a problem with messy flatmates. Yes they were slow at cleaning and made an occasional mess, but going into my 4th year and sharing a kitchen with an international student it’s an extreme annoying of mess. Rice all over the floor, sticky substance all over the bin, grease in the microwave buttons because food was on his hands. His food leaks from his shelf to mine in the fridge because he doesn’t seal his containers. Most people I know who have international flatmates, (mainly from Nigeria, India or Pakistan) have had the same complaint. Telling them their messy does nothing as they simply don’t care or respect the communal space enough to improve cleanliness.
Countless, countless threads about both home and international students being scumbags with regards to cleanliness. It’s a thoughtless person thing.
Original post by prettyyvibe
hi everyone! i'm just here to find out if anyone is currently "suffering" from the same issue as i am/rant a bit about my situation.

basically, i'm one of the only non-foreign students in my uni dorm (most of the students in the flat are either chinese or indian), and i've noticed a trend of uncleanliness while living with them.

they tend to leave their stuff around, especially different oil spillages that seep into the countertops, not to mention how they never take out the bins and how they tend to leave their dirty dishes everywhere. i've also started noticing how their food stains our walls with sticky oil-like substance after being cooked, which i've tried to scrub off with no luck. the oil makes the whole kitchen stink to the point where it gets stuck on my clothes when i just go and pick up something from the fridge. i rarely cook in there due to the terrible smell-- even air fresheners don't help!

i've tried talking with them, but due to the language barrier with most of my flatmates, i've had a hard time getting my point across. so, basically, do you guys have some tips and tricks on how you've been able to communicate with your foreign student flatmates? and if you guys know any tips and tricks on how to get the oil off the wall, pls share!

Hey!

I totally understand what you are going through. I am myself an international student, and language and cultural barriers makes things very difficult to communicate. I feel that you should see your flatmates as not international students, but like just any other home student. This kind of behavior is pretty much expected out of any student, trust me, it's been 6 years, since I have left home. It's very tough to find flatmates who keep the flat clean. Further, to communicate your point properly, you can hold a flat meeting and discuss how you can mutually keep the flat clean, e.g. you can have a ROTA, or maybe everyone is conscious of their own spillages etc. You can discuss everything during the meeting. In terms of language and cultural barrier, I would just say you need to be a bit patient, and slowly talk in English. They are studying in UK, that means they understand basic English. And for tough sentences, you can use Google translator. If the things still don't workout, you can talk to the accommodation department, and tell them your concerns. They will be able to help you through this situations. Hope this helps!

Best Wishes
Priya :smile:
Postgraduate Ambassador
University of Southampton
Reply 5
Original post by prettyyvibe
hi everyone! i'm just here to find out if anyone is currently "suffering" from the same issue as i am/rant a bit about my situation.

basically, i'm one of the only non-foreign students in my uni dorm (most of the students in the flat are either chinese or indian), and i've noticed a trend of uncleanliness while living with them.

they tend to leave their stuff around, especially different oil spillages that seep into the countertops, not to mention how they never take out the bins and how they tend to leave their dirty dishes everywhere. i've also started noticing how their food stains our walls with sticky oil-like substance after being cooked, which i've tried to scrub off with no luck. the oil makes the whole kitchen stink to the point where it gets stuck on my clothes when i just go and pick up something from the fridge. i rarely cook in there due to the terrible smell-- even air fresheners don't help!

i've tried talking with them, but due to the language barrier with most of my flatmates, i've had a hard time getting my point across. so, basically, do you guys have some tips and tricks on how you've been able to communicate with your foreign student flatmates? and if you guys know any tips and tricks on how to get the oil off the wall, pls share!

Hopefully the smell is not actually so bad that it transfers to you and you smell of it through the day. It would be unusual for oil to cause that pungent a smell if you are not visiting the kitchen for long as seems to be the case.

If you can't communicate verbally with them, following advice above, try putting a very polite notice up with a few reasonable requests.

If that's ignored then ask to be moved If you find it unbearable. If you don't want to do that then perhaps you will have to tolerate it.

If the smell is strong then if you put 4 or 5 good quality bathroom airfresheners around the kitchen it will help. You have to replace them every so often.

It is a very common issue. My daughter and her flatmates had this issue with two male international students. The boys were filthy around the kitchen and really disrespectful in this way. The girls didn't put it down to the boys being international or even male. It happens in many cases with non international students. It's just people and probably more common with students as they are less likely to have learned to clean up after themselves.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 6
In terms of dealing with strong smells, I have two dogs and I'm always aware of the possibility of rooms in my house smelling of dog. Alongside other methods and solutions I use good quality air fresheners regularly and they do work.
(edited 2 months ago)

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