Do you live in a shared flat in Barcelona? Are you currently looking for a shared apartment in Barcelona?
I am! It is always difficult to move to a foreign country. I think most of you have experienced this before or you might in the near future. Being in an unfamiliar environment can be exciting and scary at the same time. Especially if you can’t speak to the locals - but I’ve mostly had good experiences. Everybody has been kind to me from the very first day that I arrived here in Barcelona
But there are so many difficulties when you are hunting for a bedroom in a shared flat in Barcelona. In Spanish this is called a “piso compartido”. Honestly, most of the people who post adverts don’t speak English so you’d better try to communicate in Spanish (or Catalán).
My other useful advice could be that you should call the owner or the person who offers the room instead of writing them e-mails because it is very likely they won’t reply. So that is quite a problem but nothing compared to when they don’t show up at the fixed appointment time that they had arranged for you.
The most important thing is to have your cell phone on you and call the Owner when you are at the building instead of wasting your time waiting for hours.
When you finally get into the apartment you should ask about anything and everything you’re interested in, especially the essentials that you need e.g. washing machine, iron, Internet and so on. This is not the time to be shy.
Always ask what is included in the price because the advertisements don’t always mention if it includes all the charges (“gastos” or "suministros" in Spanish) or not.
Fortunately I have a few advantages because a lot of adverts offer rooms only for girls (“ solo para chicas”) who are tidy, responsible and preferably students or interns - so as you see I perfectly meet their requirements.
If I had to describe my perfect shared flat in Barcelona it would be a light and airy, fully equipped flat with a furnished bedroom. I enjoy walking so it shouldn’t be too far from the SuiteLife office.
I actually don’t care if my flatmates are guys or girls, I just want to stay in a clean house, with friendly roomates, and hey, a terrace would be nice too!
I am not living on the streets now, if anyone was worried. I am actually staying with one of my beloved friends from Hungary who is also in Barcelona. I really love living with them but first I think I need to share with you some more advice about how you can live with four (or any number) Erasmus students in Barcelona.
Above all if you ever meet any cockroaches (cucarachas – I’ve never realised that the famous song is actually about these disgusting creatures) in your flat you should immediately call the cleaning service on behalf of your landlady/landlord and get the fee paid by him/her.
After you’ve got these disgusting creatures out of your mind it is time to hear my best tips for living in a shared flat:
- Never be surprised when someone eats your food that you had left in the hope that after work it will be waiting for you. Always have a plan B!
- You shouldn’t hang your underwear in front of the others especially if they are of the opposite sex.
- You’d better do your share of the cleaning of the common rooms, dish washing etc. Unless someone breaks a few eggs on the terrace, you shouldn’t clean up other people's messes, just leave the challenge to him/her.
- Finally ’Never ever ever…’ play drinking games with Erasmus students, especially if you have work the next day. You might want lock your door and not allow them to get into your room when they arrive completely drunk late at night.
So these are my experiences and first impressions of living in, and looking for, a shared flat in Barcelona and this is the best advice I can give you so far. In my opinion you should always be open-minded and have realistic expectations about what you need from a bedroom in Barcelona or from your flatmates. This type of living can be a lot of fun you just have to relax and enjoy it!
Do you have more pieces of advice or funny stories to share? Don’t hesitate to tell us, we’re also really curious about the experiences that you have!