ResLiving Staff can help!

If you are needing additional help building a relationship with your roommate, please do not hesitate to contact your RA or someone in our office. We want to help!

International Programs can help!

International Programs staff can provide you with additional support in navigating a relationship with your roommate, as well as great opportunities to get involved!

Check out their website

So, you have an American roommate...


We in the Office of Residential Living understand that living in a different culture than your own can be challenging.  Here are some things about American culture that will hopefully provide some information to you and help you to adjust better and more smoothly to life at Washburn.  Even though this information may be helpful, it is also important to understand that it is a generalization of American culture, and you are likely to experience Americans that are very different than what you may read about American culture.

  • If you need help, or want to know something, don’t be afraid to ask.  Americans will be willing to help you if you ask for it, but if you don’t ask, they will assume that you understand, and /or everything is ok.
  • Americans are typically open and direct.  They will often speak up and make their opinions heard.  You will see this in the classroom and in personal relationships.  It is not uncommon in American culture for people to challenge each other’s views and opinions and still be friends.  You may also hear the phrase, “We can agree to disagree,” acknowledging that they may have different opinions and that is ok.
  • If someone offers you something like food or drink, it is ok to accept upon the first offer if you would like it.  This is contrary to some cultures where it is considered polite to refuse two or three times before saying yes.  It is also ok to politely refuse something that is offered to you if you do not want it.
  • If you do not understand what is being said to you, it is not considered impolite to ask someone to repeat themselves, or phrase something differently.  This is similar to the idea that if you need something, ask, because Americans won’t always offer again or ask if there is something you need.
  • Homesickness and culture shock are real things that students experience.  If you are feeling like you miss home a lot and are having trouble adjusting to Washburn there are many different people who can help you: Your Resident Assistant, International Programs, or Counseling Services.
  • Know that your Resident Assistant (RA) is there to help.  They are a student living in your hall that has been trained to help residents with any of their needs.  RAs can help with everything from located resources on campus to helping mediate conflict between roommates.  If you have an issue with your living situation, your RA is the first person you should talk to about it to get help and advice!