Rooming with an AUAP Student

Frequently Asked Questions

I would like to have an AUAP student as my roommate.  What should I do?

We are glad you are considering becoming a roommate to an AUAP student!  If you would like to room with an AUAP student, please check the appropriate box in the online housing application.


Does everyone who requests an AUAP roommate get one?

Those people who request an AUAP student when they fill out the online housing application will be given priority, but it is no guarantee that you will be assigned an AUAP roommate. 


Where on campus do AUAP students live?

AUAP students are placed in all WWU residence halls except Birnam Wood, New York , and Ridgeway.  If you are planning to request an AUAP student as your roommate, you should apply for housing in one of the dorms where AUAP students are typically placed. 


Will I be able to communicate with my AUAP roommate before they arrive on campus?

Probably.  After you have received your roommate match letter in the mail, you will receive an e-mail in your WWU account from our program with detailed information about how to contact your roommate in Japan.   If you don't receive anything, please send us an e-mail to that includes your AUAP roommate's first and last name. 


How well will my AUAP roommate speak English?

AUAP students generally begin their program at WWU at a low-intermediate level.  That means they will be able to communicate with you on a basic level, introduce themselves, tell you about their hobbies and interests, make plans to eat with you in the dining hall, etc . . .  Most Japanese students begin learning English during elementary school and continue to study through university.  However, they are not accustomed to slang, fast speech, or sarcasm.  At first, try speaking slowly and using only formal English that they would have seen in their textbooks. 

Click here for a list of communication tips. 


When will my AUAP roommate arrive on campus?

Two groups of AUAP students come to Western each year.  In the fall (September), AUAP students arrive the Sunday before WWU classes begin.  Typically, students arrive on campus between 10am and 1pm.  Our second group of students arrive in late February (about 2/3 of the way through winter quarter).  See the program calendar for more detailed information. 


I’m moving in earlier than my AUAP roommate, how should I set up my room?

With any roommate, it is a good idea to discuss the set-up of your room together before you set it up.  However, if you are moving in before your AUAP roommate and you must set up the furniture before they arrive, keep the following in mind:

1. Japanese people traditionally sleep on beds that are very close to the floor.  In general, Japanese students feel very uncomfortable sleeping on a bunk or lofted bed.

2. Japanese culture places a large emphasis on promoting harmony and diminishing potential conflicts.  If a Japanese student is unhappy with the location of their furniture when they arrive they probably will not tell you about it for fear of causing a conflict and stressing your relationship. 

3.  AUAP students do not bring as much stuff to school as you will.  However, they will notice if you use up more than your share of the room. Make sure your AUAP roommate is fairly represented as you divide up your space! 

4.  Remember, your AUAP roommate is from a different country! They see you as an expert at living in America and may expect you to host them to a certain extent. Placing a welcome card or a note on their desk is a nice touch and will go a long way. 


What will my AUAP roommate be brining to campus?

Your AUAP roommate will be flying to the US from Japan.  They will bring 1 or 2 large suitcases and ship a couple of large boxes.  AUAP students will not be brining any large items for the room such as a refrigerator or microwave. 


What is an IPA?

International Peer Advisors (IPAs) are students who work in the residence halls as advisors to AUAP students.  Each IPA is responsible for a group of about 10 AUAP students. Part of an IPAs job is to help facilitate relationships between roommates.  IPAs will introduce themselves to you when your roommate moves in.  Feel free to contact an IPA any time you have a question or concern about your AUAP roommate.  IPA contact information can be found on our staff page


How long will my AUAP roommate be at WWU?

AUAP students study at WWU for one five-month term. So, if your roommate is moving in in September they will leave in February. If they move in in February, they will stay through summer quarter. 


What will happen when my AUAP roommate moves out?

When your AUAP roommate moves out you will have a couple of options. 

1.  You can request to have another AUAP roommate.

2.  You can have a friend move into the empty spot.

3.  You can wait for housing to assign a new roommate to your room.

If you would like to host another AUAP student or have a friend move into the empty space in your room you should talk to the Residence Life staff in your building at least a month before your AUAP roommate moves out. 

*If you have additional questions please e-mail  We'll get back to you as soon as we can!