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What is it like to live in student housing?

Spurningaskrá 2012-2
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Dear student housing resident

The purpose of the questionnaire is to collect information about making one’s home in student housing. We are interested to learn how the home is composed and decorated, how the feeling of being at home is created and how people experience their home; how it is used on an everyday basis. First and foremost, we are asking about your own experience, although we find it interesting to learn about what you've heard others say. All sorts of information related to the subject is welcomed, whether or not it responds directly to questions posed in the questionnaire. This is not a competition about the best text, each and every contribution is highly appreciated.

The questionnaire is part of a MA-project in folkloristics/ethnology and it is sent out in collaboration with the Icelandic Student Services (FS). They will offer one lucky participant up to 70.000 kr. reduction of rent for the month of May. To be eligible for the prize you need to answer with care before 12:00 on the 27th of April. Furthermore, the National Museum of Iceland will give away invitations for two to its exhibit to 100 respondents, each ticket for two being worth 2400 krónur.


You should have received detailed instructions on how to answer the questions online, if not please send an email to agust@thjodminjasafn.is. You can either give your answerafter each question or you can answer all the questions in a continuous speech if you prefer (see chapter 1-5).

It´s possible to answer the questions in parts, e.g. one chapter at time, and continue later. At all times it is necessary to save your answers.

In chapter 4 we ask you to take photographs of your home. Please use the following link http://www.sendspace.com/ to forward your photos to the Museum. The recipient is agust@thjodminjasafn.is.

Couples are asked to answer seperately.

If you wish your contribution to be preserved anonymously your name will be effaced from the database.

If you require any further information, please call 530 2273 or email agust@thjodminjasafn.is.


The Apartment:

How long have you lived in student housing? Where did you live before? What is it like to live in student housing? Do you spend much time in your apartment? When do you like being there and when do you not? What are the primary positive aspects of the apartment? What about negative aspects?

The Home:

What was the first thing you did when you moved in (e.g. clean, light candles, let in air, put up curtains)? When did the apartment turn into a "home" and which factors made it a "home"? Do you feel your home says something about you or is it in any way characteristic of you as a person? In what way?

What do you think creates the "feeling of home" or makes an apartment "homey" (e.g. smells, sound, lighting, music)? Do you do something to create a "homey" atmosphere? Describe what you consider to be a perfect home.

The Neighbours:

How is the relationship with your neighbours? Do people have much/little in common (e.g. parties, babysitting, visits)? How is the common-area used? Do the kids (if any) play together? What is the root of debates with neighbours (e.g. noise, misconduct, bad smell)? Do you try to get to know your neighbours or do you keep your distance?

Photos / The Look of Things:

For this part you are asked to take photos of your apartment. First an overview from each space (e.g. kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom) where you can see windows, doors, furniture and fixtures (5-10 photos). Second a more personal approach where you are asked to take pictures of objects, decorations and furniture that are important to you, as well as your favourite place in the apartment (5-10 photos).

You are asked to label the photos with numbers and talk about what you chose to take a picture of and why you chose it. What do you have on the walls? Who made the curtains? Where does the furniture come from? Is it new or second hand (e.g. from goodwill shops, relatives, bought especially for this place or did you have it before moving here)? Is some of the furniture dearer to you than other furniture? Why? What about smaller objects and decorations? Do these things remind you of something, do they come with stories? Tell us about them.

Your Childhood Home:

You are asked to talk about your childhood home in a few words. How many people lived there? How big was the apartment or the house? Did you often move from one place to another (were there special reasons for that)?

In what way do you look to your childhood home when creating your own? What do you try to avoid? How do you distinguish your home from the place you grew up in?