A roommate is a person who shares a living facility such as an apartment or dormitory.
Exchange students can live in university residences but a growing amount want to share apartments with other international students in shared apartments.
Roommates and house-sharing are not limited to students and young adults however. In Indian universities and colleges it is quite common that students share their rooms with a couple of others.
Many websites are specialized in finding a flatmate.
On the other hand, it is less common for people of any age to live with roommates in some countries, such as Japan, where single-person one-room apartments are plentiful.
This has been seen extensively in cities such as Washington D. Student exchanges are getting more and more popular with globalization and has influenced a lot in the Roommate Boom.
The Erasmus exchange program in Europe has contributed as being the biggest exchange program in Europe.
In many rental markets, the monthly rent for a two- or three-bedroom apartment is proportionately less per bedroom than the rent for a one-bedroom apartment (in other words, a three-bedroom flat costs more than a one-bedroom, but not three times as much).
By pooling their monthly housing money, a group of people can achieve a lower housing expense at the cost of less privacy.
There are many different forms of flat shares also, from the more established flat shares where the flatmate will get their own room that is furnished to "couch surfing" where people lend their sofa for a short period.