Finding student accommodation might be one of the most difficult things you must take care of as a freshman. Usually, seniors or sophomores have the upper hand with finding accommodation, since they have a network they can reach out to, and friends they can immediately move in with (since it’s usually required to have a set number of people per shared apartment). You usually end up competing with many people at the start of a semester for it.
The following freshman guide will give you tips on finding housing in the Netherlands
Freshman Guide Tip #1: Surveying Prices
If you are the type of student that does not have care about the prices of housing, then you will have higher chances of finding a place soon. Of course, you’re in a completely different boat if you have a limited budget to work with. Either way, you should explore College Life Housing to find housing providers in your city that provide deals within your budget.
In order to avoid all the ruckus, here’s what you must do. First of all, set a time frame to look for rooms so you can look for them efficiently. This is when you get to compare the prices and facilities of the room of your choice.
Furthermore, make sure of the method of payment. Is it on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis? After finding the right room, don’t forget to pay the landlord upfront (unless said otherwise). Ask also for a receipt if you do. This serves as a guarantee so those looking for housing won’t be able to take your room (and you’ll likely avoid any scams).
Freshman Guide Tip #2: Strategic Housing
If you don’t have any means of transportation, it will be better to choose housing that’s near campus. That is because it saves time and money.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to wake up and not have to rush to your lecture since it’s literally right next door? A shorter distance also makes it easier when you frequently forget something at home and have to run back for it. But of course, don’t make this a habit since you might end up being the latest one to class every time!
Besides housing with a shorter distance to campus, you should pick one that is close to supermarkets and drugstores! This will make your life easier.
Freshman Guide Tip #3: Room Utilities
Unless you are an exchange student, you will usually spend at least one year in your new student accommodation. In your room, you will sleep, study, eat, rave, repeat… you know it.
Also, keep in mind that Dutch houses are small. And the rooms within those houses? Yes, you got it. They’re even smaller. This means that usually, you will have to do the activities that would have been done in a different room – now, in one single room. For this reason, you should choose a cosy place. A place that will make you feel comfortable through the entire year and not one, that would keep you in the library until late at night (since you’re scared of what’s hiding under your bed).
There are a lot of things that you have to consider when getting a room. For example, is the room big or small? Is there any ventilation system to air things out? Are the bathrooms private or shared?
Start with figuring out whether your rent is exclusive or inclusive utilities, such as gas, water, electricity and internet. Most student accommodation includes these utilities, however, given recent shortages in student housing in the Netherlands, it is likely that you will be required to rent out a room without utilities. If this is the case, do the following.
- Find an energy supplier for gas & electricity through College Life Deals
- Find an internet provider.
- Ask your landlord / agency which water supplier is available for your room.
You also need to pay attention whether you are renting out a furnished or unfurnished apartment. Unfurnished apartments are almost completely empty, except for a couple essential appliances (kitchen, bathroom etc.). Usually, you can expect that even flooring is missing. Fully furnished apartments have everything you need to start living in them (bed, couches etc.).
Freshman Guide Tip #4: Security
So this is one of the things that you most definitely have to consider! We recommend picking a room in a safe neighbourhood. Do pick ones that have no dark and secluded alleyways. Research has shown that brighter alleyways bring reduce crime rates (although you shouldn’t worry about this too much in the Netherlands).
Follow this freshman guide and finding housing for you won’t be hard anymore!