Tuesday 04 October 2022

Student housing shortage forces students to travel further

Students in the Netherlands sometimes live in converted shipping containers.

Rental website Kamer.nl says students are accepting accommodations at greater and greater distances away from their campus as the housing shortage continues to bite.

Last year, the National Student Housing Monitor estimated there was a shortfall of 26,500 rooms for college and university students in the Netherlands and expects the number this year to be similar. The lack of space is forcing students to look further and further afield to find a room.

Maastricht University just opened a student residence 20 kilometers away in Sittard. All 260 spots are full. ‘Initially I tried to find a room in Maastricht. But it soon turned out to be more difficult than expected,’ student Ayaka Minamii told broadcaster NOS.

Student housing provider DUWO is looking for new options for student buildings outside cities, where the price per square metre is lower.

‘If I had the opportunity to offer all students in Amsterdam a house, I wouldn’t say no. But that’s not possible, so you have to make the most of it,’ Gijsbert Mull, managing director of DUWO told the NOS. His organisation has building projects ongoing in Hoofddorp, Voorschoten, Haarlem and Almere.

International students are especially hard-hit by the shortage. In July, the University of Amsterdam told international students telling them not to come if they have not found a place to live by August 15.

‘Attending a potential viewing is also impossible from abroad, and even if I travelled to Amsterdam, there is no guarantee that I would get a chance to see these these rooms,’ Hungarian student Iván László Nagy told Dutch News. He’s hoping to start a master’s degree program at UvA in the fall.

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