Universities in the Netherlands usually do not provide international students with traditional on-campus accommodation. After your application is approved, the international office at your Dutch educational institution will offer you several accommodation options to choose from. They will send you information about available housing, along with reservation forms.
They can also provide you with a list of housing agencies which have agreements with the university regarding accommodation for new international students. It is best to take advantage of these offers and arrange housing before your arrival so that you are guaranteed a place to stay.
Universities usually offer international first-year Bachelor’s and Master’s students the option of living in pre-arranged student housing. Student who came for preparatory or short courses also should arrange a living space through their institution and well in advance. For example, read how students of NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences find a place to live and how VU University Amsterdam provides its students with housing.
Student housing is generally provided by a housing corporation which makes agreements with universities to provide a certain amount of rooms for international students every year. Students who want to use university's assistance with accommodation should start their application procedure well in advance.
After this first year, or in some cases 6 months, students generally begin to look for housing on their own.
The price of rent varies (typically between €300 and €600 per month), depending on the type of room students prefer and the city they live in, and usually includes utilities and internet. All rooms are furnished. Overall, Dutch student housing is the second-most expensive in Europe, with Amsterdam being the most expensive city in Holland.
There are several types of rooms offered at most of the larger institutions:
- The first is an apartment-style type of room in which the student shares the living area, bathroom, and kitchen facilities with 1-3 roommates. Each student has their own private bedroom.
- The second type is a private bedroom with a private bathroom. Kitchen and living area facilities are shared between all of the students living on that floor or corridor.
- The third type is usually the cheapest option. Students get their own private bedroom while sharing bathroom, kitchen, and living area facilities with other students on the floor. Depending on the size of the building, students may share facilities with anywhere from 10-20 other students.
- Some universities setup their own special accommodation for students.
Student housing is probably the easiest way of securing accommodation during your study. During the application process, most universities give you the option of requesting help with finding housing.
You then select your preference of rooms, if there are multiple options, and pay the applicable deposit, administration, or service fees. Living on a student housing campus makes it easier to make new friends and to have a very fulfilling student experience as many of the universities and student associations organize events there. It is also the most stress-free option when it comes to finding housing.
However, it is very important to make sure that you apply well ahead of any due dates and to respond to any housing offers as soon as you can. Otherwise, you may risk losing your room reservation and possibly a deposit. Note that some universities may require students to live on campus for a portion of their study.
Colleges at universities in The Netherlands offer their students accommodation in dorms or residence halls. This accommodation often includes dining halls and other facilities. Students usually live together ‘on campus’ during all three years of their undergraduate education. Read about student accommodation at the Amsterdam University College.
Student hotels in Holland
Student Hotels are another option for students living in Amsterdam or Rotterdam. These all-inclusive facilities offer affordable fully furnished rooms with large (40m²) shared kitchen facilities and more than 1.000m² of quiet study space. The suites offer free Wi-Fi and private en-suite bathrooms and the facilities also include social areas and feature 24-hour security to ensure a safe environment. Students can book a room or suite for a whole academic year, a semester, or just one night. For more info and to book online, visit the Student Hotel website (thestudenthotel.com).
Arranging housing on your own
It is also possible to arrange housing on your own. However, this option tends to be much more difficult and potentially more expensive. There are many resources available to students that wish to find their own housing such as a wide variety of English rental sites online (directwonen.nl, kamerstart.nl, easykamer.nl, kamernet.nl, etc.) and many rental agencies that can help to find a place to live.
Rental agencies may be of service as many of the agents speak English and know the housing market exceptionally well. However, they tend to charge commission fees and can have additional requirements for students such as income requirements.
The Dutch government offers an allowance for people with a low income to help offset the costs of rent. This allowance is called huurtoeslag and is available for people who fit the criteria. Many of the housing corporations have agreements with the government that make students living in certain conditions eligible for this allowance. It is best to ask your housing provider if your circumstances make you eligible.
Average prices for rooms in The Netherlands for the 2014 year (in euro):