So you’re ready to start house hunting. Before you can shoot you have to know where to aim, so here are a few useful tips for a successful search. Hunting season is open from May onwards, but the largest crowds don’t start looking until July. So if you want best pick, start early. Even though it is easier to find a room in Groningen than in other Dutch student cities such as Leiden, Amsterdam or Utrecht, you can still experience some difficulties finding a room. Another advantage of rooms in Groningen is that prices are usually a little lower than in the previously mentioned student cities.
It might seem quite overwhelming when you first start looking for a room, but it certainly helps when you know where to look for it. Even if you’re in Groningen and don’t have a room yet, there’s no need to despair. You can spend the first days at the BudGett Hostel or Simplon Youth Hotel and look from there for something more permanent. Here are a few useful resources to help you find a room—and don’t forget the RUG’s and Hanze UAS’ Facebook pages, as vacant rooms are often posted there.
Do you want to live in a large student house and enjoy daily activities? Then you should apply for a room at the Housing Office, who are in charge of, among other things, the city’s international student houses. Most of you are probably already familiar with this through the RUG or Hanze UAS, but the Housing Office is the first go-to place when looking for an accommodation. The office is located on the Friesestraatweg, and their website details how they can help you: www.housingoffice.nl. They recommend applying three months in advance, but occasionally rooms become available on a first come first serve basis. For exchange students, the housing office is by far the most common way to find a temporary and furnished room. Permanent students often start out in a Housing Office location, but then quickly move on to another room. You can check out a video omn the Housing Office here.
The largest room search website of the Netherlands. Dozens of available rooms in Groningen are listed here, and you can indicate your maximum budget to ease your search: http://kamernet.nl/huren/kamer-groningen. For some rooms you can apply free of charge, but for others you’ll need to purchase the so-called “response-credits” from the website. This minor expense is well-worth it, as many students are able to find a room relatively quickly through the website. Do keep in mind that most rooms are not available right away.
Similar to Kamernet. The website is only in Dutch, but Google Translate will help you to understand the necessary details. If not, simply ask a Dutch student, they’ll be happy to translate for you. And if you’re not in the Netherlands yet, you can always email the International Office or your ESN mentor for help. Becoming a member and looking at all rooms is free, but to respond to ads you again have to pay a fee.
There is a number of associations that lets rooms to foreign students. Lefier is one of the largest ones, and their website is available in English. They have buildings all over town, for example in Selwerd close to the Zernike campus. You will have to pay a one-time registration fee of thirty Euros, but they will then keep on offering rooms to you until you succeed.
Real Estate Agency
When all of the above mentioned options have still left you without a room, you could consider consulting a real estate agent. This is a relatively expensive way to find a room, but real estate agencies do have a constant supply of well-kept rooms. They can help you find a room or an apartment in case you have found some likeminded souls who also need housing.
Alternatively you can also take a look at The Student Hotel, a bit more expensive, but with many facilities included.
Move within your own house
Once you find a room, you will notice that many Groninger students manage to find even better or larger rooms through networking once they find a place. It is quite common to move once or twice during your student years, as you’re likely to meet friends who need a new housemate—and what’s better than to live with your best friends! Also, if you live in a student house, it is normal to upgrade within the house; if a larger room becomes vacant, you’ll have the first option to make this your new little hangout. And moving within your house saves you the trouble of dragging your stuff all over town!