Moving in and out from houses
As a full time student, you will get to rotate around Groningen’s neighborhoods a few times before the graduation. I was unlucky and lucky to change my house every year. So, in total, I have lived in 5 different houses, in different neighborhoods of Groningen. The lucky part was that I met some new people who were my new flatmates. And let’s not forget the good arm/hand/shoulder workout lasting a week. Apart from that, I have lived in other countries meanwhile the full-time study, so in total I have lived in 8 different houses. Even now, after so much experience of moving around, I feel unease each time of knowing I need to change the house. It is hard, time and money consuming and you wish you were rich… And even as a student, we accumulate so much useless things… as the sticker that you really liked 3 months ago at an event and now you do not want to throw it away, but you also don’t want to carry it around along with the rest of the things.
In comparison to many other countries and their renting room process, in the Netherlands, the chance to find an unfurnished room is very high. This means you will need to buy at least a bed and after that some dishes for cooking, wardrobe, a chair, a desk a lamp… and soon you realize your bank account is lighter with 200 euro. (Off the topic, for the inexperienced first-time moving foreigners in a new country- it always costs at least 1000 euro!) And then transport and carry to your new room all the pullovers, shoes, summer clothes that you never use and textbooks…
As an exchange student, you will be terrified from all of this and you wouldn’t like to invest in a country where you came just for 6 months. Probably, it is easier to find a room which is a sublet room for a period of a half a year. However, some agencies which rent furnished rooms with some 10 years old Ikea furniture would charge you 200 euros additionally per month which will be included in the rent. So, if you break this strong, old, Ikea furniture, you will be charged money for negligence. This is crazy! Check out my blog about how to furnish your room cheaply here.
Back to complaining about the real struggle. How do you even move all these things, if you don’t have a car; your fiends don’t have a car, and your parents are 1000 km away… Well, the short answer is alone. But if you are a lucky person, maybe someone of your friends might have a car, or maybe it is enough just to have friends who will physically help you with carrying boxes around. Renting a professional transportation company is also not cheap but for sure there are some alternative ways which are will list below:
- Call a taxi- one friend did that but he had just a few small boxes.
- Rent a car- if you have the money to rent it at first place, but after renting you the rental deposit and then the total moving price will be low.
- Message Groningen Transportation Service on FB. It is one cool, helping man with an old, white van. You pay him as much as you think he deserves. He helped me with lifting up some boxes but for sure it is better to have a friend around for that because he is there just for the transportation.
- Rent a bakfiets- or a bike with an enormous trunk in front of the bike. You can transport a sofa, bed, and boxes around. Yet, keep in mind that is hard to bike with a heavy, loaded bike and if you are moving far away from your current point you would do a great leg workout day. And you would need to return the bike back to the shop…
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You can rent one from a shop at Grote Markt; or from Ikea.
- Or take a big backpack and load everything in it. A great back workout day!
- Suggestions about searching for extra hands in helping you would be writing in FB groups Professional Services in Groningen and giving your 10-20 euro for a help. As well, if you are foreigner student, it might be a good shot to write in your country community FB groups for a help.
- If you are from a low standard EU country, maybe it is even cheaper to find a private post service from your country to deliver your things which your parents will pay (a great choice because it is cheaper for you). In most of the countries, there are people traveling with vans in between countries and transporting things. As for example, it will be cheaper for me to transport my cool, mountain bike to the Netherlands from Bulgaria rather than pay one overprices, broken, possibly stolen bike without gears.
The moving in and out is never easy, but this is the life of a foreign student living in Groningen. Only the strongest mentally and physically (in this case) manage to do it cheaply, and the rest pay.