Types of Accomodation
Essential for the collegiate atmosphere found in the city center, are the university buildings which are traditionally placed within the city’s borders, leaving no room for a campus. All students living in Groningen are scattered throughout the city. To find your place amongst the 30.000 students already living in Groningen, there are several options.
Both international and Dutch students usually live in what are called student rooms. For international students, the most likely way to find one is through the Housing Office. Since it is difficult sto search for a suitable place to stay while still living in your own country,, this office was specially created for foreign students and they will only provide a room for those subscribed to one of the universities in Groningen. There are several international student houses where you will then be accommodated. These vary from previous school buildings where the classrooms are made suitable for living, with common bath rooms and kitchens, to regular buildings with a little more privacy.
Student containers are specifically designed to make up for the shortage of rooms in Groningen, and are thus made for housing students. You’ll be living with other students from all over the world who are sharing the compound with you, but you do have all the utilities to yourself. The name ‘containers’ might not suggest a luxurious environment, but these boxes are actually pretty comfortable, each having a brand new kitchen, shower and airconditioning.
Regular student houses
The most common form of student rooms to be found here are student houses, they are rented in the private sector. Normal houses have been transformed to ones with several bedrooms, a shared kitchen and bathroom and sometimes a common living room. Depending on the size of the house a group of up to 16 students could be living there. This is the archetype of student living in the Netherlands. Just as in the international student houses it involves some getting used to each other, but imagine spending late nights with your housemates watching old movies or simply having lengthy conversations… and then urging each other to start studying the next morning.
There are also a few student flats in the city. Unlike normal flats they are not filled with apartments, but are more like student houses. Each floor has two kitchens, several bathrooms and a common room. These are then shared by all 12+ people of that particular floor. Living in one of these flats has one huge advantage: some of them have their own bar on the ground floor, run by and for students living in the flat.
Groningen is surrounded by canals which are inhabited by people who live on houseboats. Houseboats are a characteristic part of Dutch culture and it is not uncommon for students to find a room on the water. It is certainly a unique way to spend your time in Groningen and houseboats are usually located rather close to the city center. During the summertime there is a lot of recreational traffic on the canals which guarantees a very amicable atmosphere. You must be able to cope with a room that slightly moves when it is windy or when other boats pass.
Price and location
The price of a room depends of course on the location (distance to the city center) and on the surface area. The rent varies from 250 Euros to 400 Euros a month and the surface area can be a small but cosy 12m2 up to a splendid 30m2. No worries if your first room is the small but cosy one: in Groningen, most students move to a bigger room a couple of times during their studies. Sometimes it’s possible to move from one room to the other in the same house, so you won’t even have to rent a removal van!
Wherever you may end up during your time in Groningen, all these accommodations have that aspect so essential to your time in college: living on your own but in close contact with other students. Enjoy your stay!