International students flatly turned down for housing

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According to RTVUtrecht, tons of advertisements for student housing (usually rooms in a house that has been subdivided for that purpose; they don’t live on campus), are flatly and illegally turning down internationals. It’s also not news that this group, maybe more than the Dutch, are also falling prey to dodgy landlords.

In this Dutch video, the chairman of a student rights association explains that international students should not be turned away, but quickly adds that he understands why this is done since it is so difficult for the Dutch to find housing, and that ‘there is a language barrier and many obstacles to be able to live with an international student’.

The thing is, major universities have been encouraging foreign students to enrol at their establishments to make money, but have no plans to deal with the strain that this causes on society, which in turn is then becomes the government’s problem. And since there’s a constant state of housing shortage that has existed at least in the big Dutch cities such as Utrecht for decades, it seems to be nobody’s responsibility, leading to this kind of self-protecting behaviour.

The chairman in the video blames the government and the universities and not the international students for the problem. A quick Internet search has students living on camping sites, caravans, hostels, refugee centers and even their cars for a bit until some of them get lucky, find a couch, or actually give up their studies. People are still willing to pay just more than regular people renting an entire flat to get a room because they don’t have many options.

This article is from last year, but paints a picture of what internationals go through here to try and find a room to live in.

And we wrote about students living in containers in Amsterdam a few years back.

(Link: rtvutrecht.nl, Photo of Multi-storey container housing by Rory Hyde, some rights reserved)

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