Hunting for Housing

Remiel, Audrey

Brugge, Dewi

It is exhilarating to be able to study in Rotterdam, one of the most distinct places in the Netherlands. However, this pure excitement is too good to be true. There will be things that you have to deal with beforehand, one of them is finding a place to live. Not only are you competing with new students, but also students with one-year accommodation contracts. Rental prices are skyrocketing, competition is heating up, and you are haunted by the thoughts of being homeless! Worry no more, because we got some tips to help you find great accommodation.

Before you begin searching for a place, choose the budget that you are willing to settle for. For instance, you can find a place in for only as much as €400, but also as pricey as €1200 per month. The cost differs based on the area, size, and the furnished condition of the accommodation.

The next step is to choose whether you want to live on your own or with housemates. Depending on your preference, you might want a room in student housing, a self-contained apartment, or dormitory. There are different costs for each type of accommodation. A shared flat is likely to be more affordable than a large home with a terrace. Meanwhile, a self-contained apartment might give you some privacy but will be somewhat more expensive than a simple room.

The area where you want to live is also necessary to acknowledge. Staying nearby campus will make your daily life more convenient. However, it's not a necessity since public transportation in Rotterdam works quite well, and biking is always an option. Below are some areas in Rotterdam that you need to know:

Delfshaven The oldest area of Rotterdam that endured WWII. Its reasonable rent rates and close distance to the city centre make this area interesting for students. The average duration to get to campus is 30 minutes by public transport and 25 minutes by bike.
Hillegersberg-Schiebroek Neighbouring to parks and water, you can find a mixture of contemporary and traditional Dutch homes. The average commuting time to campus is 45 minutes by public transport and 20 minutes by bike.
Kralingen - Crooswijk A trendy area with students, being the nearest district to Erasmus University. This green environment has a lake called Kralingse Plas in walkable distance. The average duration to get to campus from this area is 10 minutes by public transport and 5 -10 minutes by bike.
Noord Green, capacious, and peaceful area near to the Rotterdam Zoo. The distance from Erasmus University is about 30 minutes by public transport and 25 minutes by bike.
Overschie Located in the northwest of Rotterdam, this area has a homey and green atmosphere. The average commuting time to campus is 50 minutes by public transport and 30 minutes by bike­.
Prins Alexander This green and calm area is recognised for its cheap rents and distance to Erasmus University. The average duration to get to campus is 20 minutes by public transport and 20 minutes by bike.
Rotterdam Central This area consists of various contemporary buildings, stores and pubs. The commuting time to campus is 25 minutes by public transport and 20 minutes by bike.
Rotterdam South This area has moderately inexpensive rents. The average commuting time to campus is 50 minutes by public transport and 40 minutes by bike.
Waalhaven Acknowledged for the port of Rotterdam, the average commuting time to campus is an hour by public transport and 40 minutes by bike­.

Of these neighbourhoods, Kralingen-Crooswijk, Noord and Rotterdam Central are the most popular among students. When you live in these areas, both the campus and the city centre are nearby. If you find that important, take it into account when selecting your preferred neighbourhoods.

Start your search by visiting websites that offer accommodations. There are numerous websites available, but some have minimal offers while others have tons of fake ones. That is why you need to remain cautious of the websites that you visit. You can also consider looking for a place through an agency. However, do notice that using an agency can be expensive as you will have to pay a fee. Another alternative would be Facebook, which has many groups that serve as a platform to link those looking for housing and those offering a place. Here are some websites that might be useful for you:

Accommodation in Rotterdam gets rented out really quick, so if you find something that fits you, arrange a viewing as soon as you can. The same thing goes for renting the apartment. If you wait a bit too long, someone will have already rented it. Make sure you have your documents ready as housing agents will ask you for it.

Before signing the contract, make sure that you really understand whether the monthly rent includes water, electricity, gas, and internet. Check if the light and water work, examine the condition of the windows, walls, and floors and consult any damages with your landlord. This will prevent you from being charged for possible damages that have been there before.

You might be required to give a deposit, usually worth a month’s rent. It is a form of guarantee for your proprietor in case you break any agreements, such as neglecting your monthly payment or when part of the property is damaged during your renting period. If there are no cases by the end of your stay, you will get the deposit money back.

Your accommodation is one of the crucial factors that determine your satisfaction when staying abroad. It is essential to take this matter seriously and consider important points upon searching for a place to live in. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a comfortable shelter to go home to every end of the day? Not only does it make your university life more pleasant, but it also gives you some peace of mind when you get to live in a fulfilling environment. Keep your eyes open for great opportunities and good luck with your search!

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