What’s better than spending your student life in your own apartment? It can be both practical, since the journey to the VU might just be too long, but perhaps more importantly, it lets you experience the fun of your student life even better. However, studying in Amsterdam means that it might be difficult for you to find a room. It is therefore important to start early with finding your own room!
There are multiple ways to do this. Some people might personally know someone who offers a room, which is of course easiest but not an option for everyone, especially maybe for you international students. Fortunately, there’s an alternative: You can try getting a room via ROOM.nl/en (what a name eh?). ROOM offers a lot of apartments in Amsterdam.
The VU also has its own living campus: Uilenstede. It’s the biggests campus in the Netherlands and it houses more than 3000 students. Uilenstede is actually located just outside Amsterdam in a place called Amstelveen and if you go by bike (which is of course the Dutch thing to do) it will take you only 10 minutes to go to the VU.
These rooms are also offered via ROOM.
In order for you to apply for a room somewhere in Amsterdam or in Uilestede you will first have to register to ROOM.nl. After you’ve done this, it’s time for you to apply for a room.
If you want to live in Uilenstede, there is a whole apartment tower specifically for International students, but you can also get a room in one of the other towers since the competition for the international tower might be very high. At Uilenstede, you live together with 13 other students on a so called ‘unit’. You’ll have your own bathroom, but you’ll share the kitchen and living room. Sharing your kitchen with 13 others might sound terrible, but in truth it’s never problematic and can actually be a lot of fun.
For rooms in the international tower and some rooms in Amsterdam you can just apply and you’ll hear a couple of days later whether you’ve gotten the room. For many other rooms, and rooms in the other towers at Uilenstede, there is another step. This is what we call ‘hospiteren’ and is as far as we know a typical Dutch concept. Think of it as a job application, only not in a serious way. You’re usually invited together with all the other applicants and you will spend the evening talking and hanging out with your possible future roommates. At the end, they will discuss which applicant they liked the best and he/she will get the room, so you will have to show your best self! To be up to date about these ‘hospiteer-evenings’, we advise you to join the Uilenstede-Facebook group.
Besides ROOM.nl, there are other websites which offer rooms like studentenkamer.nl, kamerverhuur.nl and probably the most well known: Kamernet.nl. These sites offer rooms in each part of Amsterdam. Some of these rooms might however be quite expensive, and it’s also good to check whether the offerings are reliable!