Accommodation in Groningen 2.0
You chose for a study programme in Groningen and you already have the permission for your programme?! If you can answer those questions with a ’yes’, you should start thinking about your new home in Groningen.
Finding an appropriate accommodation is not easy, especially in Groningen. Looking for accommodation in the peak season - August and September – can be a nightmare. We therefore advice all international students to try to arrange accommodation AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
There are two ways of living in Groningen:
1. International Student House – If you want to get to know a lot of new people from different nationalities and cultures, you should choose for a student house. In addition to that, student houses are famous for their parties and entertainment activities. Thus, you will have an exciting and interesting time.
The stay in an international student house is limited to one year at this moment, because of the high number of international students who arrive in Groningen every year. After your stay for a year, you have to find another accommodation. If you chose for a student house, you have to apply to the housing office (www.housingoffice.nl).
For specific information regarding the student houses and the pricing of the different rooms, please refer to the above mentioned website.
Here you can see a map with all available international Student Houses Groningen, managed by the housing office.
2. Private room / flat share - If you are planning to move in a flat with friends or if you want to rent a private room, the situation is a bit more difficult. You can hire an agency which offers flats and rooms. Normally, the agency will charge you one rent for this service and one rent as a deposit, provided that you chose for one of the offers. Here are several websites of real estate agencies and other accommodation related pages.
Lately Facebook has also become a popular place for international students in Groningen to exchange rooms. The main advantages of this is that you may skip paying a commission to a real-estate agency and directly get in touch with the people who live there at the moment. You can also contribute to the community by posting your own room there when you are leaving. Here are links to the two most popular groups at the moment:
This is the biggest website in the Netherlands for seeking and offering accommodation. It is among the cheapest choices for finding accommodation, and certainly much cheaper then using the services of a real estate agency. This is so, because through Kamernet you can directly communicate with the landlords, and so you do not have to pay a huge fee to a real estate agent. You have to pay a relatively small fee for a Kamernet subscription. The major drawback, however, is that if you are out of the Netherlands you can not have a face-to-face meeting with the landlord. Because of the high demand for student accommodation, it is almost impossible to find accommodation through Kamernet if you are abroad, especially in the peak period in August and September.
The conditions of rooms and flats as well as the rent differ very much and cannot be generalized. Usually, rent prices are between 300€ and 400€.
Last Resort Accommodation
If it is time to come to Groningen, and you were not fortunate enough to have found accommodation already, you can book a stay at a hostel in Groningen. Staying in a hostel is not a convenient solution for students, but it can be the only option untill you find something better. The following link will take you to the homepage of the cheapest hostel in Groningen:
If this hostel is full, you still have two more options. First, there is another hostel close to the city center: http://www.budgetthostels.com/. If you are really unlucky and both of the hostels are full, you can “couchsurf” for a few days: http://www.couchsurfing.org/. Sign up for an account and we are pretty sure you will find people willing to help you with a temporary couch in their house.
To sum up, looking for a private room or flat requires a lot more time and effort; therefore you should start your search as soon as possible. If you are abroad, it is almost impossible to find a room on the private market, as you can not meet face-to-face with the landlords / real estate agents. The easiest option is applying through the Housing Office.
Whatever accommodation you chose for, we hope you will have a great time here in Groningen. Of course, if you have any further questions do not hesitate to ask on the Faculty’s Facebook page.
3. Long stay
If you plan to stay in Groningen for more than 2 years it would be a good idea to sign up for an account with Woningnet ( http://www.woningnet.nl/snelzoeken.asp?IID=12 ). The sign-up fee is 14 euros/year. The website is using the famous points system (for every month registered with the website you receive one point; the more points you have, the more chances to receive a room). Because of this, the average waiting time until you have enough points to receive a room – 2 years!! BUT, after you have a woningnet account, you have a few extra benefits:
a) you can apply for free to the social housing announcements published from time to time on nijestee (http://nijestee.nl/ikzoekwoning_socialehuurwoning/Woningen_tijdelijk_te_huur/ OR http://nijestee.nl/ikzoekwoning_socialehuurwoning/woningen_per_direct_tehuur)
b) if you are willing to spend more than 650 euros/month on housing, you can apply for an apartment from woningnet without the need of the points system. You can recognize this type of announcements on the website from their green color (sort by price and you will notice that the houses that cost more that 650 euros/month are written on a green background).
4. Temporary stay
The following website is for temporary housing: http://www.carex.nl/. You have to sign up and it’s free. Only when they find you a place, they take a fee (10-50 euros). Carex is what you call an organization that tries to prevent ‘vacancy’ of buildings and houses (buildings that are temporarily empty due to new purpose they will serve in the future or buildings that are on the list to be torn down in a while). They manage these houses for companies/private persons, to help people that need housing badly and to prevent buildings from not being used. It is extremely cheap to live in these buildings, but it is always temporary, meaning you can stay somewhere from 1 month to several years if you’re lucky. You do not pay rent, but you pay like a ‘user’s fee’ which is very low. Next to that you pay for electricity, gas, internet, phone etc. Some houses are very old, some are really nice. They too have a waiting list however (they’re popular among students obviously ). If you need a room, Carex is a really good place to look, if you don’t mind the temporary character of it, I would definitely advise it.
This website looks quite interesting: http://firstdoor.nl/ – 10 euros per year for an account is a great deal. But until now, we have no information whether or not somebody successfully used it. Please let us know if you have more information about this website.
P.S. Don’t let yourself fooled by different real estate agencies. Take a look on this website before sending money to anyone! http://bekijkhetnu.nl/enindex.php
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