Avans is pulling out all the stops to help international students find a room

    illustratie: Julika Runow
    A small number of international Avans students is currently staying a hostel in Breda at Avans’ expense. They have not yet been able to find a room.

    Last week it was revealed that international students of Tilburg University are having a hard time finding temporary accommodation. Some even decided to return home.

    Handful of students in hostel
    The housing situation in Breda is not as serious, according to Bjorn de Kort from the International Office. “A handful of students is currently staying in a hostel. A number may also be staying with friends. That’s not something we can check.”

    Avans can only rent a maximum number of rooms in student flats every year. De Kort: “This year, these rooms were taken within the blink of an eye, much quicker than we had anticipated. We work on a first come, first serve basis.”

    ‘Landlords do not want international students as tenants’
    De Kort says Avans is pulling out all the stops to help these students find a room. To this end, it maintains close contact with the students, writes to landlords and scans all the Facebook pages and websites that list student rooms for rent. De Kort: “There has been a housing shortage for years and this situation remains difficult. I am monitoring a number of Facebook pages where students looking for a room are posting messages. I often notice that landlords do not want international students as tenants. I have not been able to find out why.”

    Optimistic
    The students themselves are hardly upset. “Those who had not been guaranteed accommodation before they came over knew it would possibly take a while to find a room”, De Kort continues. “Although they are surprised they still find themselves looking after two weeks. Some have expressed their intention to return home but on the whole they are very optimistic. They are also very happy with the support Avans offers them.”

    De Kort is not sure about how long the students will have to remain at the hostel. “A landlord offering five rooms for rent may show up today. On the other hand, we may not get a single new listing in the next few days.”

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