International students in ‘s-Hertogenbosch face similar challenges to their Breda peers when looking for a room. More than fifteen overseas Avans students are currently staying with classmates until they have found accommodation.
Punt revealed on Tuesday that a handful of Breda students has been put up in a hostel due to a shortage of student accommodation. Leontine Thelissen, Student Facilities Officer at Avans, states the situation in ‘s-Hertogenbosch is even more urgent.
“Some fifteen students have not been able to find accommodation yet. They are currently staying with fellow students.” Thelissen claims the shortage is caused by the fact that only one housing association in ‘s-Hertogenbosch has student rooms for rent. “Avans is only allowed to book 24 of them. All the other students are forced to look for private rental accommodation.”
And that’s hardly a walk in the park. Thelissen: “Landlords prefer Dutch students, as Dutch students usually rent a room for a longer period of time. They don’t want to enter into contracts for six months.” The language barrier might also be one of the reasons why landlords refuse international students.
Student room interview evenings
Many overseas students are also unable to take part in so-called hospiteeravonden, at which student flat residents looking for a housemate interview prospects. Thelissen: “International students just do not receive an invitation. As non-Dutch speakers, they’re unable to just sit down and join the conversation.”
Thelissen is hoping the local authorities of ‘s-Hertogenbosch are willing to take immediate action. She is also calling on Avans students and staff to help find a solution. “We would already be happy if we could help these students find a room in a town in the area. A thirty-minute train journey shouldn’t be a problem; as long as they are located somewhere nearby.”