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The basics
THE Netherlands: Student Accommodation - Must read

Student accommodation in the Netherlands

Our guide to student accommodation for international students studying in the Netherlands...

Wozoco apartments Amsterdam

The Netherlands might be considered one of the world’s happiest nations, but the nation’s densely packed and complicated property market is hardly a secret. Average room rental costs rose six percent in 2009, with the steepest increase seen in Amsterdam.  However, the number of rooms available to students across the whole nation has recently increased by a whopping 71%. Thinking of studying in the Netherlands? Let our overview of your student accommodation options help take the stress out of your decision.


Tip: Accommodation queries might be something you want to ask a university about through our site, using the ‘Ask a question’ button.


Note: €1 = £0.83 = US$1.39



It is not common for students in the Netherlands to live on-campus. In fact, most Dutch universities do not even have a campus per se. Plus, the Netherlands is incredibly densely populated, and so finding accommodation, particularly in city centres, can be challenging.


Most universities will offer international students completing the first year of either their Bachelor or Masters programme the option to live in pre-arranged student housing. This accommodation is usually organised and managed by a housing agency with a particular quota of rooms available for international students per year. Very broadly, rental costs will be between €300-€600 (US$416-US$ 832) per month, with anything in Amsterdam being more expensive.


Some universities (often those with campuses), offer students the chance to live in dormitories or rooms within a residence hall. For example, students at the University of Twente may live in one of 300 rooms in residence halls on campus. All rooms are private, and share kitchen and bathroom facilities. Laundry facilities are shared between all floors of a building, with prices depending on the size of the room, and how many people facilities are shared between.  A room in Acasa residence hall, located at ‘Calslaan oud’  with facilities shared between 11 is €292.10 (US$405) per month, whilst a room at ‘Calslaan 26’ twice the size, with a private bathroom and kitchen shared between 7 students is €420.66 (US$ 583) per month.


Other universities, such as the University of Leiden liaise with agencies to provide on-campus housing arrangements. Students must apply through the university website and pay a €350 (US$ 485) housing fee by either June 1 (for a start in semester one of the same academic year,) or November 15 (for start in semester two of the following year). Halls and student houses are equipped with a shared kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities, as well as internet. Minimal rental period is one semester, with a maximum of one year. For a single room in Herengracht 33-35, monthly rent is €410 (US$568).


If you plan to stay in the Netherlands for at least a period of four months, you are required to register with the local governing body i.e. a council and then un-register when you leave.

Registration information



Universities that do not have the option for students to live on halls usually have some kind of arrangement with an external agency in organising off-campus housing options. These types of accommodation are typically shared apartments or smaller, studio units. Don’t worry, you won’t be forgotten about!


For example, Utrecht University offers SSH Short Stay accommodation exclusively to exchange and international students. Students may rent either a single or shared room within a larger complex of units, all with internet, cooking utensils and cleaning materials, and within travelling distance from university buildings. Rooms are only available to rent for fixed semester or year long periods, and contracts cannot be cancelled. Accommodation is allocated on a first come, first serve basis and students are urged to apply for a place as early as possible. Rental costs are payable monthly, and range from about €420 (US$582) for a single or shared room, and are between €530-€670 (US$ 735-US$ 929) for a private studio. Students may apply through the SHH Short Stay website as soon as they have received their university offer of acceptance.


Student hotels

Students based in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Liège or The Hague are also able to rent fully furnished rooms in student hotels. Each hotel has a library, common living area and kitchen, as well as the option to purchase a meal plan. Rooms or suites can be booked on a night-by-night basis, or for up to a semester or whole year. Rental costs for a standard room per night start at €50 (US$69), whilst if you book for a semester your monthly rent will start at €595 (US$825).


Hotels seek to cultivate a sense of student community and often run social events to help you make friends easily. You can rent either a private room or suite, and can book online via the Student Hotel website.


Renting privately

The Dutch property market falls broadly within two categories: ‘social,’ public-sector housing, or the private sector. As you need to qualify for public housing, international students looking to rent privately in the Netherlands will find themselves within the latter group. This means that you will be paying higher rental rates, and may need to live further from the city if you don’t want to compromise on size. Rental costs are also higher if the property comes furnished. What’s more, there are only a limited number of rental apartments available to foreigners in the Netherlands.


Rental costs vary between cities and property type, but on average, a furnished room in Amsterdam will cost between €300-€600 (US$416-US$832) per month, which is usually inclusive of utilities and internet. Average room prices in Utrecht are about €339 (US$470) per month, whilst students in Eindhoven will be likely to pay around €309 (US$ 428). Those in Rotterdam can expect to pay around €373 (US$517) per month.


The property market in the Netherlands can be particularly difficult to navigate, and so unless they know what they are doing students are advised to enlist the help of a housing agent. Whilst they will charge for their services, your tenancy rights will be protected and you’ll have professional help in securing a place where housing demands outweigh their supply.

Click here for a full list of rental housing agencies in the Netherlands


Extra tips

Whilst you should always keep an eye on what’s advertised, the best rooms and places available are generally not advertised as landlords prefer ‘recommended’ tenants. This means that they prefer to rent to people who have been put forward by someone they know. Put the word out that you are looking for a place where you can: try student forums, social media profiles and student service offices of your host university.


Dutch rental contracts are “pro-tenant”, which means that they are of unlimited duration and make it difficult for a landlord to evict you if you’re an established tenant. Contracts are usually silently renewed, and can be terminated at any time provided you give your landlord a month’s notice. There is also a requirement that student housing be vacated within six months of your graduation date. Students should always ask for an English copy of any housing contract: agents are obliged to give them to you.


If you’re looking to avoid agency fees, look to websites that advertise privately owned properties, such as Marktplaats, called the Dutch equivalent of Craigslist. In doing so however your interests are no longer protected and you’re more susceptible to be ripped off in higher rental costs, or be a victim of fraud. A sure sign of fraud is if the private owner will not allow to you register yourself at their advertised place with the local municipality. In the Netherlands, both verbal and written tenancy agreements are legally binding, so make sure you have someone with you if you’re going to meet your potential landlord in person.


You can also buy second-hand furniture and second-hand goods, such as bicycles, on Marketstuff.


Click here for an overview of your housing rights in Amsterdam


Now that you’ve got more of a grasp on the property market in the Netherlands, start browsing courses in the Netherlands now and plan your study abroad adventure!


Read more:

'Student living costs in the Netherlands'

'Applying to study in the Netherlands'