Moving day!

Student ambassador Krittika will move to a new place next month. In this blog she tells you how she found it and tips on how to find a house and move around in the Netherlands.

Posted by Krittika Choudhury - Student Ambassador - University of Twente at Aug 13, 2018 02:58 PM
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I have always moved from one city to another, and sometimes even changed countries in search of better education, and a more secure lifestyle. Constant movement, constant change of especially addresses is unavoidable especially for the first halves of your lives. Coming September, I have to move again, within the Netherlands this time, and this reminds me that a lot of you will be doing the same soon. It might be because of the start of a new academic year, or you relocating to your newest destination for business or pleasure or both, for whatever it might be, I am here with a list of guidelines, and most importantly do-s, don’t-s and “must definitely”-s to help you with the very important life event of – Moving Day!

Krittika - Moving day

The Netherlands does not adhere to the American concept of having a campus, by which I mean not all blocks belonging to the University is within one unit, sometimes it is a very scattered and random arrangement. Thus, in the Netherlands, it is not very common for colleges to provide housing. However,most universities do have a few blocks that are solely dedicated to housing students, both international (non EU) and belonging to the EU. Even though having a house and an address in the Netherlands is essential for every student, it is in fact a priority for non EU students as it is one of the pre-requisites of the visa procedure. Most universities therefore intervene and do their best to make sure their incoming non EU students have a residence before arrival. I was lucky enough to be allotted one under the same conditions last year as well, but this time house hunting was an elaborate and time-consuming procedure that I had to take care of, all on my own. Here are a few important guidelines to keep in mind if you’re in the same boat as me:

Move light, pack well:

Keep only the essentials, throw out the rest, or better even donate it to someone who might need it more. When packing make sure you have packed everything into your suitcases or small boxes that are easy to carry. Tape everything up, and mark it with your names so that there is no scope for error. 

Scale down your expectations a little:

Student accommodations usually have all the necessary amenities, but are seldom grand. The average rent is usually around 400 euros, and It also depends highly on the area where you’re looking for housing. In bigger cities like Amsterdam, Den Haag or Rotterdam, it is comparatively more expensive. The rent also depends on whether the accommodation being handed over to you, is furnished or unfurnished. The furnished apartments usually provide a bed, a desk and chair, wardrobes etc., whereas in an unfurnished apartment you would have to arrange for everything on your own.
Most student accommodations usually have one kitchen, toilet or common area shared by everybody on that floor. Rooms also might seem smaller in comparison to what most people are used to. That said, it would still have all the basic necessities and how you make a house your home is entirely up to you.

Rental contract and municipality registration:

It is important to register yourself at the municipality of the place that you will be staying in. Registering with the municipality makes a lot of things easier and problem free. Therefore, insisting on a proper and updated rental contract, signed by both parties is essential. Do make sure you read the contract carefully and understand the stated terms and conditions properly. Usually a lot of important information, for example, when to hand in your notice if you want to leave the house etc. will be specified in this contract.

Check this contract also for details on how to manage other bills of the house, like water and electricity. It should be stated here, whether you pay the house owner for these utilities or if you’re supposed to pay for these directly. You will also find information about who to contact in case of emergencies, or if anything in the house stops working, the contact of the cleaners and plumbers etc. If not specified, do not hesitate to ask your house owners for the same.
This document would legalize your stay in that particular house and city of the Netherlands so do give it all your attention.

List of emergency contacts:

Make sure you have this written down and ready, for worst case scenarios. This would be your list of people you can go to for any problems, that do not involve the interiors and amenities of the house.

Make your house, your home:

To do this, make sure your personalize your room or your home. Use lights if you like a warm glow in your room, and fill it with your favourite pictures so you always feel a sense of comfort and belonging when you come back home.

Be aware of the travel options and facilities:

When moving to a new location, also remember to check for the public transport facilites available near your house. This is of course for the days that your cycle fails you. Be aware of the bus stop nearest to your house, or how to get to the train station from your new location. Knowing this, always helps. Of course, you can use the 9292 app for this as well!

Before you make your big move, you will spend quite a few days on the virtual web and trying to reach out to old friends and colleagues for a new house. During this time, remember to check your University websites for any housing offers and news. A few other websites to check out would also be: Kamernet.nl, Pararius, Roomspot.nl, Easykamer.nl.

A lot of times there are dedicated Facebook pages to find housing for students going to a certain university. These have been known to be trustworthy platforms for finding accommodation but make sure you do not get scammed.

This said, I would also like to bring to your attention a few do-s and don’t-s on or during the moving days:

DO!

DON’T!

  • Travel and pack light – The more stuff you have, the more cumbersome will be the moving process.
  • Ask for a rental contract
  • Be aware of the place and locality you will be moving to
  • Be cordial, if not the best of friends with your flat mates or housemates
  • Learn to keep the shared spaces clean
  • Take responsibility and clean up after yourself, adhere to cleaning schedules
  • Pack everything into large boxes – These are especially hard to move
  • Don’t forget to register at the municipality
  • Neglect all that a new place has to offer
  • Be asocial, be an active participant of things around the house

 

This is all I have to offer in this edition, and I hope my tips and my experience helps you in your quest of finding your perfect accommodation. I said before that I will share with you, some things you “must definitely” do, and there’s only one such thing, be respectful to everyone in your house and make it your home.

May the odds be ever in your favour!

Posted by Krittika Choudhury - Student Ambassador - University of Twente at Aug 13, 2018 02:58 PM
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