The best way to… find a room

If you’re reading this from a hotel room, someone else’s couch or maybe even a caravan you’re probably still desperately searching for a student room in the city. The Housing Office hasn’t had any rooms available for weeks, but keep calm and try these.

Room rental website: Here’s an important Dutch vocabulary lesson! ‘Kamer’ means ‘room’ in Dutch, and is the main site those decidedly not homeless Dutch students use to find a room. They’ve got hundreds of rooms available for less than 300 euros a month, and, most importantly, it’s available in English!

Brokers and real estate agencies : You could try a ‘bemiddelaar’ – broker – to help you find a room. You’ll have to pay as much as one month’s rent plus 21% taxes, but to avoid living in a cardboard box, paid help doesn’t suck. There are real estate – ‘vastgoed’ – companies that rent to internationals, too. Check out Lefier –  – also in English!

Facebook: There’s lots and lots (and lots) of groups dedicated to offering or finding housing. In the Groningen Rooms group  students can search for a cool roomie and, most relevant to your interests, a nice boy or girl like yourself can respond with non-threatening smiley faces and convince them it’s you they’re looking for! Your study may also have a Facebook group, so go bother your classmates about it.

Couchsurfing: If you don’t insist on having a bed, you could also try couchsurfing. You have to pay €25 to access , but hey! It’s a couch, and it’s at least temporarily yours! You can also check out the Youth Hotel Simplon at the Boterdiep. Close to the centre of town and only 16 euros a night.

Info kiosks at grocery stores: Dutch grocery stores like Albert Heijn (the blue one) and Jumbo (the yellow one), among others, have a little area near their registers – either a bulletin board or a spinning display kiosk – where locals can post ads. Mostly, it’s people offering music lessons and aroma therapy, but you never know! Your future room could be there, among the missing cat posters and questionable art projects.

In the end, the best way to find a room may just be to corner a Dutch person, or befriend them, and don’t let them go until they’ve told you all the secrets of house hunting in Groningen.