The long road to a student room
In the first two months of his ICT studies, international student Nur Nechushtan lived in at least six different houses. He stayed in Airbnb-rooms, a hostel, a house in Germany, with his family in Amsterdam, in a hotel and more Airbnb-rooms. “I didn’t know it was going to be this difficult.”
Just one and a half week before the academic year started, Nur Nechushtan got a call from Fontys. After a long wait to get his diploma checked, he could finally enrol in ICT. “They asked me if I was still interested. With the side note that it could be difficult to find a room.” He said yes and immediately started looking for a place to stay. “I didn’t think it would be this difficult, though.”
He booked an Airbnb-room for only three days. “Looking back, that maybe wasn’t the cleverest of things to do.” Every day he’d send about at least twenty messages to rooms he found on Kamernet and other pages. Without result. “I went to visit some family members in Amsterdam, but had to go back to Eindhoven because my studies were about to start.”
60 euros a night
He went to a hotel and paid 60 euros a night for a room without windows. Then moved to a hostel and paid 35 euros a night to share a room with nine other international students, who were also looking for a place to stay. “It reminded me of my time in the military. And obviously, it was impossible to study there. Besides, the hostel didn’t have a kitchen or microwave, so I had to go to the supermarket nearby to warm up food.”
Not an ideal situation, is what also his grandmother must have thought. She arranged for him to stay at a house of one of her friends in Kleve, Germany. “It was like an apartment, but no one had lived there for sixteen years. So you can imagine in what state it was.” And even though he had to rent a car to drive to Eindhoven every day, it was still cheaper than staying at the hostel.
Driving back and Forth
For a month he lived in Kleve, driving back and forth. Leaving the house at 07:00, returning home around 21:00, sometimes 23:00. “At a certain point it just stopped making sense, I had to drive so many hours just to sleep there.” So Nur decided to return to Eindhoven and found a temporary room on Airbnb again.
After one and a half month in the Netherlands, the ICT student had spent about 2000 euros. “I had a certain amount of money in mind that I was willing to spend, and I was getting closer and closer to that amount”, he says. Finding a room therefore also became more urgent.
“I just wrote to any room I could find online, I didn’t even look at the pictures. I even went to see a room that was in a house that was basically broken, with dust everywhere and paint taken off the walls. The house had been in construction, but they couldn’t continue because missing permits. They just put the room up for rent like that.” Even that room went to someone else.
Facebook to the rescue
“If the situation would have continued like this, I would have been capable of just asking random people on the street for help”, says Nur. “Fortunately, that hasn’t been necessary.” After he posted a message on a Facebook page, he got a message from a house owner. On the first of November he’ll finally move into his new room.
Since he has accepted the room, he received several offers from others. “I know the secret now to finding a room. Just add a picture to your message. That will make all the difference.” [Leoni Andriessen]