EmbrACE Magazine

First Student Problems: Housing


Moving to a new city for your academic career is of course exciting and brings about many fun experiences, yet there are also some struggles one may encounter that make the settling-in-process a little bit harder. One of the challenges many students who come to Rotterdam face is to find a student accommodation. I hear it all around me, whether it’s Dutch or international students – many struggle with finding (permanent) housing in Rotterdam. Some can only find temporary housing, let’s say for half a year. Of course, at least this is something, but moving 6 times in the course of your 3-year bachelor is far from ideal. I have even heard stories of international students struggling so hard to find accommodation that they would stay in several Airbnbs for the first few months of their student time in Rotterdam.

It’s logical that when you first move to a new city you’re not familiar with all the housing initiatives that Rotterdam and the University offer. Over the course of my already 4 years in Rotterdam, I have learned about several interesting student housing initiatives, whether it was from people around me or my own experience. Hopefully there are some interesting tips for all of you accommodation-searching-students out there!


This is probably the biggest student housing initiative in the city. It offers over 79 buildings throughout the city. The key trick to getting a room at one of the buildings of Stadswonen is to register on their website early. Students who offer a free room in their unit will receive a shortlist from Stadswonen, out of which they have to choose their new roommate. In order to get on this shortlist, the duration of your registration at Stadswonen and the speed with which you reply on the room advertisement are important.


This brand new building in Katendrecht offers individual studios and shared apartments for students. The building also has co-living spaces where the inhabitants of the building can meet one another. The FIZZ offers a very including living package for students, which means that the studios/apartments are fully furnished and you get to partake in the events that are organized.

Facebook Groups

Students looking for a new roommate, people looking for subletters, people looking for a new group of permanent renters of their house… Facebook groups for finding accommodation in Rotterdam offer all different kinds of housing. I actually found my room on Facebook, when my to-be-roommates posted an advertisement that they were looking for a new renter! The trick here is to find the right Facebook groups (there is an abundance of them, so in the beginning it might seem discouraging). Two Facebook groups which have lots of members, almost daily offers and include rooms for international and Dutch students are the following: “Find a Room(mate) in Rotterdam” and “Zoekt kamer in Rotterdam Community”.


SSH offers over 1.500 student rooms in Rotterdam, ranging from rooms in shared apartments to individual studios. Additionally, they offer “Short Stay” housing which are temporary rooms that are fully furnished. This is ideal for exchange students! Keep an eye out on their website when the summer break gets closer, that’s the time when most rooms become available.


Don’t feel like moving in with strangers, and so you’re looking for an apartment together with your friends? Then Papayo is the place to be. They offer entire apartments in Rotterdam for student friendly prices. This option applies most to those students who are about to graduate, or who have a steady income next to their studies. Most of the apartments require a proof of income.