International students still seeking long-term housing are making little use of the temporary accommodations provided by the academic institutions, opting instead to get to the know the city while couch surfing.
Translation by Traci White
According to Dagblad van het Noorden, there are believed to be around 250 international students who are still searching for permanent housing in the city, even though an exact number is hard to come by. Yet there are around 130 beds available in a former school on the Metaallaan and a hotel boat in the Eemshaven.
“Like a refugee”
Around 170 students are still making use of a couchsurfing database set up by student political party DAG. Géza Kovács-Dobák, a student from Hungary, told the Dagblad that couchsurfing is an ideal what to get to know new people and his new city. He stayed in the tent at Zernike for a week, but he says that the experience left him feeling like a refugee. He says that after joining a student lacrosse team, some of his team members offered him a bed and he has now found a longterm place to stay.
The University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences closed down the tents and offered all the students living there a free spot at the Metaallaan following a protest and brief occupation of the Academy Building last month.
The Groninger Internet Courant writes that some students have been so dissatisfied with having to choose between emergency accommodations and couchsurfing that they have given up on Groningen altogether. A public hearing will be held later on Wednesday in Groningen about the ongoing lack of housing for international students.