From:                                             VU Amsterdam <>

Sent:                                               07 April 2022 11:31

To:                                                  Feijen, S. (Sharon)

Subject:                                         [SAMPLE - 20220404 - Housing newsletter]Housing newsletter




Housing newsletter

Housing newsletter


Dear students,

It's great that you have applied for a degree programme at VU Amsterdam! You are probably looking forward to studying here, but have you thought about finding a room yet? The housing market in Amsterdam is tight, so it is important to start looking in time. In this newsletter we will inform you about how to find housing.

Save the date: We would like to invite you to our housing webinar, which will be held on 19th April 2022 at 12:00 (CET). Together with current student ambassadors and resident assistants the VU housing team will inform you about housing in and around Amsterdam. This will be an interactive session where there is time for a Q&A. You will receive an official invite next week via e-mail. 



Important message

     In general, students are expected to
     arrange their own housing. However,
     for international students, VU
     Amsterdam reserves a limited number
     of rooms for early applicants on a first
     paid, first served basis (explained
     below). Also, we only offer housing for
     the 1st year of your study programme,
     so you will need to find housing yourself
     after this period.

The number of housing applications always greatly exceeds the number of reserved rooms. VU Amsterdam can accommodate roughly half of the newly incoming international students. We therefore strongly recommend that prospective students also explore alternative ways of finding accommodation well before arriving in the Netherlands.

If you don’t find accommodation
one month before the start of your study programme, we strongly advise you to reconsider your study plans, e.g. consider deferring your studies to allow yourself more time to find a place to stay.

You can 1) request housing via VU Amsterdam, or 2) take action to find housing yourself. Both possibilities will be explained in this newsletter.



Option 1: Request housing via VU Amsterdam

All students who have been (conditionally) accepted will receive an invitation to confirm their participation in VU dashboard. Once you have confirmed your participation, you will be able to apply for accommodation in your personal dashboard on 

VU Amsterdam cannot guarantee (affordable) housing for all applicants, but the sooner you will apply for housing, the better the chances are of getting a room. 

VU Amsterdam only offers housing for your first year, even in the case of 2- or 3-year study programmes. You can only apply for accommodation from VU Amsterdam when you meet the following criteria:

  • You have been admitted to an English-taught degree programme;
  • You are a first-year student;
  • You have a non-Dutch nationality. Please note that when you have dual citizenship of the Netherlands and an EU/Non-EU country, you are not eligible for accommodation via us;
  • You have to be admitted based on a foreign diploma;
  • You are not living in the Netherlands.

Once you have applied in your dashboard and once you have paid the housing fee, you will receive further instructions a few months before the start of the academic year, probably in June. 

You will be able to book your room in the booking system ROOM, according to your preference and availability. Students' housing applications will be uploaded in the booking system in batches based on a first paid, first served system. You can only book one room and it is not possible to change your room after your booking.



Waiting list

In case all rooms are booked, students will be placed on a waiting list. We are not able to give information about your position on the waiting list. As soon as it is your turn to access the booking system, you will be notified via e-mail. We are fully dependent on cancellations. The room(s) available in the booking system will be from any budget category. Please keep in mind that the waiting list does not give you guarantees. 



Room types

VU Amsterdam student rooms are located in over 12 different off-campus buildings spread across the city. These buildings are owned and managed by housing providers who have a partnership with the VU. Different room types, price ranges and locations are available.
Housing prices via VU Amsterdam vary from €400 to €1,000 per month, but the average rent for VU housing is €650 per month. The number of cheap rooms with shared facilities is limited.



Campus Uilenstede

     Campus Uilenstede is located in
     Amstelveen, near the VU Campus:
     only 5 minutes by bike. With 3,400
     residents, this is the largest student
     campus in Northern Europe.

     VU Amsterdam has reserved around
     620 rooms for international students at Campus Uilenstede. Most of these rooms come with shared facilities. In addition to living and studying, there is much more to experience in Uilenstede: a cosy restaurant, a supermarket and a modern sports centre. By bike or public transport you can easily reach the city centre of Amsterdam.  



Option 2: Finding accommodation on your own

If you have not been allocated a room in VU student housing, you will need to find one yourself. Be aware that it often takes months to find suitable accommodation, so you will need to travel to the Netherlands early (June, July) to start searching. 

Private market
The housing market in the Netherlands is extremely tense, especially in Amsterdam. Many Dutch and international students are searching for student rooms. Housing prices are high: rents at the private market go from €750 and up. Start your search early and be prepared to search in surrounding cities. In this document on our website we have listed websites, organisations and Facebook groups that offer rooms. Below are two examples of small rooms in Amsterdam with a high rental price:

Things to keep in mind:

  • Rental contracts on the private market might start already earlier that the start of your study programme.
  • Check whether the rent is inclusive (inclusief) of gas, water, electricity etcetc. and factor this in to the cost. 
  • A deposit of one or two months’ rent is usually required. This will be refunded if you leave the property in good condition.
  • Be aware of illegal subletting as this can affect your rights as a tenant.
  • If in doubt, check your rights. Contact Stichting !WOON or drop in at one of their helpdesks.




Register with registration time-based platforms
We strongly advise students to register via the housing platform ROOM and Studentenwoningweb, also if you have applied for the VU Amsterdam housing service. These are platforms through which various non-profit housing organisations offer rooms to students. Another benefit of registration at the platforms is that  you are building up registration time for after your first year. 

Priority ruling for international students
Self-contained housing on the platform ROOM is allocated on the basis of registration time. Self-contained means you have your own kitchen and bathroom. The longer you are registered, the more options you will have. Since you will be at a disadvantage compared to Dutch students, who often registered a while ago already, the social housing provider DUWO has a priority ruling for first-year students (Bachelor's and Master's) coming from abroad. For self-contained housing, there is priority for the following buildings in and around Amsterdam:

  • Spinozacampus (Darlingstraat-Dennenrodepad) 
  • Opaallaan (Hoofddorp)
  • Schoonzichtlaan (Haarlem)

The priority is valid for contracts with start dates between June 1st and September 30th. Please click here for more information about the priority arrangement for international students. 



Cities outside Amsterdam

Not the Amsterdam experience, but the Holland experience! Take a look in the surrounding villages and towns, where you can often get better value for money, and you have a bigger chance to find a room. Examples are Zaandam, Haarlem (pictured on the right), Almere or Hoofddorp. 

Orfeas Kostoulas is currently in his second year of Psychology and is Campus Operations Officer at Green Office VU. He is living at the Opaallaan in Hoofddorp and he would like to share his experience: 

“I found my accommodation through I have been living here for about 1 1/2 years now, 2 years in August. Great about living in Hoofddorp are the surroundings, it has a lot of nature! Within a 10 min bike ride, there is a big forest that is great, and it has a lot of water and green. It's good scenery for afternoon walks! 

In terms of facilities, there is a big mall that has anything you need within a 7 min bike ride away and there is a gym really close to the Opaallaan campus, as well as numerous sports activities organised by DUWO, such as cross-fit classes.

The disadvantage of living here is missing out on the big city vibes. Compared to Amsterdam, Hoofddorp is really quiet, and you don't get the big city experience. Also, the distance can be a bit annoying at times as biking from Hoofddorp to Amsterdam is not feasible so you have to depend on public transport, which can be expensive for an international.

     Amsterdam South Station (close to the
     VU Amsterdam campus) is
     approximately 30 minutes from
     Hoofddorps student campus, while
     Amsterdam Central Station is about
     45 minutes away. The times include the
     train ride, but also walking to the bus
     station and taking the bus (1 stop) to
     get to the train station."



The housing situation in Amsterdam - animation

If you plan to study at VU Amsterdam it is essential to think of a place to live. Unfortunately, finding a room in Amsterdam is difficult and stressful. The housing market is extremely tight.

In this animation we explain what the housing market in Amsterdam looks like, and how to prepare. Make sure to check it out!

Watch the animation




We hope this newsletter gave you more insights of housing in Amsterdam and we are looking forward seeing you at the webinar the 19th April to discuss this subject further.




Feel free to reach out to us



+31 (0)20 598 1813 (Mon to Fri between 9.00-12.00 AM)