Yaaay, you're moving!
Getting the opportunity to study in one of the most diverse cities in the Netherlands is very exciting! On the other hand, realizing what preparations must be taken for the studies can be very scary. One of the first things that you should take care of before arriving in Rotterdam is finding a place to live. We know that it can be a very difficult task, especially when it is done from a distance, so we have listed some tips to help you out!
What to start with?
Before starting to look for the accommodation, decide on the budget that you can and are willing to pay. For example, you can find accommodation in Rotterdam for as cheap as €350, but also for as expensive as €1000 per month. The price varies based on the location, size and whether the place is furnished or not.
Once you have set the budget, the second question would be whether you want to live alone or with other people. There are different types of spaces to rent in Rotterdam, so depending on your needs, you might look for a room in a house, apartment or dormitory or rent a studio or small apartment by yourself. There are different costs for different purposes, sizes and areas. For instance, a larger, shared apartment will almost always be cheaper than a big house with a garden, while a studio might give you the privacy that you need, but it will be somewhat pricier than just a room.
Another important thing to consider is the area where you want to live. Being close to the university will make your life easier, but it's not a must, since public transportation in Rotterdam works quite well and if you can bike, everything is very easy to reach in a short amount of time.
Take a look at the map below and descriptions of the areas to get a better overview of Rotterdam’s neighborhoods.
The centre (Centrum) of Rotterdam has many modern buildings, shops and bars. The average time to get to Erasmus University is 20 minutes by bike and 25 minutes by public transport.
Kralingen - Crooswijk is the closest areas to the Erasmus University and very popular among students. Also, the area is one of the greenest in Rotterdam and has a lake (Kralingse Plas) within walkable distance. The average time to get to Erasmus University is 5 -10 minutes by bike and 10 minutes by public transport.
Noord, especially the west side, is green, spacious and quiet area close to the Rotterdam Zoo. The distance from Erasmus University is around 25 minutes by bike and 30 minutes by public transport.
Delfshaven is the oldest area of Rotterdam that survived the World War II. It is popular among students, due to its moderate rent prices and closeness to the city centre. The average commuting time to Erasmus University is about 25 minutes by bike and 30 minutes by public transport.
Overschie is a green area situated in the northwest of Rotterdam. (do you have something to add?) The average time to get to Erasmus University is 30 minutes by bike and 50 minutes by public transport.
Hillegersberg-Schiebroek is a nice area close to parks and water. There, you can see a mix of modern and traditional Dutch houses. The average time to get to Erasmus University is 20 minutes by bike and 45 minutes by public transport.
Prins Alexander is a green and quiet area, popular for its affordable rents and closeness to Erasmus University. The average time to get to Erasmus University is 20 minutes by bike and 20 minutes by public transport.
Rotterdam South (Charlois, Feijenoord & Ijsselmonde) characteristics is a mix of cultures from all over the world and has relatively low rents. The average time to get to Erasmus University is 40 minutes by bike and 50 minutes by public transport.
Waalhaven is most known for the port of Rotterdam. The average time to get to Erasmus University is 40 minutes by bike and an hour by public transport.
Found an area that interests you?
The next step is to start looking! You can either choose to find an accommodation through an agency or by yourself. You must take into consideration that using an agency can be expensive as the agency fee must be paid. From the positive side, the agency will take care of finding a suitable home for you which will save you time and energy. If you would wish to look for yourself, there are a number of ways to do so. For example, Facebook has many groups that serve the purpose of connecting tenants and renters. Also, there are other free websites where you can find your accommodation.
- Do not pay without having a contract, especially when you are abroad and have not seen the place and owner beforehand.
- Before sealing the deal, make sure that you understand what the monthly rent payment covers. Meaning, whether it includes the expenses such as water, electricity, gas and internet or if you have to pay for these additionally?
- When moving in, check if light and water fixtures work, investigate the overall condition of the place (windows, walls and floors) and note the damages down with your landlord. This way you can make sure that you will not be charged for some damages that you have not caused.
- Your landlord can ask you to pay a deposit, usually a one months’ basic rent. This is meant to give your landlord a protection in case you neglect some agreements, such as failing to meet the payment obligations or when a damage is done to the appartment during your stay. If there are no claims by the end of the renting period, you should be returned the deposit fully.
Take a look at the following websites and search for rent there!
Portals and agencies
NB! Note that for some of these portals and agencies, it is necessary to make a premium account for a certain fee that enables to see more details about the offer and/or to contact the owner.
oranjeapartments.weebly.com (this website is addressed primarily to Chinese students)