Studentenflat Stieltjesweg Delft Duwo Delta
The Duwo test included fifty international students in the student flat on the Stieltjesweg. (Photo: Duwo)

International bachelor students have reacted positively to a test in which DUWO assigned them the same type of room as they do to Dutch students. The student-housing corporation expects that the playing field in the housing market will become more equal for Dutch and international students.

As more and more bachelor studies at TU Delft are offered in English, an increasing number of international students choose to stay here for the full duration of their studies, rather than just a semester or an exchange period. This change affects the demands they have regarding housing. DUWO is picking up on this trend and has done several tests over the past two years in which they have offered international students unfurnished rooms under campus contracts, meaning they can stay there as long as they are enrolled at university.

In Delft, this test was done last year, and included fifty international students in the new student flat on the Stieltjesweg. Gijsbert Mul, DUWO’s director of Public Affairs and Accommodation, says the response has been overwhelmingly positive. “The majority of the students was very happy because they can stay in the room longer, have the possibility to get their own furniture, the rent is a bit cheaper and they can live in buildings with Dutch students.”

The choice for a specific type of room will became a matter of preference

Over time, Mul expects that the playing field in the housing market will become more equal for Dutch and international students. Whether students choose to rent a furnished room where they can stay for a short period of time or an unfurnished room under a campus contract will become a matter of preference instead of where they are from. “It will become a choice between the comfort of an already furnished room when you arrive versus the advantages of furnishing your own room and being able to stay there longer.”

Mul also notes that there are more Dutch students who are interested in furnished rooms. Some can simply afford the higher prices and want this service, others only stay for a short time, switching between several universities during their study.

Currently, TU Delft has an arrangement with DUWO (and other organisations) for reserved housing for international students. It is generally harder for them to find a room abroad because they have fewer options to get one through friends or student associations, for example.

Furthermore, students looking for a room in a building with shared facilities, such as a student house, have to go through a system of ‘co-opting’, where the students who already live in the building choose their new flatmate. It isn’t easy to do the co-opting process when you are in China or India.

In the new situation, international students would still get priority based on the distance they have to travel to Delft, but according to Mul “in principle it does not make a big difference if a student is from Groningen or China.”

Also read: More rooms for PhD students in Delft