It can be a frustrating experience trying to find a rental as a foreign student in Rotterdam. If it is your first time moving away from parents and you are inexperienced at navigating this housing market there are a few things that might help you increase your chances at a room or apartment.
For most students starting to study means moving out of their parents house and living alone for the first time. Your standard of living will most likely decrease. Having your own bedroom but sharing kitchen and bathroom with one or more flatmates is normal in Rotterdam. Especially for new students it can be a good opportunity to start a social network and not feel so alone away from home. If sharing a shower is really not your thing and you or your parents don't have super deep pockets then check out or breakdown of the different districts in Rotterdam. Maybe you will find a good compromise.
Probably the most important thing to keep in mind is that you should start searching as early as possible. Especially before the start of new semesters in February and September the struggle to find a cheap, central and modern apartment or even just a room is real. From our experience a good time to search for a new place is about 3 months before you plan to move. Any earlier and many apartments won't be listed yet. If it is possible for you then avoiding the high seasons will ease competition dramatically. From June to August thousands of students need a new place, try to avoid being one of them. Whenever you decide to start searching, it is always a good idea to cast a wide net, meaning you should inquire about as manny offers as you can. Having to send out 20+ inquires before you get a positive reply is absolutely normal. Being a foreign student doesn't make things easier either. Rental agencies will ask for absurdly high income statements of 3 or 4 times the monthly rent or if you use your parents as a guarantor even higher multiples. Multiple months rent price as a deposit is normal as well.
The different universities in the city offer some housing program, however, they are only covering about 20% of new arriving student. Trying to get a place in them also requires months on a waiting list and the rent prices are also quite high for what you get. Living in a Student House in and around Kralingse Zoom is perfect for first year students but if you are a seasoned exchange student they might not be for you.
All of these difficulties and still more students come here every year. That creates a dangerous vacuum of easy to get affordable apartments that just seem too good to be true. Thats because they usually are. Beware of scammers. They are just waiting for those desperate students mid-august that desperately need a place to stay and will pay anything for it. Scammers will usually ask for a fee before they even consider you as a tenant. Once you realise they want you to pay €100 or €200 up front just move on. Google their names or alleged company and you will most often find people warning you about them. Just stay suspicious and you should be fine.
Check out our portfolio of short to mid term stay apartments. Maybe you can stay with us for a few months until you find the right long term stay.