A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I am a third year student at Leiden University College (LUC) in The Hague. Although the process of moving and finding apartments is an experience in itself – one which deserves its own blog post – this is to suggest where to start in order to get furniture and to decorate your room. While you may notice your Dutch peers making use of useful things, i.e. a family at hand, their spare furniture, and car to move into their room, there are multiple ways that help to acquire new furniture without such help. My favourites are through “Kringloop” and charity/second hand shops.
Kringloop is a company that operate in The Hague (but unfortunately not Leiden). Their website states they “collect, repair and sell furniture and household goods, which people donate,” and are a well-used resource for Leiden students in The Hague. Their stores are dotted all over – check out locations here. They can deliver for a moderate fee. Plus, they offer employment and training to people who have difficulty finding a regular job, and like second hand shops or charity shops, are a great way to shop sustainably – they are the epitome of the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle).
Charity shops/second hand shops. Kringloop is not the only shop offering second hand items – scour central Hague or Leiden by bike, or on foot, and you are bound to find a shop. They may be tucked away in an unexpected corner of your town so are a great way to get your head around the new area! Post on your class Facebook group to ask if anyone knows of good places to go for this, or talk to those in the year above.
Another obvious shop is Ikea; a nearby one is in Delft, a train trip from The Hague or Leiden. They can deliver for a similar fee to the Kringloops, and may allow you to finish your entire shopping in one trip. On the other hand, they don’t fulfill the three R’s, and you miss a good exploration of the city at a time when the place may well be unaccustomed to you.
Whatever you decide on, good luck and enjoy the search!