A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Kamer gezocht?

It’s not a secret: Finding a room or an appartment in Leiden is quite a challenge – especially for students coming from abroad. But after sending outside  countless mails and seeing rooms throughout the city, I can finally say that it was worth the effort! To make things a little easier for you, here is a little survival guide for Leiden’s housing market.



Among the various agencies in Leiden those are specialized in renting out to students. You will be most likely to find something here:



There are many websites putting rooms, studios and appartments. Some require monthly payments or a subscription fee. Most Dutch students use Kamernet and also put the available rooms on facebook. Overall, there is a lot of overlap – so no need for confusion.



From students for students! If you want to save the broker fee and get to know your future flatmates before moving in, facebook is the right address. When a room is coming free, they are normally posted around two to six weeks beforehand – so, stay up to date!



You have been invited to a “hospiteeravond”? This is how Dutch students find a new roomie. Still no idea? Simply imagine “The Bachelor” – unfortunately without the hot guy (most of of the times)…but don’t worry: The flatmates will introduce themselves, give you all of the important facts about the room and then it’s your turn. After everyone knows one another a little bit better, you may be asked some further questions – more or less relevant: “How are your cooking skills?”, “What activity would you plan with the flatmates?” or (my favorite) “Which Disney character would you like to be?” – just be creative.

Some last minute tipps

  1. Dutch. Even if your language skills are not yet as advanced as you would like them to be, try to show your effort: Formulate an email in Dutch (I am sure you will find a helping hand.) and pick up some phrases to present yourself in the beginning.
  2. Preparation. What are you going to tell about yourself? A funny anectote? An interesting hobby? However, don’t write down your whole life story and learn it by heart. Mostly, everyone gets to talk for about a minute.
  3. Presents. Are you wondering if it is appropriate or just “nice” to bring a bottle of wine or some chocolate? Don’t worry about it – I have never seen anyone do it.
  4. First impressions. That’s what it’s all about. So, be on time – or even better: 5 minutes too early to save a good spot and to have a short chat with the flatmates.
  5. (Last but not least,) be yourself and honest. It’s obvious but often forgotten. Of course, we all try to put ourselves in the best light but naturality works best. Believe me.


Veel success!




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