International Students in Netherlands Protest After University of Amsterdam Fails to Provide Accommodation

Amsterdam Netherlands dancing houses over river Amstel

Students in the Netherlands expressed frustration during a protest held on October 13 after the University of Amsterdam failed to offer accommodation.

The General Student Association Amsterdam (ASVA) called the protest, which gathered many students and various groups. As the Peoples Dispatch reports, students said they have been struggling to find accommodation in the capital, and there has also been a serious shortage of staff and infrastructure; however, the University of Amsterdam continues to admit more international students.

People participating in the protest said that international students are choosing the Netherlands as their study destination under empty promises because after arriving in the country, they have to go through many difficulties to find a place to stay.

“In a socialist society, an increase in the number of international students, who themselves can offer valuable insights and other perspectives, would be accompanied by planned construction of housing and expansion of facilities and the staff of the university,” the Communist Youth Movement (CJB) stated, according to the report of Peoples Dispatch.

Earlier in the summer, the University of Amsterdam informed international students that the housing situation in the Dutch capital is difficult and advised the latter not to come to Amsterdam if they haven’t found housing beforehand. After the accommodation request was full, the school sent an email to students telling them that if they haven’t secured a place to stay in advance, they may struggle to find suitable accommodation.

“The Amsterdam housing market is extremely challenging. Therefore, we urge you not to come to Amsterdam for your studies unless you have secured proper housing by August 15, 2022. Without the guarantee of a residence, you will likely find yourself in an unsustainable position,” the school had said in a statement.

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A study from the Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO), in partnership with other student bodies, found that 59 percent of international students in the Netherlands experience mental health problems, with about 28 percent of these students saying they don’t feel at home.

In order to improve the housing situation, the Dutch government has collaborated with students, municipalities, private investors, higher education institutions and housing associations to develop a plan during the last month, which foresees the construction of 60,000 affordable student homes in eight years.

In addition to the housing crisis, students in the Netherlands have also reported difficulties with the cost of living, especially after the increase in fuel and food prices.

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