Housing shortage for international students
International students at Tilburg University are having a hard time finding a place to stay. They are asking for help. Daily newspaper Brabants Dagblad spoke with a few student who have plans to take action.
A Facebook group was created named ‘homeless students at Tilburg’, where students can vent their frustrations to others in the same position. Currently the group has more than 170 members. However, a glance at the page showed that many of the members aren’t students. Many are journalists or housing agents. The Brabants Dagblad made contact with I*ESN and the International Office of Tilburg University, which gave them the impression that dozens of students are dealing with this problem. Australian student Andrea Zonnekus contradicts this: according to her, 400 students are currently homeless.
The students want to take action. They say that the university gave the impression that it would be easy to find housing, which apparently isn’t so. The Tilburg University website states that its International Office helps new international students find apartments.
Student Laura Marta Zobova is asking the university to reimburse a portion of the money she paid for the introduction week. “I was only able to participate in half of the activities, since I was looking for an apartment the whole time.” Others want to take action with the hashtag #homelessstudentsTilburg to increase people’s awareness of the problem.
Politicians asking questions
In the meantime, council member Sedi van Laan has been asking Tilburg University’s board of executives some questions about the issue. “We would like to see that our international guests are well received in Tilburg. If information was given that there are enough apartments, then there should be.”
A spokesperson for Tilburg University, Tineke Benema, says that the board of executives is busy trying to solve this problem. “Tilburg University has indicated that it will offer information and websites for realtors, but that it is the student’s own responsibility to find apartments.” According to her, there are 70 students without housing at the moment. The board has taken measures by making two floors available in the Bastion hotel in Tilburg as a kind of emergency shelter.