‘Dutch students, please also consider internationals as a roommate’

‘Dutch students, please also consider internationals as a roommate’

International student Claudia has just arrived from Italy to study at Tilburg University. Struggling to find a room, she is currently staying at hostel Roots. And she’s not the only one.

The hostel along the Stationsstraat serves as a temporary home to fifty international students, Omroep Brabant reported yesterday. They sleep in bunk beds in shared dormitories, which have been reserved by Tilburg University to provide homeless international students with a roof over their heads.

Newly-arrived internationals have difficulty finding student accomodation in Tilburg, because many Dutch students are reluctant to take in roommates from abroad. In Facebook groups, student housing ads often include an all-caps statement saying ‘DUTCH ONLY’.

In a video item recorded at hostel Roots, Italian student Claudia talks about the international student’s struggle to find a room in Tilburg. “Most of the time, the answer I get is: we’re only looking for Dutch students,” she says, expressing her disappointment at a seeming lack of openness to other cultures in Dutch student houses. “I’m very sorry, because it would be nice to find different cultures mixing together, sharing spaces, sharing habits, sharing food and all that stuff.”

Claudia urges Dutch students to look beyond nationality when choosing a new flatmate. “If you’re Dutch and you’re looking for a roommate, please also consider myself and all the other people who are looking for a house.”

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