There are many student houses in Enschede: on campus, in the city center, but also in other neighborhoods of Enschede. Aside from location, you can also choose with how many people you want to live. Some prefer houses with only three roommates, while others are looking for houses with up to 14 others.
A student house is not only a place to reside: (Dutch) students regard their house as a nice group of friends whom provide a pleasant and safe home during your time as a student. For example, it is deemed important to be able to trust each other, and to have everyone motivated to put effort into the house and each other. Therefore, if you are interested in a student house, it is expected you go through an application process. This system is called cooptation (“coöptatie”).
The application process may sound like it requires more than it really does. Sending in a short messages in which you nicely and clearly introduce yourself is usually all it takes to be invited for an interview (“hospiteeravond”). During such a night both you and the house’s current residents can see if you are a good match. Often a times on such a night you won’t be the only applicant present. It is not unusual a student house invites multiple applicants at the same time. Although some houses prefer each applicant coming by separately. At any rate, don’t be surprised if you will also be faced with the competing applicants during your interview.
Tips for “hospiteren”
To help you find a suitable student house as soon as possible, we compiled some tips for you:
- Before you respond to an available room, make sure you know for yourself what kind of house you are looking for. Of course the location, rent price and size of the room matter. However, when opting for a student house, you also should decide what kind of roommates you want. For example, try to think about the number of activities you would want to do together on a weekly basis. Such activities may include having dinner together, or gathering for an informal drink. Take into account that some groups expect more participation than others.
- Have you found a room you like? You can apply for it by contacting one of the current residents. When doing so, it is important you introduce yourself briefly but clearly, allowing the residents to gain some insight in your personality and lifestyle.
- If you get invited to a “hospiteeravond”, don’t be late. If something is delaying you, it is considered good manners to notify the residents before the agreed upon time.
- The “hospiteeravond” is meant for you and your potential roommates to get to know each other. Therefore, it is not usual, nor desirable, to bring family or friends to this visit. Doing so can leave the impression you depend on others considerably. This is not a characteristic student houses always look upon kindly, and may lead to being rejected for the room.
- Be prepared to be asked some questions you might find odd. Keep in mind, however, that it is not always the answer that matters, but that the residents may also be testing how you respond to the subject in general.
- Don’t hesitate to ask questions yourself. The residents prefer applicants that show an interest in them. Furthermore, it helps you learn more about your potential roommates and their habits.
- Do not agree to all conditions on the spot. Give yourself some time to think about certain questions and conditions. If a house requires you join a certain association, consider whether you actually like this association before signing up.
- Pick a house that makes you feel comfortable. It will absorb a lot of extra energy if day after day you feel you need to work hard to fit in. Similarly, it’s equally unpleasant if you continuously have to push people to do things they don’t want to do.
- As a result of the “hospiteeravond” the residents may be enthused about you and offer you a room. However, you might still be in doubt whether or not you want it. Don’t let their enthusiasm be the decisive factor. You, and only you, can decide whether you would feel at home in a student house. If you rather look on, courteously decline their offer.
- Maybe you were looking forward to moving into a certain house, but the residents decline your application. Both parties have to believe there is a match. Don’t let the unfortunate news discourage you to look on. As a student city Enschede has no shortage of living quarters, and there should still be plenty of suitable student house for you.