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Tips for finding a room independently

Finding a place to live in Amsterdam is not easy, as there is a serious shortage of accommodation for students.

In general, VU Amsterdam International Office can roughly accommodate max. 45% of all incoming students. This means that all other students must find accommodation by themselves. We advise every student to start looking for accommodation early.

More information about the possibilities can be found below. We also advice you to read the information about scamming thoroughly. If you are unsure whether the housing advert you found is a scam, you can always ask us for advice.

Watch the recording about finding accomodation

Watch the recording about finding accomodation

Our Accommodation Officers hosted a webinar about finding accommodation yourself. What are the do's and don'ts? Which websites are available? Questions like these and many others are answered in this 1-hour session, that was recorded in January 2023.

This webinar can only be watched if you have a VUnet-ID.

Watch the recording here
  • When do I start looking for accommodation?

    As soon you are (conditionally) admitted, we advise to apply and pay for our housing service. Be aware that you can apply for housing starting from 1 October in the previous academic year. If you are admitted in April 2024 and you want to start in September 2024, there are already many students on the housing application list.

    Students with special wishes cannot be accommodated via VU for example, if you want to bring your family or pet or you are not interested in the accommodation types we offer, start looking on the private market directly.

  • What to keep in mind when looking for housing on the private market

    • Affordable housing on the private market in Amsterdam is scarce and expensive it starts at €750 and up.
    • Consider a room in nearby towns, such as Diemen, Zaandam, Almere, Purmerend, Haarlem, or Hoofddorp.
    • Look for early starting dates, don’t wait for a room starting on mid-August or September, accept a room with a starting date from April – beginning of August.
    • Look for rooms from students who are subletting: Student that are going abroad for their studies/internship will try to sublet their room during their time abroad.
    • Look out for scams, see also the tips below how to avoid this.
    • The !WOON tenant support agency (funded by the Amsterdam municipality) provides information, advice and support for tenants and owner-occupants. Confidentially and free of charge. By giving internationals more insight into the Dutch rental market and their rights and obligations as tenants they hope to contribute to their stay in Amsterdam. !WOON has offices all over the city with regular walk-ins (no appointment necessary). They also have a special department for extreme situations involving intimidation etc, called the Meldpunt.
  • Register on Dutch student housing websites

    If you decide to stay in Amsterdam for longer than one year, we strongly advise you to register anyway on and as soon as possible, since these are working with registration time. Out of all students responding to a listing, the room is offered to the student ranked highest on the waiting list.

    This registration might not offer you a room for the first year but can be an option for students who have housing via VU Amsterdam for the first year and need to find housing for the second or third year of their studies.

    Priority for international students at offers international students coming from abroad to skip the waiting list on selected buildings. This priority is only valid for contracts with start dates from 1 June to 30 September 2024 at the following locations:

    • Spinozacampus (Darlingstraat-Dennenrodepad)
    • Opaallaan (Hoofddorp)
    • Schoonzichtlaan (Haarlem)

    If you are offered one of these rooms, you will receive a campus contract for the entire duration of your studies. Please note that these rooms are non-furnished. You will have to arrange your own furniture (and sometimes flooring and fixtures too).

    When you register at with an address from outside the Netherlands, you will automatically skip the waiting list when you respond to listings at the above-mentioned locations. If multiple international students respond, the international student with the longest registration time is offered the room. Read more on the DUWO website.

  • Other useful student platforms

    We advise you to sign up for RoomPlaza, Housing Anywhere and Kamernet. They all offer housing not only in Amsterdam, but also in surrounding towns and villages.

    The platform where (international) students can book their accommodation with a group or as an individual entirely online. Booking a flat is safe and secure. Tenants can book flats on the basis of accurate descriptions, photos and video viewings. And what’s more - as long as your numbers are correct - RoomPlaza offers flats for your entire group. If you do not have a group yet, you can use the find-flatmate-tool to create one! Their Customer Service Team is available and can be contacted daily, so you can be assured that things will run smoothly.

    Housing Anywhere
    For Housing Anywhere, you can get a 20% discount on the subscription fee, a VU Amsterdam priority profile and priority access to the listings in Amsterdam sign up here. You can find information about finding your new place on the how it works page. Do you need more information or have a specific question? Send an email to

  • Staying with a host or guest family

    Hospi Housing is the biggest platform for homestay in the Netherlands. They offer a free-to-use platform with hundreds of verified hosts and guest families. Hospi Housing does not charge any registration fees, you only pay a one-time fee if you find a room. Before and during your stay they provide personal advice to get you well prepared for your arrival in Amsterdam.

    Staying with a host or guest family will provide you with a soft landing in town and is the perfect way to get in touch with Dutch culture and language. You’ll have your own private room and shared facilities like a kitchen and bathroom. Get more information and sign up at:

  • Other options

    In this PDF, you can find more options, also for temporary housing.

    VU Amsterdam cannot be held responsible for the services delivered by any provider of alternative accommodation.


Feel free to reach out to us

In case you would like to meet up with us to discuss your accommodation, please call us at T +31 (0)20 598 1813 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday between 10:30am-12:30pm) to schedule an appointment or schedule a phone call in our online tool.

E-mail address student accommodation:

E-mail address staff accommodation:


  • Michelle Zumbrink
  • Accommodation Officer
  • Clair Streckfuss
  • Accommodation Officer