News - August 16, 2016

Blog: Rooms without Floors

Nadya Karimasari

With the start of the new academic year, blogger Nadya Karimasari observes that although there’s a commendable effort to manage the accommodation for new students, there is still room for improvement.

Wageningen University and Research is back to life. After several weeks of empty corridors, at least in my office, students and faculty members start to return to campus. Most of them are looking relaxed and refreshed, ready to start the new semester.

New Master students from the Netherlands and around the world start to arrive, after being busy with room rent, stuck online in order to get a good bargain of second-hand furniture (because they get an unfurnished room), figuring out how to do their own flooring and wall-painting (especially for students who will stay at the Campus Plaza). It is amazing how the university seems to get away with not being responsible for room flooring. Looking at the bright side: new students who never expect to become experts in room flooring are gaining new lifetime skills they would never have otherwise.

I’ve also come across a special case. A new Master student is bringing her ten-months old baby, three year old daughter and husband. She entered a cul-de-sac situation when she tried to find housing. The family housing provided by Idealis is strictly categorized under the PhD 'doelgroep', which means a master student cannot apply. It is a tricky situation because perhaps Idealis assumes that most Master students would be young, single and carefree. But that is not always the case. Renting private housing is not an option, because it requires employment statement, salary slip, and tax payment slip among others. A master student who is still breastfeeding tries to find a way to be with her baby and still excel in her studies. There’s no harm for the university to help provide solutions for this problem.

The number of international students increased exponentially this year in Wageningen University. They might come here with a rosy, ideal picture of Wageningen University, but they deserve to get a better treatment.