Your dorm room will not be available for another month, but your lectures already started. What are your options? Sleep on the couch at a friend’s place, look for a temporary room? Michael Cormann brought a tent.
A small green tent stands in the sun on the edge of a pond at Droevendaal. This is Cormann’s temporary accommodation. During daytime, the German student can stay in the building where his room will soon vacate, and on days when the current occupant is away, he has the possibility to sleep in her room. But he sleeps outdoors on the remaining days. ‘I don’t mind it at all. I wake up with the sun, which shines brightly on the tent in the morning. My neighbours are ducks, and I enjoy camping.’
Cormann is a Master’s student on the Erasmus exchange programme and is here for a year to study Environmental Sciences. He arrived in the Netherlands in July to arrange a dorm room at Droef. He was accepted into a house at the very first hospiteeravond [interview for a dorm room] he attended. He arrived several days before the AID to set up his tent. He didn’t have a backup plan when he came to the Netherlands. ‘If I hadn’t found a room, I would have found another solution, but I absolutely wanted to live here at Droef. I think there is no other place where you can live among such unique people.’
On days when the weather is warm and the room is available to him, he still chooses to spend the night in the tent. The room has a loft bed above the door, where it can get very warm due to the lack of fresh air circulation. Unless you open the windows. ‘You do not want to do that; there are masses of mosquitoes here and if you open the window, you will get stung beyond belief. The air in my tent is a lot cooler and I have a mosquito net. That is much better. I have been here for two weeks now, and I feel right at home.’