News - October 9, 2008

‘After one week, it is getting to be stressful’

About one hundred international students are still waiting for a room in Wageningen. They are staying at holiday parks in Hoenderloo and Nieuw Milligen or with friends in Wageningen. Slowly, students that are graduating are vacating their rooms, but the inflow of international students still continues.

In the evenings, the international students staying at Hoenderloo are taken from Forum to their holiday homes, a forty-minute drive by bus.
‘It is very hectic’, says a Kenyan student. She has taken a seat on the evening bus that takes the students from Forum back to the vacation parks. ‘I arrived here two weeks ago and there are no activities at the park during the evenings or the weekends. I am starting to feel isolated.’ She complains that there is no internet access in her room and that she can’t fix herself lunch during the day. ‘The park itself is good, but it is so far away from Wageningen’, states the girl sitting next to her, who is from Sudan. The sooner they will have a room in Wageningen the better, they agree. ‘One week is ok, but now it is getting to be stressful.’
A German boy and girl are more at peace with their temporary stay at the holiday park in Hoenderloo since the end of August. Their rooms do have internet and the houses are fine. ‘The only problem is that you depend on the bus schedule.’ Most students who have been at the park for five weeks or longer, have gotten rooms in Wageningen by now. ‘We were also offered rooms. But since they were still unfinished, we thought it better to wait’, explain the German students.
The Wageningen Student Organization WSO is aware of the students’ problems at the bungalow parks, says board member Clifton Sabajo. ‘It’s difficult for them to stay in touch with their fellow students and with student life in Wageningen.’

But students who graduated in the last week of September are slowly abandoning their rooms in Wageningen. Sabajo: ‘We will see how long it takes. For now we won’t undertake any more action.’
‘Things are starting to move because of the graduations, but slower than we hoped for’, comments spokesperson for Wageningen UR Simon Vink. This week, 17 international students are moving to the IPO building, which is being used as a temporary housing facility. There are still 39 people at Miggelenberg in Hoenderloo and 33 at Rabbit Hill in Nieuw Milligen. Another 29 students are staying with friends. Of all of these, 17 students will be offered rooms in the IPO building. The others will have to wait for rooms that become available. Student housing organization Idealis and the university are preparing another unoccupied university building at the Haarweg and looking for other solutions. In the meantime, the bungalow parks will continue to house students. ‘The inflow of international Ph.D. and Master’s students persists’, clarifies Vink.