Student - September 19, 2019

‘I sleep on a couch in Droevendaal’

Luuk Zegers,Anne van der Heijden

The room shortage in Wageningen may have decreased but there are still a few unlucky students with no fixed abode. They have to stay with someone, camp or commute for hours every day. Three of the ‘homeless’ tell us about it.


Alon Rapaport (26), a Plant Sciences exchange student from Israel.

‘I came here one month ago and I don’t have a room yet. First I stayed with a friend in Ede for a week and a half. After that I subrented a room in Droevendaal for five days. Even though a room became available there, I couldn’t stay because they were looking for a girl. For a little while, I could share the room with the girl I was subrenting from. Now I am sleeping on the couch at another house in Droevendaal.

People tell me not to worry, and I know I will find something in the end. The only question is when, where and how. The worst thing about it is the uncertainty. I would rather know I’ve got to camp in a tent for a month than have no idea where I will end up.’

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Julia Löhr (18), first-year Bachelor’s student of Environmental Sciences

‘I am still living with my parents in Deventer, but I am working hard on finding a room. I really want to live in Wageningen because otherwise I spend four hours a day travelling. I’ve already been to five ‘selection visits’ in student houses, and I’ve got two more this evening.

Luckily I don’t have to go up and down by train every day. I joined Nji-Sri student society and if there’s a party or event I can always stay with someone. And sometimes I can get a lift from Deventer with two other students who go by car now and then. That only takes three quarters of an hour. I’ve just pass my driving test myself and I think I’ll be able to borrow my parents’ car occasionally. But mainly, I hope I find a room soon.’

Ruben Knevelbaard (18), first-year Bachelor’s student of Biology

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‘As soon as I knew I would be coming to Wageningen, I said so on and started looking. Sometimes I was number 100 or 200 in the queue. Nowadays I’m usually about number 20. That’s better but there are still 19 others with a better chance. During the AID, I wanted to camp at the AID campsite. My parents said, maybe you can stay at a real campsite and stay there longer. So now I’ve got my family’s caravan at the Wielerbaan in Wageningen-Hoog. Having a shower or going to the loo is not very comfortable as you have to go outside. But otherwise it’s very doable: I have a comfortable bed and a heater. And I’m not the only student here so it’s quite sociable. But I do hope to have a room before the winter.’