Become a host (family)
For Dutch students the term hospiteren is a familiar term around the start of an academic year. It is a fairly Dutch phenomenon and it means you apply for a room in a student house.
But beware, competition here is fierce. The reason is the demand for housing exceeding supply, which has recently led to the revival of another traditionally Dutch phenomenon: staying with a hospita. Loosely translated, this means homestay–a term more familiar with English speakers. In essence, local residents of towns across the country offer a room in their homes to students starting their tertiary education. For some it is a solution to a housing shortage, for others a preferred option, and for those offering their home as a hospita it is a chance to be of service and value as well as earn a little income on the side. Not surprisingly, often these hospitas are empty nesters–when their own children have moved out.
Part of the solution
For us at Hopsi Housing, though, providing a room to international students is also a way of building friendships, learning from other cultures and being hospitable to guests from overseas. This is how we are encouraging Dutch residents of the Utrecht area to consider renting a room to international students. From our own experience we know how rewarding it can be for all involved: students, hosts and even the students’ families far away.
You, as international residents of Utrecht, can also help. We welcome you as part of the local, hospitable solution to the housing needs of (international) students. We invite you to consider becoming a host or host family (gastgezin) by making a room in your place available to an international student. We match you with a student, help you understand the regulations around this and explain the tax rules which allow you to earn up to €5,367 tax free per year from this income. Even for a short-term of a few months, this solution can make all the difference to a student having a good start in their academic careers. Imagine it were your child who had difficulty finding a good start in a new country? Wouldn’t you like to know there was someone with a solution?
While the most pressing moment of need occurs in August, for students starting an academic period in February there is also need. Want to know more, explore how you can help? Get in touch with us, or explore the information on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.