International students forced to drop out of studies due to lack of Dutch housing

It’s no news that the housing shortage is taking its toll on students in the Netherlands — and internationals are no exception to this. Hopeful students are now dropping out of Dutch universities due to a lack of accommodation.

According to the knowledge centre for student housing, there will be up to 26,500 student rooms too few this autumn, forcing many to make the difficult decision to drop out.

No house, no studies

The Netherlands is a very popular study destination for international students. With low tuition fees, high English proficiency, and the legal framework of the EU to guarantee Europeans university access, it’s no wonder students flock to the lowlands.

Earlier this summer, however, Dutch universities made headlines with their warnings telling international students not to come to the Netherlands if they don’t know they’ll have a place to stay.

Fair enough, nobody wants to be homeless, right? But the situation has caused frustration and disappointment for thousands of prospective students, writes De Telegraaf.

Some have now been forced to follow the authorities’ advice and drop out before they even begin their studies.

Creative (and pretty terrible) solutions

For those determined enough to make the move despite the grim housing crisis, some creative solutions are on offer:

The University of Utrecht has reserved a bunch of hostel beds as temporary accommodation for those in need, with couch surfing and tent life being secondary (but not very ideal) options.

Some students don’t want to spend their studies living in a park, however (silly snowflakes) and are simply unable to find a solution. The result? Their dream of studying in the Netherlands must be abandoned.

What do you think about the student housing situation? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Juni Moltubak
Juni Moltubak
Juni moved to the Netherlands after realizing how expensive tuition fees in the UK are, and never regretted her choice of studying in The Hague. After three years of Political Science, she is ready for a new adventure — an internship at DutchReview! When you don’t see her typing on her laptop she can be found strolling around Haagse Bos or sitting in her lovely garden scrolling through interior design TikToks.


  1. I’m an international with a dutch masters and phd. The dutch tuition fees are not the lowest for masters and bachelors. For African students here, the attraction is the proximity of the NL to home.
    And ofcourse, the fact that you survive with basic english.
    The housing problem captured in your data did not include housing for families, we are the worst hit here. Not even when you can afford the exorbitant rental cost, you are faced with the discriminatory attitude of house owners, and the arrogance of housing agents.
    You have to earn 3times the rent to be given one. That’s difficult for any international student, even if both husband and wife are working.
    That policy is outdated now in view of the housing shortage.

      • Its probably not a good idea – its very expensive and there are too many people wanting to move to NL already. Just look at the dire refugee situation in Ter Apel. A baby died there a few days ago!

  2. The tuition fee is definitely not the cheapest here, its quite expensive here too for International students from Africa. I’m an international student with children also going to International secondary. The housing issue is depressing and frustrating at the same time. The housing issue is even worse because they expect you as a full time student to produce a payslip to show your income. How is that possible when you’re supposed to be a full-time student?
    To attract more Internationals who pay ×6 of what the local students pay, the schools might need to reserve hostels for the International students from outside Europe especially. The attraction of the Netherlands is its proximity and reduced flight time to home.


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