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Looking for accommodation in Amsterdam?

Studying at Vrije Universiteit and living in Amsterdam is a great experience, but finding a room can be a challenge.

The International Office offers accommodation to participants in English-taught degree programmes. There are furnished and unfurnished rooms with private or shared facilities. The number of rooms available is limited so we cannot guarantee accommodation for every student, but the International Office will do its utmost best to find suitable accommodation for everyone. Below you will find all housing rules and regulations. We advise you to read them carefully. 

Information about housing

  • Eligibility

    Who can apply for accommodation?

    All students who have been (conditionally) accepted will receive an invitation to confirm their participation in VUnet. Once you have confirmed your participation, you will be able to apply for accommodation in VUnet. You can only apply for accommodation from VU Amsterdam when you meet the following criteria:

    • You are enrolled in an English-taught degree programme;
    • You are a first year student;
    • You have a non-Dutch nationality. Please note that when you have dual citizenship of the Netherlands and an EU/Non-EU country, you are not eligible for accommodation via us;
    • You have to be admitted based on a foreign diploma;
    • You are not living in the Netherlands.

  • Housing companies/Housing corporations

    VU Amsterdam cooperates with different housing companies such as DUWO, IC, Hotel Jansen, The Student Hotel, OurCampus Amsterdam Diemen, Student Experience. These companies offer furnished and unfurnished accommodations to students. In total, VU Amsterdam has more than 1500 reserved rooms for international students. 

  • Contract types, rental periods and prices

    Contract types

    Rental contracts for Bachelor's and Master's students:

    • Campus contracts
      • These are rental contracts covering the total duration of your study programme. You can stay in this type of accommodation as long as you are registered at VU Amsterdam. There are limited rooms available for this type of contract.
      • Most rooms with a campus contract are not furnished.
      • The contracts are flexible;. i.e., there are no fixed end dates which means that is is possible to cancel the contract during the academic year.
      • Depending on the housing company, the room may be cancelled after the first year or during the first year. Please keep in mind that there is a one month notice.
      • There are limited rooms available for this type of contract.
    • Rental contracts for a fixed period of 1 year
      • 1 year contracts cannot be extended.
      • Bachelor's students need to find accommodation themselves for the second and third year. Master's students who do not finish the programme within 1 year also need to find accommodation themselves.
      • The rooms for this contract are furnished.
      • Early termination of the contract is not allowed.

    Rental periods

    The rental period depends on the type of accommodation and contract you choose. Please see the overview below:

    • Housing corporation: DUWO
      • Type of accommodation: Accommodate (furnished)
      • Type of contract: Fixed
      • Rental period: Mid August 2020 - Mid August 2021. Extension not possible
    • Housing corporation: IC, The Fizz
      • Type of accommodation: Furnished
      • Type of contract: Fixed
      • Rental period: Mid August 2020 - Mid August 2021. Extension not possible
    • Housing corporation: OurCampus Amsterdam Diemen
      • Type of accommodation: Furnished, high service level
      • Type of contract: Fixed
      • Rental period: August 2020 (start dates can differ) - Mid August 2021. Extension not possible
    • Housing corporation: Student Experience
      • Type of accommodation: Campus Contract (unfurnished) @RavelResidence, @Amstelhome
      • Type of contract: Flexible
      • Rental period: Start date August 2020 (start dates can differ), minimum 12 months. Maximum until graduation
    • Housing corporation: The Student Hotel
      • Type of accommodation: Furnished, high service level
      • Type of contract: Fixed
      • Rental period: 1 September 2020 - 30 June 2021. Extension not possible


    Rental prices and fees of housing corporations

    The rental prices mentioned are per month. The price varies according to type, size and location. Services costs (water, electricity, cable internet etc.) are included in the price.

    All rents mentioned are subject to change, and as such you cannot derive a right from these prices. You can find the (range of) rental prices in the types of accommodation documents listed above. Please note that some types of accommodation are eligible for housing allowance. Please see below under 'Taxes and Housing Allowance' for more information. Apart from the rental price, you will need to pay an administration fee to the housing company (max €150). After signing the online housing contract with the housing company, you will need to pay at 2 or 3 months’ rent as advanced payment. 

  • Accommodation types and locations

    Our accommodation consists of furnished  and unfurnished (single) rooms with private or shared facilities. It is common that men and women live together in the same student house. Given the shortage of accommodation, you may find the room you get is rather small and not of the standard you had expected. Accommodation in Amsterdam is not only limited, but can also be more expensive than at home. Thinking about these things in advance could help avoid unpleasant surprises later. We are trying to manage your expectations! While we offer a limited number of rooms for couples, it is unfortunately not possible to accommodate children or pets. In case you are interested in a room for couples, please contact us at studentaccommodation@vu.nl. Please also contact us by email should you require a room equipped for special needs.

    The university’s types of accommodation are located in various areas of the Amsterdam metropolitan area. Generally, VU Amsterdam can be reached easily by bike and public transport from all locations. Detailed information with regards to the room types and locations can be found below.

    Bachelor's students

    For our Bachelor's students we have reserved Campus Contract rooms and rooms for 1 year (1 year fixed). N.B. we recommend Campus Contract rooms when you are a Bachelor's student.

    Master's students

    • For our 1-year Master programme students, we have reserved rooms for 1 year (1 year fixed).
    • For our 2-year Master programme students, we have reserved Campus Contract rooms and rooms for 1 year (1 year fixed). N.B. we recommend Campus Contract rooms in this case.
  • How to apply for accommodation

    Before you go to VUnet to apply for accommodation, please consult this website for an overview of all our accommodation options (Campus Contract and 1 year fixed contracts). You will need to enter your top 3 in the accommodation application form in VUnet. 

    Step 1

    Please confirm your participation in VUnet.

    Step 2

    Please apply for accommodation in VUnet. When you submit your application for accommodation in VUnet, you have to indicate the top 3 of your preferences. Please note that you can no longer change your top 3 as soon as you have submitted the application in VUnet. N.B. While you will select your top 3 in VUnet, the choice is not binding; i.e., you can still be offered accommodation from the other categories.

    Step 3

    Please transfer the housing fee. Accommodation will be assigned based on a first paid, first served system. The date on which VU Amsterdam receives the payment will determine your place in the queue. As soon as you finished the housing application in VUnet, a link to pay the housing fee online will become available in VUnet. The housing fee is charged to cover our costs in providing accommodation services to international students. For Bachelor's and Master's students the fee is €500 for all contracts. We advise you to use the online payment tool, but it is also possible to pay the fee via bank transfer. The bank details are as follows:

    Account name:      Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Name of bank:       Deutsche Bank
    Address of bank:   De Entree 99-197, 1101 HE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    IBAN:                       NL49DEUT0488004470
    BIC:                          DEUTNL2N

    Please state your name and S+ student number (e.g. s1234567).
    When paid from abroad, all banking costs are to be paid by the applicant. You can pay your visa and housing fee in one transaction.

    As mentioned above, we work with a first paid, first served system based on the housing fee payment date. Therefore we recommend that you use the online payment tool. Applications for accommodation will not be dealt with until VU Amsterdam has received this payment. In case all rooms are booked, students will be placed on a waiting list.

    Step 4

    Please wait for further instructions. You will receive additional information from the International Office by email within a few weeks.

  • Assignment of rooms

    Assignment of rooms

    • Starting from 1 May 2020, VU Amsterdam will assign rooms based on a first paid, first served basis. The date on which VU Amsterdam receives the payment will determine your place in the queue.
    • Based on the top 3 you selected in VUnet, the best available option will be offered to you. Of course, the offer depends on the availability of rooms.
    • When a room is assigned to you, we will inform you about the next steps. In general, you will be directed to the application system of the housing corporation to book a room or to confirm the reservation. 
    • In case DUWO shortstay is assigned to you, you will be invited to book your room in the DUWO system according to your preferences and the availability. It is not necessary to send us your preferences for DUWO shortstay.


    Waiting list

    You will be placed on the waiting list in the following cases:

    • If we cannot offer you one of your top 3 options, we will offer you an alternative option when available.  You can accept this alternative or you can choose to be placed on the waiting list. Be aware that we cannot guarantee that one of your top 3 choices will become available.
    • If all accommodation is fully booked, you will be placed on the waiting list. Please keep in mind that the waiting list does not give you any guarantees. We will do our utmost to find housing in Amsterdam or in the Amsterdam Region (Amstelveen, Hoofddorp, Almere, Zaandam).
  • Changes and cancellations

    Changes and cancellations of accommodation applications

    • You can apply for one room only. It is not possible to change rooms once you have reserved one.
    • Should you wish to cancel your accommodation application, please send an email to studentaccommodation@vu.nl.
    • As a tenant, you are responsible and liable for the accommodation you are renting.
    • As a tenant, you are not allowed to sublet your accommodation. This includes platforms such as AirBnB and Wimdu. The only exception to this rule is when you go abroad as part of your study programme or for an internship. Only in this situation are you allowed to sublet your room. You can read more about subletting here

    Refund of the housing fee

    Your housing fee will only be refunded when you cancel your application before 1 August 2020. You will need to fill out your address and bank account details in an online form. You can request the link to the form by sending an email to studentaccommodation@vu.nl. It is only possible to request a refund of the housing fee after 1 August 2020 when the VU Accommodation Office did not yet offer you a room. As soon as you receive an offer, your housing fee becomes non-refundable. For example, when you are on the waiting list and you receive an offer later than 1 August 2020 then it is not possible to cancel this offer without costs. If you do not wish to be on the waiting list any more, please inform studentaccommodation@vu.nl as soon as possible.

  • Arrival days and registration with the municipality

    Arrival days and key pick-up

    You will be informed about this in a later stage.

    Registration with the municipality

    When you will stay in the Netherlands for more than four months, you need to register with  the municipality. After registration, the municipal office will send a social security number (BSN) to your Dutch address. During the Arrival days, it will be possible to register with the municipalities Amstelveen or Amsterdam at Vrije Universiteit. You can find more information under ‘When you arrive’.

    Required documents

    • Passport or European ID card
    • Rental agreement for your Dutch address (if you do not have a rental agreement then you must bring a written statement of approval signed by the main tenant and a copy of his/her passport).
    • Birth Certificate (legalised)* - please note that this is only required if you are staying for longer than one year in accommodation outside of Amsterdam or Amstelveen. If your birth certificate is not in Dutch, English, French or German, then you must supply a sworn translation into one of these languages.


    Students who are married will also need to bring their marriage certificate (legalised).*
    * The legalisation method varies per country. The Dutch representations in other countries are responsible for legalising foreign documents for use in the Netherlands. The documents must first have been legalised by the country’s own authorities, usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where the document has been issued.

  • End of your rental contract
    • When you depart at the end of the rental contract, you must have paid all outstanding invoices in full.
    • No settlement will be made regarding interest earned on any outstanding deposits. 
    • The accommodation and the shared facilities must be left in a good and clean state.
  • Taxes and housing allowance

    Local and municipal taxes

    Everyone living in self-contained accommodation has to pay local and municipal taxes. These local taxes fund services such as rubbish collection, water supply, sewage charges, and land drainage. Students living in self-contained accommodation will receive an invoice from Waternet or Dienst Belastingen of the municipality. It is possible to appeal against these taxes using a remission form (verzoek tot kwijtschelding). The appeal is usually granted, depending on your financial situation. When you rent at DUWO, you can check the following website for more information about the taxes. More information can also be found on the websites of the municipality of Amsterdam and Amstelveen (in Dutch). 

    Housing allowance

    Housing allowance (huurtoeslag) is a subsidy provided by the Dutch government to tenants with a low income and a relatively high cost of rent. Not all student rooms qualify for housing allowance. Find out more about housing allowance.

  • Directions
  • Finding other student accommodation

    Finding a place to live in Amsterdam is not easy, as there is a serious shortage of accommodation for students. Although the International Office of VU Amsterdam will do its utmost best to arrange suitable accommodation for everyone, in the following cases VU Amsterdam may not provide accommodation:

        • If you will bring your family or pet;
        • Housing requests that have been received after the deadline might not be granted but placed on a waiting list; 
        • If your preferences do not need the accommodation on offer from VU Amsterdam

    If you fit in one of these categories, we strongly advise you to have a look at the following accommodation alternatives. There are various Dutch websites that offer housing in Amsterdam and they provide useful information on finding accommodation. 

    Be aware that when responding to adverts offering accommodation, there may be some fraudulent operators around. Please look out for scams. VU Amsterdam cannot be held responsible for the services delivered by any provider of alternative accommodation. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Contact

    If you have any questions about accommodation, please check our FAQ or if you cannot find the answer, send an email to studentaccommodation@vu.nl.

    In case you would like to meet up with us to discuss your accommodation, please call us at T +31 (0)20 598 1813 to schedule an appointment or schedule a phone call in our online tool.