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‘Hospes, hospita en hospiteren’

The first and the second word probably sound unfamiliar, but if you’ve been searching for a room for a while, the third word has undoubtedly become part of your vocabulary.


If you plan to come to the Netherlands and you have not been assigned a room by the university, room-hunting becomes your first priority. In student cities in the Netherlands it is common to live in a student house. When these houses have a room available they organize a ‘hospiteeravond’. For those who are not yet familiar with the (typical Dutch) phenomenon: a ‘hospiteeravond’ is an evening when a house invites potential-roommate candidates, in order to find a new roommate. And this can be tough.


Roommates voting for a new housemate during a ‘hospitereeravond’

Step one is to be invited. For Dutch student a difficult hurdle, for international students virtually impossible. In contrast to international students, most Dutch students are known with the concept of ‘hospiteren’ and on top of that many postings are specified to: Dutch students only. If – after sending a hundred messages – you are lucky to be invited, competition is fierce. To prepare organizations like SSH and ESN can provide you with useful tips and in Utrecht you can even attend a free training ‘hospiteren’, organized by Vidius.


Back to the first two words: ‘hospes’ and ‘hospita’. Hospes = landlord and hospita = landlady. Together also referred to as: hosts. Like in many countries, living with a landlord, landlady or guest family when studying abroad, this used to be very common in the Netherlands. Hospi Housing is reviving this tradition and helps international student in their difficult quest for housing by connecting them to local hosts. Although applications of students outnumber the applications of hosts, we might just find the perfect match for you. Raise your odds and apply here.