It’s been a short while since the last update. Since then something relevant has happened: found a place to stay!
In general, NHTV doesn’t offer dormitories or student rooms for the exchange students automatically and students need to find their own accommodations. However, the school is part of an arrangement called Studentrooms Breda, which is a joint service of two companies which build, maintain and offer student accommodations and the two schools in Breda NHTV and Avans. The accommodations are mostly single rooms in shared apartments of three and include basic furniture, bed linen and things like electricity, water and gas (and web). The rental prices are a bit higher than a room through KOAS in Jyväskylä, and the living period is fixed duration of one semester or one school year. Could say that the bit higher price is worth the hassle of first buying and then selling the furniture for a similar room in private sector.
Which brings in another option to find a place to stay: Facebook groups. While waiting (and panicking over) the booking-day of studentrooms, I joined a couples of FB-groups where students offer or search a room for rent. Got one good and affordable offer, but being a super-stressing person, chose the bit more expensive, all-inclusive option. If you like adventure, are social and extrovert enough, and don’t find extra hassle with furniture a problem, this is a good option as well. Third option would be KlikVoorKamers (Click for rooms), where you can apply for a room or studio apartment, depending on your age. For me this option was ruled out, because I’m too old for shared apartments and a studio would have exploded my monthly budget over the limit.
Speaking of expenses. When booking for room, have roughly 1500-2000€ worth of credit available for reservation payments. Once you’ve chosen a room in the studentroom service, you need to pay for the rents of August and December in advance, since they are not full months, as well as the furniture and linen packages. The amount for me was 1400€ and they only take a credit card. For Finnish students getting a credit card shouldn’t be a problem if you have acquired enough study credits. At least it wasn’t in 2010. (Feeling ancient now….) So, if you don’t have a credit card, get one in early summer or spring.
Some other notable things about Student rooms are that the accommodation period doesn’t last until February, when the last exams are (or could be, not enough info available about these things), so be prepared to make friends on who’s couch/floor you’ll sleep for the last week, or look into hostels.
Another important thing is to be reloading your email constantly on the day you’re supposed to get the login-info for searching the room. If possible, ask your boss for a chance for special arrangements so you won’t miss this chance and will get your hands on the rooms immediately. The rooms run out in minutes. I was 30min too late because I was at work and the message went to trash-mail-folder, so I didn’t hear the message arrive to my phone. By the time I was making my choices, there where only 12 rooms left. Had to act fast and pick one. Later it turned out that I’m going to have a 5km biking from the apartment to IMEM’s new campus, but at least the terrain is flat, and not a hill-race as the 5km biking to Jamk at home. XD I was a bit pissed, because the house was 3km from the old campus. No can do.
And. Once you’ve paid the reservation, there’s no turning back! You cannot cancel a paid reservation. So this is the final frontier to be sure ou want to go.
Anyways. Now having a bit pricey room (by finnish standards), but at least having a room! And the Netherlands is flat so at my biking pace it’ll be some 15min journey at the best. 😀 Just extremely relieved to have a place to stay in the first place!
And starting to get exited and a bit worried. At the moment when writing this still feeling very calm and cool about it. When doing the reservation and immediately after it was feeling very weird a stressed and surreal. I’m really going there now! The closer the day of departure comes, the more I’ll start to stress, I’d assume. Too busy with work to stress yet, though. 😀
Anyways. It’s the hottest summer in Finland in years. I’m gonna head outside and take the most of it! More updates to come later!