Pierre du Pasquier (21) travelled from Paris to Amsterdam to attend the UvA’s introduction programme last week but couldn't find accommodation. He is now back in Paris.
Your classes start in a week, why aren’t you in Amsterdam?
‘I applied for the English bachelor in Political Science in June and I’ve been searching for a room ever since. I’ve tried the student housing organisations too, but the waiting lists are over half a year long. I stayed in Amsterdam for a couple of days after the induction but ran out of money staying in hostels at thirty euros a night. So I took the bus back to Paris and now I’m waiting for a reply to some of my e-mails.’
Has the UvA helped in any way?
‘To be honest, I think they’re very slow in even answering my mails. They need to move their asses! They offer courses in English to attract international students but now they’ve got them, the UvA is incredibly unprepared and it’s the students who suffer the consequences.’
UvA spokesperson Annelies van Dijk replies that the university, ‘tries to accommodate students who can’t find housing by putting them up in hostels or holiday rentals’. ‘We try to help as many students as possible, but unfortunately enrolment at the UvA doesn’t guarantee housing.’
What will you do if you can’t find a room?
‘I used to study in Maastricht so maybe I’ll ask my friends if I can crash on their couch. It’ll be a long train ride to class but I need to do something!’