FEELING AT HOME IN A FOREIGN LAND
International Students House in London runs a travel club, cooking
club and hosts events to ensure its residents connect.
commodation in California, the US’s top state for incoming
“The need for housing for international students is already
very high and it’s increasing,” he claims. “The number of
new dormitories or housing complexes being built is not
Investment in the US student housing market was worth
US$9 billion in 2017 according to Multi-Housing News, but
the demographics of demand mean that there can still be
gaps in supply.
For international students, not having social security
numbers or credit history means they find it difficult to
find private accommodation, Eren explains. “The short-term
housing need is really niche,” he says. “The total
number of purpose-built student housing PBSH beds in
the US is a quarter of the total number of students. For
internationals it’s worse.”
Compared with the UK and Australia, there is a “huge
gap” in the US, he suggests.
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Not having social
security numbers or credit
history means international
students find it difficult to
find private accommodation But with competition rising – some cities like London
have an over-supply of student halls, claims Else – many
residential brands are trying to go beyond infrastructure and
offer authentic engagement.
“Now you’ve got offers like community programs,” as
Else puts it. Global brand The Student Hotel claims to offer
the ‘Complete Connected Community’ by providing hybrid
accommodation for students and young professionals to
engage in co-living, co-working and co-dining communities.
International Students House in the UK attests that it
provides international students with a deeper understanding
of British society by hosting events to connect its residents.
And developments like 1000-apartment project “The Fizz” in
Krakow, Poland, will offer community events when opened.
Problems in planning
But while in some cities operators are turning their atten-tion
to how to add to their offering, international students
in other countries are competing for inadequate stocks of
housing, with problems accessing any suitable accommoda-tion
in the Netherlands making headlines on The PIE News
as well as in Dutch media, for example.
In 2017, international students in the Netherlands had to
resort to staying in a campsite in Utrecht or a disused refu-gee
centre in Groningen that was re-opened to help ease a
housing shortage. International students were also vulne-rable
to being charged more for rooms to rent if they were
lucky enough to find one, according to news reports.
Niels van Deuren, founder of Dutch platform HousingA-nywhere
says the country had a shortage of around 45,000
rooms and apartments in October 2017. With student num-bers
expected to rise in the next year, he says there are good
collaborations between universities, the government and the
private sector, emphasising development projects in Dutch
cities attracting the most international students: Amsterdam,
Utrecht, Leiden, and Groningen.
“However, we need to keep building more accommoda-tion
if we want to be able to offer housing to national and
international students,” he adds.
In the US, there are also capacity problems, according to
Sedat Eren. Eren is executive director of Rexidence Resi-dential
Services/Rex Housing, which offers off-campus ac-
Students at a Spanish residence run by GSA.