Student housing procedures and norms vary greatly from country to country. In the Netherlands, most universities do not have their own dormitories and students generally arrange their own accommodation. Find out how you can arrange your student housing. Make sure to start early! Affordable rooms are in short supply.
Arranging student housing
Like many universities in the Netherlands, Leiden University does not have a central campus or student dormitories. Instead, our faculties are spread throughout the cities of Leiden and The Hague and students live in accommodation rented via housing organisations and landlords.
In general, students are expected to arrange their own housing. However, for international students, Leiden University reserves a limited number of rooms each year for early applicants. The number of housing applications always greatly exceeds the number of reserved rooms. We therefore strongly recommend that prospective students also explore alternative ways of finding accommodation well before arriving in the Netherlands.
Steps to take
We strongly recommend that you take both the following steps as early as possible:
1. Take action to find housing yourself
For example, register with local housing organisations. Registration fees are generally inexpensive and the earlier you register, the greater your chance of getting a room by the start of the semester.
2. Request housing via Leiden University
The university can only house a small percentage of students who request housing. Rooms are offered on a first-come first-served basis, so submit your housing request and pay the housing fee as soon as you can! If you are unsuccessful, you can always fall back on the plans you set in motion to find your own housing.
Exception: Leiden University College The Hague
If you are about to join the Liberal Arts and Sciences programme as a full-time degree student at LUC The Hague, you do not need to arrange your own housing. Instead, you will become part of the LUC community and live alongside your fellow students in the Anna van Buerenplein building for the first two years of your studies.
Watch our housing webinar for practical tips
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Dutch address for town hall registration
Soon after arrival you must register at your local town hall for which you will need an official Dutch address. For student residence permit holders this is particularly important as failure to do so can result in the cancellation of your permit. It is therefore essential that you start your house hunt early!
Can't find housing?
Finding accommodation in Leiden or The Hague can be difficult. If you haven't found a place to live before leaving home, we strongly advise you not to come to Leiden University. Consider deferring your studies to allow yourself more time to find a place to stay.
Rent benefit for students (huurtoeslag)
For some accommodation you may be entitled to claim rent benefit (huurtoeslag in Dutch). A rent benefit is reimbursement of part of your rental costs each month, and can be helpful to your overall budget. See the Dutch Tax Authority website for details. If you need assistance or advice about rent benefit, contact the Leidse Rechtswinkel (free legal aid centre) or the JIP (youth information point).