Hospiteren (also known as co-optation)

Typically Dutch: Hospiteren (co-optation as a selection procedure) 

Finding a room in the Netherlands may be different from finding a room in your home country: in the Netherlands, there is a selection procedure which is called hospiteren (co-optation)  with which the existing occupants of a student house or residential group choose their fellow residents. We have collected some tips and tricks for you to succeed in hospiteren. And we have collected some tips and tricks to live a group or student house successfully.

What is this selection procedure (hospiteren) like?
This procedure is often in place in student houses or residential groups in which multiple students live together and share communal areas, such as the living room, kitchen and bathroom/shower. Many group residents eat and cook together, play games in the evenings, go clubbing or do other things together. In short: they spend a lot, perhaps even the majority of their free time together. Therefore, a good match is important, which is why they select their own flat mates.

How can I find a room?
After you have registered at Roomspot.nl, you can respond to a vacant room. You will automatically receive the contact details of the group by e-mail. You need to send your motivation to the group. You can do this in a letter or a video. But please note that it has to reflect who you are. We have got a view examples and tips for you in order to write a good letter. Based on the letters that the group receives, they will select a some of the candidates and invite them for a meeting.

Meeting the current residents
This process is not organised by the housing owner, but by the residents themselves. In most cases, the current residents will invite you (or a few students interested in a room at the same time) for a meeting in order to get to know you. After that, they will decide as a group to whom they would like to offer the room and they will let you know whether you can move in or not. Do not be afraid to reject the room yourself if you cannot picture yourself living in a particular flat and do not feel down if you have been rejected: most students visit several flats before they find the perfect place to stay.

Why is there a selection procedure for student housing?
•       It offers people the opportunity to live with roommates who have similar preferences and interests. This results in a good vibe in the student houses and minimises the chance of conflicts occurring
•       You know what kind of people you will be living with before you move in. This is great, as it allows you to feel safe in your new home
•       As a result, the room application process ensures that student houses are filled with people who are committed to their house and to each other. This makes it easier to make clear agreements with each other and it introduces you to people with whom you can socialise right from the start.

However, like all systems, this method of applying for rooms also features aspects which may not appear great for everyone. Some students compare room applications to applying for a job and consider this unpleasant. Additionally, there have been instances where it took (too) long before someone had found a suitable room. Nevertheless, the majority of students benefit from this system.

Start early
Please keep in mind that it is completely normal to have to apply for multiple rooms before you find the perfect spot. Do not doubt yourself if you receive a few rejections first. Sometimes it takes a while, because a great number of people may apply for the same room and it may be a while before you find a match with the other residents. Starting early might prevent you from being left without a place to stay when the semester starts.