Internationals can’t move in

Many incoming international students living in SSH housing will not be able to move into their rooms until the first day of classes.

The welcoming ceremony for international students will be held on Thursday, 28 January, but many of the rooms in SSH buildings will not yet be available when students arriving for the second semester show up.

The first semester officially ends on 29 January, including resits and rescheduled exams, and according to the terms of their lease with SSH, students currently living in the rooms can remain there until the 31st of January.

First day of classes

That lease runs through 10 a.m on 31 January, and the new lease for incoming students begins at 2 p.m. on 1 February, which is also the first day of classes for the new semester.

‘We can’t just kick them out and they need that whole week, because there are some people who have to take their exams or resits all the way up to the last minute. So we can’t force them to move out any sooner’, says Jolien Stokroos, team manager for SSH in Groningen.

As such, if new students arrive in Groningen before the first day of classes, they will have no choice but to seek alternative accommodations in the area until their reserved rooms are no longer occupied.

Quick turnaround

While many students are already trickling out of the houses as they finish their exams, Stokroos says that approximately 700 rooms out of the 1,706 spaces they rent in Groningen will have to be made ready for new tenants in little more than 24 hours. Stokroos says that extra personnel will have to be brought in to complete the quick turn around.

The Groningen office of the Utrecht-based SSH is providing a list of hotels and hostels in the city where the hundreds of impacted students can stay between arriving and being able to move in to their student houses.

‘That’s all we can do. But we also think it’s really unfortunate that they have to find somewhere else to stay along with all the belongings they brought with them’, Stokroos says.

In advance

Stokroos says that SSH contacts at the RUG and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences were notified about the pending dilemma in November. The board of the university was informed about it during a meeting in December as part of a report on the state of affairs of international housing so far this academic year.

According to the International Service Desk, the date for the welcoming ceremony is typically determined by the university far in advance of the event itself. The timing won’t be an issue next academic year, however: the start of the semesters will be one week later.