6 tips to help you find internship housing in Amsterdam
Considering doing an internship in Amsterdam? You’ll need a place to stay! Here are our top tips on securing student internship housing in the city.
With a vibrant, creative community, incredible culture, flexible working life and some of the world’s top companies calling it home, Amsterdam is a great place to complete an internship. Because of this appeal, it can also be a bit competitive, especially when it comes to securing internship housing. Luckily, we’ve done the groundwork for you!
So, whether you’re considering Amsterdam as a place to complete a summer internship, or you have some work lined up and need some student housing options, here’s everything you need to know about looking for a place to live and settling into life in Amsterdam – from students who have done it themselves!
1. Start your house-hunt early
With so much to offer in terms of culture and career opportunities, not to mention being such a safe place to live, it’s no wonder Amsterdam is in high demand among students (and working professionals, for that matter!). The student housing market can be competitive, so it’s worth starting your internship housing search at least two months in advance. Search rental websites and start contacting local real estate agents, who can help you in your search and line up appointments on your behalf. This way you can hit the ground running once you arrive.
2. Choose your area
If you’re new to Amsterdam it can be daunting narrowing down the best area to live. Luckily, the city is compact, well connected, and safe, making the house-hunting process a little easier. You may have heard that it’s best to live within ‘The Ring’, which is the historic central district of Amsterdam and a popular choice for visiting students who want to stay central, but it’s also worth noting that it’s the most expensive area in the city.
The best way to find your future home is to consider three factors: your budget, your ‘must-haves’ in student housing, and the location of your company offices. More on each of these below.
3. Consider your budget
Amsterdam rentals, particularly in the historic centre of town, can be expensive. Says Sabrina, a student from Barcelona who recently completed a three-month internship as a graphic designer at Neew: “Before coming here I already knew about the difficulty of finding an apartment in Amsterdam. It’s not something you find overnight. However, what did surprise me were the prices. I didn't imagine the rent would be so expensive.”
Unless you want to share a flat or live on the outskirts of the city, the average rent you can expect to pay is about EUR 1.000 – and that may not include bills or furnished spaces. You also need to have a financial safety net for things such as rental insurance and in the event of emergencies. If you do decide to live in an unfurnished, older space, you can take advantage of some great second-hand furniture sales during the key moving months of September and January, so keep an eye on the city’s second-hand shops and Facebook groups.
Jorge, a student marketing intern at YoungCapital International, says that staying at The Social Hub was an easier option due to the ease of not having to worry about furniture and utilities. “I haven't regretted coming to TSH at any moment. It's true that I've seen some cheaper houses closer to the centre,” he explains. “But, even though TSH is a bit more expensive than a room in a flat, the comfort and facilities they provide for students are so nice.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Victor, a student from Romania who also stayed at The Social Hub during his six-month stint at Postillion Hotels. “Coming home from work to my own bed and bathroom is one of the most relaxing feelings, especially when you are dealing with people all day,” he says. “Knowing that everything works or will be solved immediately is a fantastic relief. The convenience of The Social Hub allows me to make the most of my free time and focus on other work-life activities.”
4. Make a list of your housing ‘must-haves’
While location and budget are important, be mindful of other considerations in internship housing, such as safety and security, and on-site amenities. You may find you pay a little more for things like an on-site gym, cleaning services and use of common areas, but they can save you money in the long run – and present you with opportunities to socialise and unwind.
For Sabrina, safety and security was a priority, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is why she opted for The Social Hub internship housing. “Being a time of uncertainty, I find that The Social hub is crucial to being able to reside safely in a place,” she says. “You feel that you are not alone and that any problem can be helped. The fact that you can count on so many people working here makes you feel at ease because, in case you have to lockdown, you know that you won't be left without food or that you can call them if you need anything.”
The Social Hub Amsterdam City and The Social Hub Amsterdam West also provide student interns with services including kitchen access, free bike hire, chill-out and working spaces, an on-site gym, and restaurant. “The lobby and chill-out areas are probably the places where I've spent more time,” says Jorge. “And apart from the fact that there’s a very good restaurant in terms of quality, it has saved me many times when I didn't have anything in the fridge!”
5. Beware of scams
It’s an obvious piece of advice, but an important one! There are many ways to find accommodation in Amsterdam, including housing websites and Facebook groups – however it’s tricky territory, because lots of scam artists use these channels as well. “I hear from a lot of my friends that it’s incredibly difficult to find spaces, with viewings often taking months to initiate,” says Victor. “There is also a bias against international students in certain areas, which makes it even more difficult. It is a challenging task, but everything is possible in the end… for the right price!”
Here are our top tips:
- Don’t pay a deposit in advance until you’ve seen a place in person.
- Try to visit places with a friend or certified agent.
- Check street addresses before visiting to check if the place you’re visiting is a shop or house (it can happen!).
- Ask questions via Facebook groups to get up-to-date insights from other international students.
- Thoroughly read any contract before signing; landlords can try to fleece students who don’t read the fine print!
6. Find your community
The people you meet and the community you find will elevate your student experience in the city. Of course, the first friends you make will likely be your colleagues, but it’s nice to meet people more organically. We know that socialising and making new friends have been a challenge with restrictions in place, which makes The Social Hub's housing extra appealing.
For Victor, having a built-in community like the one at The Social Hub was a strong selling point. “Having been isolated for all of 2020, I really wanted to make as many friends as possible during my internship, which I knew would be far easier to do here,” he explains. “Events being organised by staff on a weekly basis is very exciting and an excellent opportunity for people to meet and socialise.”
Check out our community at The Social Hub on Instagram!
Jorge says that our on-site common areas have been more important than ever, providing safe spaces to meet like-minded people. “I love the fact that we could be in the common areas playing pool or with our friends from the residence even after curfew,” he says. “I think The Social Hub is a great option, mostly if you come to Amsterdam alone and you don't know anyone else in the city.”
So, wherever you decide to live and intern in our city, know that you’re always welcome at The Social Hub!
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