August 14, 2023 –WILLEMSTAD – The high prices of student accommodations in the Netherlands are becoming a concern for Curaçaoan students as well. The Curaçao Study Financing Foundation (SSC) aims to ensure that second-year students also have a guaranteed place to stay.
Under the guidance of SSC, 146 Curaçaoan students flew to the Netherlands at the end of July to begin their new studies there. According to director Sidney Justiana, as is the case every year, the major cities of Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Amsterdam are popular among the students. “But Eindhoven is also becoming more popular.”
All first-year students have accommodation, a guarantee also extended to those who choose to go to the Netherlands under the guidance of SSC. “However, we do notice a significant housing shortage in certain Dutch cities. This leads to real estate agents demanding exorbitant prices.”
Justiana has planned with housing companies to return in September and secure accommodation for second-year students. “We also want to guarantee housing for them when they need to move to a different place after their first year.”
For this, he emphasizes the need to establish clear agreements. “We don’t want second-year students to face housing problems. Anyone going through SSC should receive suitable accommodation.”
Accompanied by Education Minister Sithree van Heydoorn, Justiana flew with the students and visited various places in the Netherlands, including several student accommodations. However, while Van Heydoorn returned to Curaçao after a few days, Justiana stayed in the Netherlands for two more weeks for further discussions.
He held meetings with the deputy mayor of Rotterdam and also engaged with officials and educational organizations in other cities where many Curaçaoans study. “Overall, we can say that this group is ready to start the new academic year.”
He highlights that some students hope for studio apartments, so they don’t have to share bathrooms and kitchens with other students. “But the prices for studios are quite high. On one hand, having a studio might not be realistic, yet on the other hand, it’s good for students to have daily interactions with their peers, which helps prevent them from feeling too lonely.”
Simultaneously, Justiana is frequently contacted by parents these days, asking for his assistance regarding their children studying in the Netherlands. “Some still don’t have accommodation. However, as the director of SSC, there’s not much I can do for students who aren’t going to the Netherlands through our program, as unfortunate as that may be.