Living in Groningen
Studying in a new city not only means a lot of fun and excitement, but also adaptation to a new situation. In order to help you make your arrival to a new city as easy as possible, we will provide you with some useful links and websites below.
When moving to a new city, one of the first things that come to mind is accommodation. There are a lot of students who are moving to Groningen, and student rooms are difficult to find, so make sure to start looking for accommodation in time, preferably start looking 3-5 months in advance as it can be quite hard to find a room after June/ July, especially for international students.
The municipality of Groningen together with the University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences have a common website www.athomeingroningen.com where you can find a detailed overview of the housing situation in Groningen with useful hints how to find a room. In addition to that, the website also provides information about legal and financial matters when moving to Groningen and athomeingroningen.com has also just launched a room finder https://roomfinder.athomeingroningen.com/Search_results.html. Apart from the websites mentioned on athomegroningen.com, we can also recommend the platform www.papayo.nl to look for rooms.
Because there are every year some students who still could not fnd a room before arriving to the city, there are some couchsurfing initiatives to support those students. Please note that the rooms from those initiatives are no rooms where you can stay permanently but that those are temporary rooms. Current students and other residents of the city will provide a place to sleep for incoming students in their own homes, so more of the incoming students will have a place to stay for the first couple of weeks and can continue their search from there. Also, note that you will be staying with people who open their own homes for you, so be prepared that you might share a room or that you might sleep on the couch.
Since it is especially internationals, who still have no room in the first weeks, the Democratische Academie Groningen (DAG) started a couchsurfing initiative for internationals. With this initiative, DAG tries to support international students so they will have a place to stay after their arrival in the city and can continue to look for a permanent place to live from there. Check out the facebook page of DAG for more information.
There is also a general facebook group where students can try to find a temporary place to stay for the first couple of weeks.
Like most cities in the Netherlands, Groningen is a city of bikes. The city is very compact, so you can get to most places by cycling less than 15 minutes, which is why most inhabitants have at least one bike and use it as their main mode of transport.
When buying a bike, it is important that you pay attention to not buying a stolen one, as otherwise you can be heavily fined. The safest way to buy a bike is via a bike shop, there are multiple around the city and at "De Ganze", you can even get a discount of 10% with your VIP yearsticker. Also, there are of course ways to buy second hand bikes, for example via facebook. Examples of groups are https://www.facebook.com/groups/987268074726310/?ref=group_browse_new or https://www.facebook.com/groups/491531001010363/?ref=group_browse_new. When buying a bike secondhand, again, please be aware that you as a buyer have the responsibility to make sure the bike you buy is not stolen, so always make sure you trust the person who is selling it. Also, we do not recommend buying a bike on the street as with those ones, there is a very high risk that it is stolen.
Other useful links
There are several other websites that are will make your daily life a lot easier, especially when it comes to bringing structure in your daily life with your friends.
Want to pick a date with a large group of friends? Then try www.datumprikker.nl, a website which makes finding dates for meetings super easy!
Also, if yo have are with a group of people (for example roommates, committee, friends) and you want to keep track of your expenses, you should check out www.wiebetaaltwat.nl, a website which helps you to keep up to date with who spends how much money on what and who still owes you money.