Wageningen Student Accommodation – What It’s Like to Live on Haarweg?
I’ve come to my second stop on my quest to discover all the good and bad about Idealis’ housing options in Wageningen. By now I’ve told you how to find a room in Wageningen, and also gave you a glimpse into one of the star flats – Dijkgraaf. Now it’s time for Haarweg, a large and popular housing complex with a mix of shared and self-contained rooms only a 10-minute bike ride away from the university.
That’s about as much I knew about Haarweg myself. So, I rounded up some friends I met at the AID and during my studies, to tell you more. Catherine, Nicky, Sylke and Michiel have all varied experiences with living on Haarweg, and they were happy to share their insights with you. I’ve summarised our conversation for you below. Scroll down to find out more!
Haarweg is the largest housing complex in Wageningen with more than 900 rooms. There’s also a wide mix of different rooms available, anything from self-contained to sharing your kitchen and bathroom(s) with up to 16 people. It seems that corridors with 6 or 16 people are most common. When it comes to shared housing, Haarweg is the place with the largest rooms (17m2). Often, you also have a sink in the room. Each corridor comes with a large shared space – the kitchen and a lounge area. This makes it easy to meet new people and cook and eat together.
There’s also plenty of green space around the buildings for you to enjoy the sun or arrange a BBQ with your housemates.
The location of Haarweg is convenient in many ways. It’s situated on the edge of the city, which makes it a calm and quiet place to live. Yet, you’re only 2-minutes away from the city centre. There’s also plenty of green space around the buildings for you to enjoy the sun or arrange a BBQ with your housemates. What’s also nice is that most rooms on Haarweg are eligible for rent subsidy, a benefit you can receive from the Dutch government if you live in the Netherlands. This means that you can get around €70 – €100 each month, making the price of Haarweg rooms comparable to many cheaper rooms across the city.
Small vs Big Corridors
While talking with my friends, I realize that there is no consensus for what is better or worse in terms of the corridor size. While a corridor with 16 people tends to be more messy and chaotic, there’s no guarantee that 6 people keep it nice and tidy. Nicky and Michiel deliberately chose for a smaller corridor in the beginning, but they are still always aware that it is a student house after all. In this situation, you can’t decide whom you live with. And, here will always be people who are into cleaning more or not at all.
When you live with 16 people, there will surely be some people around to enjoy dinner with.
Both Sylke and Catherine see the benefits of living in a large corridor as well. For instance, it’s much more likely to find good friends among 16 people. If it’s just the 6 of you, there will be some who are never around and some whom you don’t have a click with. And then, hopefully still one or two whom you do get along with. For Nicky, that was something she struggled with often. Especially, because some students only stick around for 6 months and then move on. So it can still be challenging to build good relationships. Catherine also admits that now, when she moved to a smaller corridor, it’s more difficult to have dinner together. When you live with 16 people, there will surely be some people around to enjoy dinner with. Sylke also says that in her corridor of 16, cleaning wasn’t really a huge issue at first. Later on they simply decided to hire a cleaning lady for more comfort for everyone.
Relationships with Corridor Mates
I truly believe that living in a shared type of housing has so many benefits over having a self-contained studio. But even then, it seems that it’s not always given that you will have a great relationship with your corridor mates. Sometimes you just have to give it some time. When Michiel moved into Haarweg, he was the only bachelor student among five master students. That made it difficult to bond with each other. He even considered moving out. But over the next year, most of the people changed. Now, four years later, his corridor really feels like home. Not only do they cook together almost every evening, but also go home for lunch. They have their own vegetable garden on the balcony and do lots of things together.
Sometimes you just have to give it some time.
Sylke agrees that relationships can really change over the years as people come and go. At first, they also cooked together and even went out for weekend getaways. But once more and more people changed, the dynamics also changed. While she made good friends with her corridor mates in the beginning, she doesn’t see herself meeting up with people she lived with a year ago.
Of course there are many possibilities in Wageningen to live with people you like more. Unfortunately, that generally means that you have to go through a rather stressful selection procedure. First, a room has to become available (see Wageningen Student Plaza on Facebook). Then, you have to apply and finally go over, meet the people and see if there’s a match. Since there’s a lot of demand for such rooms, you can easily wait for months before you are selected. That’s a process you don’t have to worry about on Haarweg. But that’s why you also have to be aware that there will be people you like, and whom you don’t really get along with.
Perks of renting from Idealis
Apart from living specifically on Haarweg, I realize that there are many services offered by Idealis that make living in any Idealis rental a more pleasant experience. For instance, you don’t have to worry about arguing over taking out the trash. As far as you collect the paper in the right box and put your full garbage bags next to the door, Idealis will take them out for you on a weekly basis. Also, the hallways is cleaned often and whenever something breaks down or you have a clogged sink, it will be fixed quickly.
It’s up to your corridor how you use this money.
Idealis also makes it easy to have a kind of corridor budget. Each month, Idealis pays 15 euros from your rent on the bank account of your corridor. It’s up to your corridor how you use this money. Individuals can get paid for cleaning, you can hire a cleaning lady, or you can save the money for buying a new washing machine or a vacuum cleaner.
All in all, my friends are generally very satisfied with their experience on Haarweg. They’d would certainly recommend living there for anyone moving to Wageningen. The large rooms and good prices, comfortable shared space and a quiet living environment make it a lovely place to live during your studies.
To give you an even better impression of Haarweg, there will be a video coming up shortly. Subscribe to our Youtube channel be the first to check it out. Meanwhile, I will also keep writing about other housing options in Wageningen, so make sure to sign up for updates from our blog as well.