Peeking inside student homes: De Woondiversiteit

How do students live in Delft? Delta takes a peek inside student homes. Asylum status holders, Dutch and international students and starters all live together in De Woondiversiteit. “When the boys receive a letter from the municipality, we translate it for them.”

F.l.t.r. Khalfan, Alike (Pieter's girlfriend), Pieter, Pim, Ali en Ricardo. "Adam taught me how to make a casserole using a package." (Photo: Chris Reichard)

  • Type of house: Mixed 
  • Residents: 46
  • Associated society: None
  • Location: Van Bleysweijckstraat
  • Room size: 18 m2
  • Room rate: EUR 380

“The building, owned by the municipality, will remain for another nine years,” says Mechanical Engineering student Pieter ‘Adam’ van de Ven (25) while in the communal kitchen. “Obviously, this is a very long time from a student’s point of view.” Pieter moved into the complex a little over a year ago. Soon after, Asylum status holder Ghaith, moved in as well. “I said to him: ‘I’m really sorry, but I’m never going to be able to pronounce your name. In Dutch student houses the tradition is that everyone is given a house name. Let’s do the same.’ Since then he has been called ‘Gijs’. He thought it was great fun. My name is Adam because I was the first male here.”

Mashed potatoes
Housemate Ali ‘Tom’ Idris (22) had a long journey before ending up at the doorstep of De Woondiversiteit. “I come from Syria. Because of war, it is not safe there. You can be shot at any time. With the help of smugglers, I travelled to Turkey via Lebanon. I went to Athens by rubber boat. From there I flew to Amsterdam.” Psychology student Raphaello ‘Ricardo’ Hoekstra (24): “Now that I live in this house, I have come to understand better how difficult it must be to flee from your own country.” The students help the asylum status holders with all sorts of things, like buying bicycles on Marktplaats and learning the Dutch language. “And if the boys receive a letter from the municipality, we translate it for them,” says Pieter. The roommates also exchange culinary tips. “Adam taught me how to make a casserole,” says Ali while Pieter shakes his head laughing. “With mashed potatoes from a package. It is delicious!”

The 25 year old Khalfan Ahmed from Tanzania (better known as Arie) has a great time in the student house.

Fear of dirt
In De Woondiversiteit, 11 roommates share a kitchen. Pieter: “Ikea sponsored the furniture here and in the rooms of the asylum status holders.” Both Ali and the 25 year old Khalfan Ahmed from Tanzania (better known as Arie) have a great time at the student house. “We are more friends than roommates.” However, there is one thing the two cannot get over. “The Dutch walk around the house without slippers! Think of all those bacteria. Yuck!” Art and Economics student Bauke ‘Pim’ Joosten (27) laughs: “That is why it’s so dirty in here. We try to rid them of their fear of dirt.”


Elise Mooijman / Freelance redacteur

Editor Redactie

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