Groningen is known for being a student city because there are big and popular universities are located here, so the average age of its residents is 28 years old! Most of the young people who live in Groningen are from various countries.
In the Netherlands, it is pretty hard to find a house due to its small territory and low number of buildings. However, don't worry. Universities help exchange students find a house by letting us know reliable housing offices, which means universities intermediate between housing offices and students. Most students find their rooms through this method, some students who are supposed to live for over one year will search for a flat, an apartment shared with other students. It is much cheaper and they can have a chance to live in a really nice apartment compared to a dormitory.
My house is named Kornoeljestraat2 and it is a 10 floor apartment. It is an unusual case in the Netherlands. 3-4 floor houses are normal and easy to find everywhere in the Netherlands. We have to do kitchen duty twice a month to make our shared kitchen clean. Almost all of the doors such as a laundry room, main entrance and even the doors of the bicycle warehouse, have to be opened with different keys. It is a very high security system and it is definitely a safe place!
Speaking of Bicycles, it is the most important transportation in Groningen because bus or train fare is really expensive and even the ground of the Netherlands is a perfect place for riding a bicycle. From my house to the campus, it takes only five minutes by bicycle. In this country all students have their own bike (Be careful or your bicycle will be stolen).
In the house, we share some food with our corridor mates. We go to the markets and cook something together and often have a party by using Facebook: 4th corridor is having a party now so everybody come on by! We drink, play porker or talk to one another. Actually there are so many kinds of parties and events held in Groningen for international students.
My room is normal but one thing is very different from Korea. The Dutch heater. There are heaters everywhere; in bathrooms and bedrooms we can easily see this heater. We can change the temperature and it is really good for drying my wet clothing! Also, there is a big window!! Dutch people do not use a thick curtain and have a really huge window so that people can easily see through the window.
By Han Hee-ra, Overseas Correspondent