Aarhus Municipality usually provides accommodation for non-resident and international students. In 2020 it became possible to deliver on the promises for all applicants. But the Students’ Council at Aarhus University claims that it is still a problem for many freshmen to find a place to live.
By: Rasmus Fregerslev and Alena Rodicheva
This August 15332 new students start studying at Aarhus higher educational institutions. The number is the biggest in recent years. Most of these young people came from different regions and countries and have to look for a place to live. According to Student Housing Aarhus, which is in charge of roughly 10.000 student apartments and dormitories, they have empty rooms available now.
But Marie Dall, chairperson of the Students’ Council at Aarhus University claims that housing search has not become easier. Some students still cannot find affordable accommodation because of the high prices and uncomfortable renting conditions. To be sure of a place to stay, all students have to sign themselves up for accommodation before the mid-August: “On the 15th of August, you have barely even taken the decision, if you want to study in and move to Aarhus. Why not extend the deadline further, so that more people do not have to worry about housing”. The housing guarantee works for a single offer at least before the 1st of January the following year. If the student does not accept these conditions, the guarantee is lost.
Even though, all students can be offered a place to stay, it does not mean, that they are able to pay for it. The average rent for youth accommodation has risen from 4102 DKK to 5685 DKK between 2011 and 2018, a rise of 39% according to numbers from Boligportalen. There are no limits on how expensive an apartment should be and still be called student housing. However, Diana Jørgensen from Student Housing Aarhus explains that there are affordable rooms to get right now.
Manuel Mohwinckel, an exchange student from Belgium, faced the problem of finding housing in Aarhus. He decided to find an apartment on his own, because he did not want to pay a large deposit and live far from the city centre: “It was not that easy. People wanted to see you and wanted to go physically to visit the apartment. The problem was also the high demand. Most of the places were looking long term residents. I was looking only for 6 months”.
The problem of affordable student housing has been relevant in Aarhus for several years. There is still no clear answer to the question of how to fix this situation. According to Marie Dall, some students sometimes have to live for several months in other people’s rooms and sleep on the sofa. Marie believes that it is necessary to build new student dormitories and regulate housing prices so that students in Aarhus can live and study comfortably.