Eerder huisvestte de SSH vluchtelingen alleen in zelfstandige woningen waardoor zij weinig contact hebben met anderen. Jonge vluchtelingen zoeken naar hun weg in een nieuwe stad. Studenten kennen deze weg als geen ander! Door samen te wonen in een studentenhuis vinden vluchtelingen sneller hun draai in hun nieuwe stad en leren zij over elkaars culturen.

Op deze pagina vind je vooral informatie voor bewoners, wil je meer informatie voor Statushouders kijk dan hier.

Currently, SSH houses refugees in self-contained accommodation which gives them little contact with others. So it’s up to them to find their way in a strange, new city. Of course, this scenario is familiar to any student when they leave home for the first time. Now, by bringing these two groups together, student refugees can find their feet in their new city faster – and both groups of students get to learn about each other's cultures.

On this page you will primarily find information regarding resident, if you want to learn more about the student refugees check the following link

The pilot sceme
The ‘Student Refugee Community’ pilot project is an experiment being conducted by SSH in conjunction with Academy City (‘Academie van de Stad’) in which 18-23 year old refugees with a residence permit get to live in regular student accommodation. Under the scheme, both the refugee and the student who is already in the accommodation get the choice whether they want to live together. A ‘Community Builders’ team from Academy City has been put in place to oversee the project and help shape the new communities.

The Community Builders are a team of socially-minded students who work to help integrate the young refugees. They will attend the introductory discussions and build a network between students and refugees. In addition, they are the first point of contact for both the household and the refugees and will organize social activities.

Student refugee Abdulaal:"It is important for you to hear my story, because the unknown can make for the unloved."

How does it work?

Are you and your housemates interested in sharing your student house with a refugee? If you have a room to spare, please sign up by emailing We will then ask you for some more information in order to make a good match between you and the refugee. So, for instance we’ll send you a list of questions about what it’s like living in your place so we can give refugees an impression of what it’s going to be like living there. After that, VluchtelingenWerk and Academy City will find a good match among their registered refugees. After an initial interview to check if the refugee makes a good fit with the accommodation being offered and to verify that they can speak English, you will then get to meet them at your property. If it all ‘clicks’ between you then we’ll set you up as housemates.

Student Noah: Sometimes you suddenly realize how good we have it here. No one flees their country for no reason. On the other hand, it is actually kind of normal. He is just another housemate, a student of your own age. It's a blast! 

Frequently asked questions

What is expected from us as housemates ?
In general we expect the same from the housemates as when a new resident moves in. We hope the student-refugee feels welcomed by their new housemates. It is pleasant for the student-refugee if one of the housemates puts in a little more effort to get to know the student-refugee better and to get him involved with all the activities in the house. The Community Builders are a network of support for both the residents and the refugees, they will answer any questions you may have.

In which age group will the student-refugees be?
We only select candidates from the age group 18 – 23 years old.

How long does the student-refugee reside in our house?
The student-refugee is granted a lease agreement for the term of five years. He or she can terminate the agreement.

Does the student-refugee know the Dutch or English language?
Yes, we only select candidates which can sufficiently communicate In the Dutch or English language. It is nice to see that someone who initially only knew English, can learn a lot about the Dutch language within a few weeks!

Can we pick a student-refugee?
By having a conversation with both groups the Community Builders can decide which student-refugee pairs the best with which house. After they both get paired, there is another conversation between the residents, the student-refugee and the Community Builder. After that both parties will have 48 hours to decide. The move is cancelled, if one of the parties doesn’t feel the spark. In that case, we will check If there is a different student-refugee which fits your house better or choose for a regular tenant.

Can we choose between a male or a female?
If at all possible the Community Builders will hold the preferences of residents in account. In practice it turns out that there a barely any women which qualify for this project. Besides that, we see that a lot of the male refugees rather not live in a house with only women and vice versa. We unfortunately can’t fulfill everyone’s wish for their perfect housemate. You can always decide to not take part of the project or take part at a later time.

What are the daily activities of a student-refugee?
The student-refugees who participate in this project have their own lives and plenty to do. In most cases they are busy with their integration course (which you can compare to studying). In most cases they want to study after completing their integration course. Their profiles match those of students you will who you normally meet at ‘’hospiteeravonden’. They spend their free time as the like and often have social lives of their own.

Who selects the candidates and how?
The candidates are applied by the municipality of Utrecht or by Nidos. The Community Builders will judge if the student-refugee matches the house by a becoming acquainted with that particular student-refugee.

Do the candidates know what communal living is all about? (not only in his or her room)
Yes, the Community Builders explain how a life in student housing looks like and in some occasions the student-refugee has already taken a look in one of the buildings.


SSH is the body responsible for using student accommodation for the scheme while Academy City (‘Academie van de Stad’) is responsible for coordinating the project. Other partners include VluchtelingenWerk, Nidos, COA and the Utrecht municipal council.

Community Builders wanted!

Are you enthused about this project, and do you want to become a Community Builder? Then check the following link or send an e-mail to: