From Tuesday morning until Wednesday evening, around twenty-two Dutch and international students are locking themselves up in a glass house on Erasmus Square. With this action, the students want to end the room advertisements stating ‘no internationals’. ‘Raising awareness, planting a seed: that’s what this experiment is about.’
During the ‘test of co-living’, the glass house will be constantly inhabited by three Dutch and three international students. In their temporary home, the students are playing games, sharing food and host other ‘connecting activities’. Student Life and International Mobility (SLIM) demand attention for the exclusion of international students in the housing market. A lot of Dutch students namely prefer roommates with the same nationality, which is why they start their room advertisements with ‘no internationals’. This is also observed by Minke Omlo, project leader at SLIM and co-host of the glass house. By organizing the action, which enables international and Dutch students to test living together for a few hours, she hopes to raise awareness for the difficulties internationals face when searching for a room. ‘I hope it will help Dutch students consider the effects it has on their international counterparts when they post a room advertisement stating ‘no internationals’.’
At the same time, the organisation hopes to show that a mixture of nationalities can also be very valuable. ‘Living with internationals can simply be a lot of fun as well!’
The glass house closes Wednesday with a Global Garden Night in the garden at the University Chaplaincy, including a live band. ‘We’ll serve an international buffet, where the participants of the experiment, among many others, will attend. There are more than 80 registrations already.’
This article was published in Dutch on May 23th 2023.