Wilma Dukker took in an Eindhoven student a year ago. Teacher Femke will soon be doing it too. It is an extra pocket money, but besides that they mainly want to help the students. The room shortage in Eindhoven is large. A year ago there was even an emergency call from Fontys and Eindhoven University of Technology: who has a room for a foreign student?
Wilma lives in Best and, after the call, took in Romanian student Andrei Vacaru. For eight months he rented her attic room for 425 euros a month. In May he left again, to a studio in Eindhoven. “It has to click. Andrei was very good. He was very nice.”
They did not watch TV or eat together, but there was regular contact. “If I was sitting in the living room, he would come through the house. Then we chatted. If he wanted to use the washing machine, he texted.”
After Andrei left, she was alone again for a few months. “That’s nice again. Then you can walk naked through the room. You have to take each other into account, like sounds.”
This girl washes her hair more often and then the shower drain is full earlier.
At the start of the new school year, Wilma took in a Romanian girl. “It is pleasant. She is almost nineteen. A very different stage of life than that of my children. I don’t often run into a nineteen-year-old you have a conversation with.”
Wilma notices that the girl she now has at home goes out more often than Andrei who stayed with her during corona time. Then it is quite difficult from Best to Eindhoven. “She asked, ‘How do I get home at two in the morning?’ I ordered a taxi and it cost seventy euros. Then I think: my god, I think they have enough to spend.”
It is all still new for Femke. She is a nursing teacher at the Fontys Hogescholen in Eindhoven. The room is not rented out to any of her own students. “That doesn’t seem very useful to me.” She has yet to determine the price for the room. She thinks around four hundred euros. The student can immediately earn some extra money by looking after her five and eleven-year-old sons.
I always cook too much. Someone can jump in like that.
“The boys were very enthusiastic. ‘Are we going to have a roommate?’, they shouted. I don’t think it’s an invasion of our privacy. I’m really a social person. I do it from an ideological point of view. I like it when I can do something for someone. In this case, it’s a room I have left.”
The student is even allowed to sit down for dinner. “I always cook too much. Someone can join us, but cooking yourself is also good.” Femke does want to introduce some rules. “Especially for the peace and quiet of the children. It should not be busy until too late.”
She will soon have an introductory meeting with a student from Almere. “She has four hours of travel time a day. Her entire social life, such as sports and a side job, has come to a halt because of this.”
Femke does not know in advance who she will bring in and she finds that exciting. “I’ve already had conversations with her mother. That’s why I don’t do it anonymously via an organization. I do look critically at who that student will become. I am a bit stricter in the selection.”