Accommodation Awards: Olivier

Welcome to Grote Bickersstraat: The most genuinely Amsterdam student accommodation around!

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Other housing blocks are closer to uni, or to the red light district. Others are cheaper, newer or more ‘party’ blocks. But nothing beats Grote Bickersstraat for the true ‘Dutch’ experience. Located on the old dockyards for the Dutch East Indies Company, the block is down a quiet little street with trees lining the paths and canals on either side! Bikes are everywhere, there is a little bar on the end of the road and you will feel like you are a true Amsterdamer!

Once you enter the block, you have to climb four sets of steep stairs to get to my room – but boy is it worth it! My room is enormous with a balcony and views out to Centraal train station. Next door to mine is the shared lounge/kitchen which I share with three lovely Masters students. On the other side of that is yet another balcony with views over the canals and to the parks beyond! This place is simply amazing!

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It is slightly more expensive than other blocks in the city, but it’s still very doable – around 400 euros a month (or $150 NZD a week approx.) which makes it cheaper than most Auckland flats! And with everyone biking everywhere, it only takes 10 minutes to get into uni, despite being a few kms away. Amsterdam looks after the exchange students really well, and provides accommodation at a much lower cost than it would be if you had to look for it yourself! Being from so far away also means that they take extra care of you – all the New Zealand students have got themselves great digs, and have had no trouble. But if you are coming to Amsterdam, try and get Grote Bickersstraat, it’s the best option!

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