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5 Facebook pages you have to like (before arriving) in Groningen

You’re getting ready to move to Groningen for your study abroad, but you have no idea what to expect? Facebook is a useful tool to get some necessary information about that not-too-famous city in the north of the Netherlands. The problem might be that there are so many groups and organizations to follow that you don’t know where to start. Here are five tips to get you up-to-date on student life in Groningen and prepare you for your arrival!

It’s not going to be easy to find Dutch friends right from the get-go, the Dutch are quite notorious for sticking to their own groups, clubs and organizations. So the best way to get to know future friends is to delve deep into international student life! The organization responsible for the best attended international parties in Groningen is the Erasmus Student Network Groningen (ESN-Groningen). Not only do they throw great theme parties, they also organize international dinners, bike courses, and lectures on housing and Dutch culture. Like their page to get an update on their future activities!

Student Rooms Groningen
Your biggest worry before arriving is probably how you’re going to find a decent student room. Not too expensive, not too far from the university and the centre… It’s not easy to find a good room from a thousand miles or more away, so your best shot is to apply for a room at Housing Office. Unfortunately, they have been under attack lately: many international students complain about the living circumstances in their big international student houses. The other option you have is to look for a room on the private market. The facebook group Student Rooms Groningen is a great first entry to start your room search, but be very careful: these facebook groups are also well known among scammers, so do not transfer money to someone you haven’t met and only accept a room that you or someone you know in Groningen has checked! Groningen rooms and I need a room! Groningen are decent alternatives, but the first one is mainly in Dutch and the second is relatively small, so Student Rooms Groningen is probably your best bet.

Free legal advice Groningen
Okay, so we adviced you to be careful, but you didn’t listen. Or you did listen, but you didn’t find out your landlord was a creepy criminal until you arrived. Now he won’t pay your deposit back or he’s threatening you if you don’t pay more. Fear not, because Frently offers free legal advice for international students who get in trouble and are not familiar with Dutch law. Just like their page and post your question, and you will get an answer from a professional lawyer. So how do they make their money if it’s free? If you need more than advice (i.e. legal assistance), they will get a percentage of the money they will get back from your nasty landlord! Now ain’t that a great deal?

NS Group-tickets Groningen
Public transport in the Netherlands is pretty awesome, although Dutch people tend to complain about it a lot. Almost every interesting city (and tons of cool villages) can easily be reached by train and most trains ride frequently and on time. Unfortunately, a train ticket is not cheap. A one-way ticket from Groningen to Amsterdam, just a two-hour drive, costs €25! Thankfully, there are some cool tricks to get way cheaper tickets. The best and cheapest trick is to buy a group ticket. When you can find 10 people to travel with you, the price of an individual return ticket is just €7! And for that price you can go anywhere in the whole country! But how the hell do I find ten people to travel on the same day? Easier than you think! Just join NS Group-tickets Groningen and post a message on their wall with your destination and day of travel, and you’ll find a bunch of people in no time.

For Sale in Groningen
It’s not just public transport that’s quite expensive here. Living in the Netherlands is going to rob you of your hard-earned money pretty fast, we predict. And it’s not just food, beer and clothes that you will need to buy. Dutch rental houses and rooms are usually not furnished, so you’ll also have to buy some furniture when you arrive. But since this goes for all international students, there is a very lively underground trade market for internationals. Most Erasmus students leave after one semester and will try to earn back a little bit of their investment by trying to sell their furniture and bike to new arrivals. The most popular place to do so online is For Sale in Groningen. Prices are very low, since there are no middle men and most internationals are in a hurry to sell, so with 100 bucks you can probably furnish your whole room!