Housing in Gothenburg: ‘Rent a room to an international student’

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ATHENA Ethical MEDIA

Gothenburg aka Göteborg is gearing up for the new academic session 2018-2019. Many students are expected to arrive by late summer, and the need for them to show a place to stay in the city is acute. In order to stave off the acuteness of housing, Boplats has urged the residents of the city living in a big flat or house to rent a room to an international student.

‘Rent a room to an international student’ is the title of a brochure distributed by Boplats to some residences across the city last summer. It says, “At the end of August, hundreds of international students will come to Gothenburg to study at Göteborg University or at Chalmers. But finding housing just before the start of the term is difficult. For most (of the students), it is about one or two terms (semesters). Help a student by renting a room! You can download a contract and advertise for free at boplats.se.”

To this effect, Boplats has student-room coordinators. It urges the residents to help the international students, and explains, why. “It’s wonderful! For many of our landlords, it will help them with the rent, it also enables one (you) to get to know someone from another culture, reconnecting with university life, and giving the children a chance to improve their language skills; in short, a rewarding exchange!”

“This is important for Gothenburg. Being able to receive international students is important for the development of Gothenburg as a city and region (Västra Götaland Regionen). Students become a resource for employers who constantly need to find (skilled professionals with) university(-level) abilities to compete in the global market. Therefore, some stakeholders in Gothenburg, since 2007 have made common sense to get Gothenburgers to rent rooms for international students.”

David Göthburg, a software engineer & researcher in computer communications and a Gothenburger born and raised in the city (infödd), says ‘it makes perfect sense to ask the local residents to hire a room out to a student especially the older people whose children would have moved out’. He notes, the city did not realise that there will be a demand for education in the city, and the numbers of students coming to Gotheburg rising year after year.

Boplats is a housing company in Gothenburg. It allocates a house (flat) to those in the queue, and it is owned by the City of Gothenburg (Göteborgs Stad).

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