LiU’s international students have started to arrive, and many are having difficulty finding accommodation.
Photo credit: Ida Srensen“It’s looking both good and bad. Students and refugees are competing for the same types of inexpensive housing. Lots of private individuals are renting out to unaccompanied refugee children and some hostels have been adapted to migrant housing. On the other hand, there is lots of new construction underway in Linköping and Norrköping,” says Linda Espling, accommodation rep at KOMBO, the tenants’ organisation for LiU students.
Also, this year the international students have access to additional corridor rooms in Linköping’s Ryd district, as well as in other areas. And in October the first tenants can move into the Irrblosset development, close to Campus Valla, where 218 apartments have been built.
The toughest period for finding accommodation is the early part of the semester.
“Finding a place to live is hardest for the international students, often because they are here for a shorter period. Late August is when our emergency accommodation facilities are in highest demand,” says Ms Espling.
The emergency facilities consist of two two-bedroom apartments in Linköping and one in Norrköping, with 15 students sleeping on air mattresses in each apartment.
“Of course it’s not ideal, but it’s a roof over their heads.”
New online service
A new online service, “Bo Tillsammans” (Live Together), was launched a year ago by LiU students and alumni. There people can find or offer accommodation, including shared housing with children or other types of cross-cultural social exchanges.
“We collaborate with them – lots of people want to live in shared accommodation, and at the “Bo Tillsammans” site it’s easy to rent or rent out a room.”
Linda Espling hopes that more private landlords will get in touch:
“If anyone has an extra bed, even just for a week, a month or a semester, we would love to hear from them. Everything is welcome.”
Her advice to students is to not worry about a short commute. There is often accommodation available in nearby towns like Mjölby, Motala and Kimstad.
“Even if their accommodation isn’t yet sorted out, it’s important that the students attend roll-call. There are temporary housing solutions available.”