Xenophobia and ‘No Internationals’ In Apartment Ads



Dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.
“the resurgence of racism and xenophobia”
synonyms: racismracialism, racial hatred, ethnocentrism, ethnocentricity;


Casual Dutch Xenophobia ‘No Internationals!’

A number of international students have written to me to express their dismay and disgust that when searching for rooms in shared accommodation that they are constantly coming across ads from lekker tolerant Dutch students that often state, ‘sorry, no internationals’. It’s just thrown in the ads casually as if it’s the most normal thing in the world!

Now, this post will definitely upset a lot of Dutch people. As I’ve stated before, discrimination doesn’t bother some Dutch people. Discussing discrimination does.

Here’s an example of the type of ads I’m talking about.


xenophobia in a room rental ad

Sorry hoor, No Internationals!


The Common excuses used by people to justify xenophobic room ads.

1. But people should be allowed to live with who they like?

Yes, people should be allowed to live with who they like, but what they’re absolutely not allowed to do by law is to discriminate based on nationality, religion or race. What amazes me about so many of these ads is the casual way, “sorry, no internationals” is just thrown in as if discrimination is the most normal thing in the world. Well, obviously for these narrow-minded ‘tolerant’ students it is. Let me remind you again that the definition of xenophobia is, ‘Dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries’.  

2. They want to speak Dutch at home

That’s one of the most common excuses provided to justify the ads. Well, let me tell you that if that’s the case why don’t the ads say “fluent Dutch speakers only?” No internationals literally means that if you’re not Dutch you ain’t much.  In fact, if you look at the example in the starter kit below, you’ll see that one ad actually says “Nederlands sprekende/Dutch speaking”. But then continues to say, ‘no internationals’.  They don’t want non-Dutch people breathing the same air as them at home. Neee! They want people who understand the importance of wearing flared trousers and white sneakers, and who love hockey and taking XTC at festivals or the supermarket. They want people who are just like them. They’re clearly and casually displaying the preconceptions they have about ‘internationals’. God forbid that someone moves in who cooks in a non-western way. 

starter kit about dutch discrimination


3. Dutch people find it difficult to find accommodation too

Yes, rent prices are crazy in Amsterdam. (Largely due to the opportunism of Dutch landlords and investors). There’s a shortage of student accommodation in the Netherlands in general. What I don’t see any evidence of, however, are lots of ads saying “sorry, no Dutch people”. Could you imagine if that was the case? There’d be uproar. Orange tears would flow.  The PVV would be discussing it in the Tweede Kamer. But as it’s only foreigners affected very few people give a stroopwafel about it and would rather not discuss it. Even NOS the Dutch national broadcaster reported about the problems internationals face when trying to find somewhere to live.



Who is to blame for the ‘No Internationals’ problem?

  1. Greedy Dutch universities who love the excessive fees that international students have to pay to study here, but wash their hands like Pontius Pilate when it comes to finding them accommodation.
  2. Dutch students who love to consider themselves as tolerant but are happy to embrace xenophobia in the name of keeping things ‘gezellig’.

I’ll leave international students with some advice on how to get a room in a Dutch girl flatshare where they refuse to accept internationals.

Finding a room in a Dutch flatshare

No internationals were hurt during the writing of this post.

Until next time, “if you ain’t Dutch you ain’t much if you want to live with Nederlanders in student houses”.

man with head in sand

“What’s the problem? I don’t see anything wrong at all. Ik snap het niet”