National Collegiate Honors Council


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From: Housing Honors, edited by Linda Frost, Lisa W. Kay, and Rachael Poe. National Collegiate Honors Council Monograph Series (Lincoln, NE: 2015).


Copyright © 2015 by National Collegiate Honors Council.


Traditionally, university students in the Netherlands, even honors students, find accommodations on their own; they will rent a room in a house and live together with other students who have independently rented a room in that same building. The typical Dutch student residence is an old, centrally located house that will accommodate five to eight students. While these students would be complete strangers when they begin their time living together, they quickly become a cohesive community, deciding for themselves how their life in the space will be organized by setting up cooking schedules and other agreed-upon formats for using the communal space. The house itself is a dynamic entity in which the living room becomes the most important place; that is where the social activities take place. The students living in the house and their guests spend little time alone in their private bedrooms. Therefore one of the main criteria for students looking for a student house is the quality of the social space. In that respect, Dutch student housing closely resembles student housing for honors students in the United States. The house is more than just a place to study; it is an opportunity to be part of a community of scholars. The main difference between a Dutch student house and U.S. honors housing is that honors housing is essentially defined as being occupied by honors students only. Living in honors housing opens the door to interacting with other honors students, participating in seminars and activities, and being actively involved in the honors program or honors college. The honors housing community provides a living-learning community for students where they can benefit from the attention their housemates give to academic excellence while maintaining a vibrant social life.