Step 5 of 7

The Pel-Students Then and Now

When the student flat was still just a few years old, Jos applied for a room there. He managed to get one thanks to some smooth talking, so he told us. He had always noticed that the neighborhood was small and cozy: the local supermarket was around the corner, meaning that beers were readily available. Even after finishing his studies he continued to live in the Transvaal neighborhood for a while.

Jos tells us that the students who lived in the neighborhood at that time felt like they were part of the neighborhood too, even though some residents back then were already against their growing presence. Although students and local residents often lived side by side without much interaction, Jos tells us that he did to some extent see a connection between both groups. The little shops on the Morsweg were not unhappy with the lazy students who did not feel like walking the extra 100 meters to get to the cheaper supermarket. Those shops were also visited regularly by residents, which led to more contact between students and their neighbors.

Today most of those little shops on the Morsweg have disappeared, but the relationship between the students and the residents of the Transvaal neighborhood have not actually worsened. Madeleine is a student who lives in the neighborhood today. She tells us that she and her roommates put in a lot of effort to keep in touch with their neighbors. Of course, it is not always possible to neatly line up all the parked bikes or to keep quiet when partying at the break of dawn – that’s simply life in a student city!

What about the neighbors living right next to the student flat? Are they bothered by the hundreds of students next to their homes?