No More Housing Hassle for Student Travellers?

HousingAnywhere.com founder Niels van Deuren

HousingAnywhere.com founder Niels van Deuren

By: Madeline Reddington

For most of us who have done so, studying abroad was one of the best experiences we had in college—but finding someone to take over our rooms for an awkward four or five-month period isn’t nearly as fun. Luckily, for those of us who are worried about coming home to find our things trashed by an unruly sub-letter or biting the bullet and paying rent for an empty room, there are more options. Meet Niels van Deuren, Triptrotter and founder of HousingAnywhere.com.

What made you start HousingAnywhere?

When I went abroad for my Bachelor exchange to Singapore, I wanted to sublet my room. Unfortunately, it was quite hard to find someone who wanted to rent for just five months. However, at the same time I heard that the International Office of my current university was desperately looking for rooms that were available for a short time period. There I saw the gap: there was a supply of short-term rooms, and demand. I simply created a platform to bridge these two parties.

How is HousingAnywhere different from other exchange-based hospitality networks?

Only students can use this platform. And above all: it’s totally for free to advertise your room or respond to an advertisement on the platform. Students at a few top schools already use it, like ESADE Barcelona, SSE in Sweden, WU in Vienna, USP in Brazil, and more.

What are the best and worst parts of being an entrepreneur?

I would like to summarize it as: “Whoa, opportunities everywhere, but a day has only 24 hours!”

What else are you doing these days?

I am studying International Business Administration—taking a Masters in CEMS International Management.

How many countries have you been to?

Ai, many! South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos, Cambodia, New Zealand, Thailand, and basically all of Europe. I am still missing the USA on my list though!

What’s a crazy experience you had traveling/studying abroad that you can share with the Triptrotting community?

Living in Lisbon for a few months. What a time! What a nice vibrant city that is!

What’s next for HousingAnywhere and yourself?

Well, we recently launched our platform in Peru (Lima, Esan University) as well. So the road is: expanding our platform to more countries and cities!

If you had all the money in the world, would you quit and move to an island or invest it all in your business?

Move to that island and continue the business from there! The nicest thing in this digital world is that companies are not limited to operating in one specific place.

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About triptrotting

Triptrotting is a global community of world travelers and local hosts (aka "Triptrotters"), who are matched together based on compatibility. Whether you are going to study abroad, traveling for work or adventure seeking in a new country, having a local friend can go a long way. Our online platform and our proprietary matching algorithm will guide and suggest compatible local hosts for you that you would actually be interested in meeting based on factors such as your interest and personality.

Posted on June 28, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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