At the beginning of the academic year, Maastricht University reserved a wing for international students who tested positive or who were ‘advised’ by the Dutch government to spend ten days in quarantine. The wing contains a total of 45 quarantine and isolation rooms: three corridors that were vacant anyway. A blessing in disguise.
Annadal is primarily used by exchange students, but because of COVID-19 the majority has not travelled to Maastricht. The Center for European Studies, for example, cancelled its programmes, normally good for hundreds of American students every semester.
Other Guesthouse locations (almost 900 rooms across Maastricht), where mainly bachelor’s and master’s students live, have a higher occupancy rate, says Van der Nat. “Our total occupancy is 62 per cent at the moment.” Still, that is a historical low. The Guesthouse is usually completely full.
“We can see that by the check-ins that we have just completed of the students who arrived in January and February. Last year, there were 487 arrivals. This year that number was supposed to be 86, but so far only a few of them have arrived.”
How things will be for the Guesthouse next academic year, remains to be seen. “We do see the reservations for September 2021 coming in, but it is not a rush.”