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I've only limited knowledge of the Netherlands specifically but before I retired I regularly arranged similar placements and study exchanges for students, both mine going to work in Europe and those from our partner Universities within a European wide network coming to the UK. So my first question is, has he discussed this with his Uni tutor and/or the company who have offered him this opportunity? I ask because both will probably have been involved in such 'sandwich' work placements in the past and will have had previous students/interns needing accommodation so could well have contacts they could put him in touch with.

The Uni will have a 'duty of care' towards him if this is something that is credited towards his degree (as opposed to him just taking a year out from his course) - it means that they cannot just leave him to sort this out for himself. Before sanctioning this as part of his course they will need to carry out a risk assessment and that includes whether his accommodation is suitable and safe. My first step was usually to identify the nearest University or college and ask them for help. Even if they weren't able to help directly by offering them a room in their own Halls or student residences (though many could), most maintain a list of approved landlords/letting agencies that will have been vetted by their Student Services office. This usually proved fruitful and had the added benefit that the people offering the accommodation were well used to dealing with student tenants/lodgers and would be under no illusions about some of the pitfalls and most realised it was an advantage to take on someone who would be expected to meet professional expectations on a day to day basis so was unlikely to be partying day and night! :-).

But it will be worth contacting the company too because depending on its size there is a good chance that there will be young graduates amongst their staff who may well welcome someone looking for a flat share etc. So checking out whether they have a staff email newsletter or bulletin board that he can ask to place an ad in for a room/digs etc could pay dividends too. Plus a company of any size could well be used to having staff relocating to the area and would have a good idea of who the reputable letting agents in the area are etc. Remember, as an employee or intern, he can also expect them to exercise a duty of care towards him as well. As I said, if this is an integral part of his course that gives him credit towards his final degree then neither party, but especially the University, can just completely wash their hands of any responsibility towards his overall welfare and wellbeing which would include somewhere suitable to live.
Thank you for taking the time to write that SMa. Much appreciated. I'll take on board all you say and digest. It may take me a while though.
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