I'm still looking for a place to stay. As of today I've sold enough cookies for 4 months of rent (86 jars!) so at least I'm settled for a term. Student housing is expensive at 405 euros a month, plus extra costs for cleaning (I can clean it myself for free thankyouverymuch). I've found some nice places online for 300 - 360 euros, and the landlords say I can come view the rooms when I arrive there on 13 Sep, so I hope the rooms will still be available. Both are about 2.5km away from my university, but I can get a bicycle and it'll be 15 minutes of cycling, tops.
Doing exchange in Valencia was good preparation. My friend and I stayed in a backpacker's hostel for 3 days and walked around for 10 hours a day viewing apartment, but it was sheer chance that we found the apartment we eventually ended up living in. We wanted to stay in the centre of town, even though school was about 2km away. And it turned out great because most of the town's cultural activities e.g. Fallas were happening right in our neighbourhood! We hardly slept during Fallas for the constant fireworks and when we did, we woke up to street processions.
Also, cycling to school on a bicycle bought on a (dodgy!) black market was exciting as long as we keep to the cycling paths. But the thrill of being able to reach school in 10 minutes! A total change from the hours on buses and the MRT here.
The Hague is flat and Holland is a country of cyclists! I can see loads of cycling paths on Google Street View, hurray.