Welcome to Holland

Welcome to Holland! Although Holland is just a part of our country, it’s more accurate to say: Welcome to the Netherlands! Whether you’re temporarily here to study, work and/or do an internship or maybe decided to move here permanently, in any case, moving to the Netherlands requires solid preparation. Therefore, we created a student financial guide: from getting the required visa to finding a space to live, organizing your finances, applying for benefits and preparing all-important insurances. Studenten-zorgverzekeringen.nl is happy to help you get started, so we’ve bundled all the relevant information for you in this section. Have a great time in the Netherlands!

Get started: Welcome to Holland!

Upon arrival, there are several important arrangements to make, such as municipality registration, opening a Dutch bank account, registration of your digital ID (DigiD) and, if required for your situation, taking out Dutch healthcare insurance. Furthermore, you’ll find more information about transport in the Netherlands, the Dutch language and integration.

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Student finance

To study, work and live in the Netherlands, it’s essential to dive into your finances. Find out the average costs of living, tuition fees and research scholarships, grants and important benefits & allowances you can apply for. If necessary, the Dutch government provides student loans. Another option to earn some extra money is to take a job on the side. Finally, students can obtain a ‘student travel product’ in the Netherlands, which allows them to travel for free during the week or weekends.

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Student insurance

If you’re temporarily living and studying in the Netherlands, you probably don’t have to take out Dutch healthcare insurance. You can keep your home insurance (or take out private healthcare insurance if desired). This changes if you also decide to work, do a paid internship or voluntary work receiving an allowance. In that case, Dutch healthcare insurance is compulsory. You will receive a letter from the CAK (Central Administration Office) stating that you are uninsured. How to act in this letter will be explained in this article. Furthermore, you will find detailed information on Dutch healthcare insurance, the different policies and the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). To conclude, other important insurances such as home insurance, liability insurance, travel insurance and mobile or outdoor insurance will be highlighted.

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Benefits & Allowances

To support lower-income groups, such as students, the Dutch government established different benefits & allowances. These allowances are called ‘toeslagen’ and are issued by the Dutch Tax Authority (Belastingdienst). The ‘zorgtoeslag’, or Dutch healthcare allowance, is an allowance for Dutch healthcare insurance payment. If you qualify for a healthcare allowance depends on your income and capital. Furthermore, you might qualify for rent benefit. This allowance contributes to the payment of your monthly rent. In this section, you can read all requirements to successfully apply for rent benefit and additional information on Dutch tax benefits.

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Student housing

Finding a space to live in the Netherlands can be quite a search. Housing in the Netherlands, especially in the major student cities, is scarce. Therefore it is crucial to start looking for a space to live in an early stage of your preparations. Depending on your budget and personal preferences, you can look for a student house, apartment or university accommodation. There are different ways to look for a space to live, by using websites and social media, housing corporations or through your university or student association. You can read all about it in this section, as well as information about temporary accommodation, housing rights and home insurance.

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Student visa & permits

Do I need a student visa to study in the Netherlands? And do I need a residence permit as well? How do I apply for these? You might have different questions regarding student visa & permits. To help you get started and figure out what you need to arrange, you can visit our page with in-depth information on visa and residence permits for students.

Check out our Student visa & permits page

Student work

During your studies in the Netherlands you might want to earn some extra money working a job on the side. Or maybe you’re doing an internship, work as a self-employed entrepreneur, au pair or thinking about doing voluntary work? You might wonder in what situations you need a work permit. The general rule is that all non-European students need a work permit and also face limitations regarding working hours. You can find all the detailed information on our page student work.

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Frequently asked questions welcome to Holland

Below you’ll find an overview of frequently asked questions by (future) international students in the Netherlands.

How can I finance my studies in the Netherlands?
International students have different options to finance their studies in the Netherlands. These include self-funding, scholarships, grants, student finance or ‘studiefinanciering’ (government loans & student travel product), private loans and applying for allowances. Students can also choose to get a job on the side. Check out our page Student Finance for more information.
Is health insurance compulsory for students in the Netherlands?
Basic health insurance is mandatory for international students that both work and study in the Netherlands. This includes paid internships, zero-hour contracts and volunteer work receiving an allowance. Furthermore, in case you decide to move to the Netherlands permanently, health insurance also is compulsory. You can find more information on our page Student Insurance.
How much does it cost to study and live in the Netherlands?
International students who live and study in the Netherlands will have to cover living and tuition fees. Costs of living include rent, groceries, clothes and personal care, transport, insurance, sports and other leisure activities. These expenses depend on your student city and lifestyle. Nevertheless, the average living costs are somewhere between €700,- and €1.200,- a month. Tuition fees depend on your country of origin and type of degree. For EU students, tuition fees are around €2.143,- a year. Non-EU students will need to invest between €6000,- and €20.000,- a year.
How do I find student housing in the Netherlands?
Finding student accommodation in Holland can be quite challenging. Therefore, it is essential to start your search at an early stage. There are several ways to find housing for students in the Netherlands. You can contact your university or housing corporations for housing options. Furthermore, check out websites for student rooms and apartments, Facebook groups, student associations that offer housing and contact your network. Read more about all the options on our page Student Housing.
Can international students both work and study in the Netherlands?
If international students can both work and study in the Netherlands depends mainly on their country of origin. If you’re an EU citizen, you can both work and study in the Netherlands without time restrictions. You’ll need a BSN (Citizen Service Number) as well as Dutch basic health insurance. Non-EU citizens can also have a part-time job and study at the same time in the Netherlands. However, they can only work a maximum of 16 hours each week (freelancers excluded).
Do I need a visa or residence permit to study in the Netherlands?
If you need a visa or residence permit to study in the Netherlands, depends on your country of origin and the length of your stay. EU and EEA students and students from the USA, Australia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Monaco, Vatican City, and South Korea don’t need a residence permit or student visa. If you’re not from one of these countries, you’ll need a Schengen visa (or short-stay visa) in case your stay doesn’t exceed 90 days. You’ll need an entry visa (MVV, valid for 90 days) followed by a residence permit (VVR) if your stay will exceed 90 days.