We are the newborn international committee. We were created to help international students with any questions they may have, based on our experiences as international students. Our purpose is not only to help with regard to academic matters but also with regard to other aspects of the life of an expat student, such as housing and social activities. Below you will find some questions we have been asked before, if there is something else you can always get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling in the form here.
How do I join the international whatsapp group and what is the purpose of this group?
You can join our international whatsapp group by sending a mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The purpose of this whatsapp group is to provide you with any kind of support you may need. For example to give you useful resources for your academic life, like study groups and study spots. Further, with this group you get the chance to get in contact with other international students with whom you have a lot of things in common.
What is a BSN and how do I get one?
Every person residing in the Netherlands has a citizen service number (BSN). This is used to identify yourself to government agencies. In order to receive one, you have to register at the local municipality (called gemeente).
What you need to do:
Get your documents ready; To be able to register at the municipality, you need to have a signed rental contract, official ID, and possibly, a birth certificate. For non-EU citizens, a residence permit might be required.
Make an appointment through phone or via email. Make sure to book in advance, as at the beginning of the academic year, they are usually fully booked. It is mandatory to register at the municipality within 5 days of arriving in the Netherlands (however, this is not as strict, just make sure to register ASAP)
Receive your BSN
You need a BSN number for almost everything you do; From opening a bank account, to getting health insurance and applying for student finance. Therefore, it is important to register at your earliest convenience.
Where can I find student residences?
Finding accommodation in Amsterdam is extremely difficult, especially as a student. Here are some resources that hopefully are helpful in your search for your future home:
- Some useful websites: duwo.nl, pararius.com, kamernet.nl, jaap.nl.
- Start looking for accommodation around Amsterdam, as there are good transportation connections and can be a very good alternative
- Consider joining Facebook groups, like "Kamers aangeboden op Uilenstede", and checking Facebook Marketplace for housing opportunities in Amsterdam. These groups connect you with people in similar situations and landlords who post available apartments. Look for groups specific to your home country as people are often more willing to help fellow nationals.
- Consider temporary accommodation: If you're struggling to find long-term accommodation, you may need to consider temporary options such as short-term rentals, or subletting until you find a permanent place. This can give you some time to settle in and continue your search.
How does Healthcare work in the Netherlands?
Dutch basic health insurance in The Netherlands is mandatory by law. Some health care providers offer specific student insurance plans. Some may provide additional benefits such as counseling, dental care and more. A few of the healthcare providers that offer student insurance include AON and ISO Student Insurance . Make sure you carefully read what each plan includes so you can choose whichever meets your requirements the best. To get a throughout comparison of different packages, see independer.nl
How do I get a dutch student bank account?
The documents you will need to open a student bank account in The Netherlands include a valid proof of identity, proof of your Dutch residence, your personal BSN number and most importantly proof of enrollment at a Dutch educational institution. You may also need your residence permit if you're not from the EU. The best Dutch student bank accounts with the most benefits and the easiest to use come from the big three Dutch multinational banks; ABN AMRO, ING Group, Rabobank and the biggest online Dutch bank, Bunq. All of them offer the primary bank account functions such as debit card payments, transactions, transfers, cash withdrawals and their own version of internet banking for students with mobile apps.
Do students get student discounts?
The Netherlands offers many student discounts that can help students save money while studying. For example, the movies, going shopping, museums and many more. Unidays is one of the most popular websites you can visit to find all the discounts you are eligible for. In order to have access to these discounts make sure you have a valid student ID whenever you want to use a student discount.