9+1 things to know when moving to The Netherlands
- 5 min read
So, are you moving to The Netherlands for your studies? Congratulations! When you start preparing for this next step in your life, it can be quite overwhelming with a lot of things to take into consideration. Our Bachelor’s student Nicolas compiled this checklist, which will ensure that you are up to date with everything you need to know. Follow the below tips and soon you will be a local without even noticing!
1. Bring a raincoat & rain pants. This tip may not surprise you. Given the number of rainy days in the Netherlands (which are many), and the strong wind in the autumn, you will definitely need a good raincoat and pants for your bike rides! Another good alternative is bicycle ponchos. Designed to go across your bike, the ponchos keep your legs dry in the rain too.
2. Bring a good umbrella. Don’t let the rain ruin your time here! Bring along a good sturdy umbrella that will not break in the wind (maybe bring a backup one just in case).
3. Register at Gemeente and get a BSN number. Make an appointment for your registration at the municipality as early as possible via phone or online. They are usually very busy, but sometimes offer “open days” during which you can just queue outside the town hall.
4. Open a Dutch bank account. Set up a Dutch bank account as soon as you move to The Netherlands since many credit cards are not accepted here. Opening an account is free and simple for students; just book an appointment online and have ready all the documentation needed.
5. Get an OV-chipkaart. If you are planning to use public transportation (which we recommend you to do so), you will need to get an OV-chipkaart. It can be loaded with credits and you can top-up it at any station in the country. There are many monthly or annual plans where you can get discounts while traveling during off-peak hours. And the best thing? You can use it for the full transportation network (trains, buses, metro, and tram).
6. Rent a room or apartment that you can get registered in (BSN number). Find accommodation in which you can get your registration. If you are not registered with the municipality, you cannot open a bank account, get health insurance, or even work here.
7. Buy or rent a bike. While tram is a great way to travel and explore the city, do it the Dutch way by getting your own bike! It is so fun and convenient, and you will immerse yourself in the local culture. Along with your bike, we always recommend getting a good lock as well.
8. Get a reusable water bottle. Just have a stroll in the center of Amsterdam and you will see everyone carrying a reusable water bottle! Refill, reuse and refresh your water again and again!
9. Get your own picnic set. Make the most of the sunny days by heading off for a picnic in one of the hundreds of parks in the country. You can find a picnic set of blankets, baskets,s and reusable utensils in many local stores, and even portable BBQ stations (which are allowed in some parks in the country).
10. Join the group “HTH Summaries”. It is a Facebook private group where you can find all the information you need; from apartments to books, clothing, and university papers.
Now that you are filled up with all this information from our checklist, you are one step closer and more ready to pack your luggage and make your transition smoother. Enjoy!