Where to get study supplies

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    So you’ve settled into your new home, what now?

    Depending on which study programme you will take, you can either use a laptop for everything or use some simple study supplies to help you. 

    Notebooks give you more flexibility on note-taking style, and you will probably remember your notes better. As a bonus, you won’t have to think about your laptop’s battery percentage all the time. Even if you can’t write that fast or neat, a notebook will still be helpful during tutorials and practicals. 

    Here’s what you’ll need and where you can get them for cheap!


    Classic study supplies

    Let’s begin with the most basic study supplies, consisting of pens, pencil cases, notebooks, and more.  

    There are so many retailers selling these kinds of products during back-to-school weeks that it could be pretty hard for you to find the right retailer for your needs. That’s why we recommend the following.

    For starters, HEMA has the best assortment of study supplies for students. They offer the best quality, and it’s pretty cheap, considering how long their products last. They sell all the necessary school supplies from notebooks to backpacks and more. 

    It’s worth checking out as most of their shops have large areas reserved for school supplies during back-to-school weeks. And don’t be hesitant to ask the staff for help as they are one of the kindest staff members you can find. 

    HEMA also offers free home delivery service with a minimum purchase of €25, so you can order your supplies online too if that’s more convenient for you. 


    Similarly, Bruna also offers study supplies during back-to-school weeks, but their assortment is not as extensive. After all, their main products are books. 

    But during these weeks, you can find high-quality supplies such as notebooks, agendas, and maps. The prices are also comparable to HEMA’s, so it’s pretty much a matter of preference or which store is closest to you.

    Retailers such as Action also sell most study supplies, but at a lower price. There are plenty of Action outlets in the Netherlands, so one quick look on Google maps will give you the one closest to your location. 

    Action is notorious for their low prices and knick-knacks, so keep your eyes on the prize, or you’ll be walking out with a cart full of stuff you’ll probably never need. 

    We recommend buying only supplies that are easier to replace, such as pens, pencils, erasers, and notebooks, as their supplies can be of lower quality. So if you like the lower price and are careful with your stuff, then retailers like Action are for you. 

    Sites like bol.com and scholierenshop.nl also sell lots of study supplies, but they don’t have a physical store. Their products are excellent, and the prices are reasonably low. 

    If you like the comfort of ordering your supplies from your couch, we recommend these sites as they are the most reliable, secure, and affordable sites where you can order study supplies. 

    Laptops/tablets

    We also consider laptops or tablets necessary study supplies, as most universities have their own online environment where you access course material. Without some device which you can connect to the internet, it will be tough to keep up with your courses. Here are our recommendations if you need a laptop or tablet.

    Coolblue and MediaMarkt are trustworthy websites that offer a more extensive range of electronic products, including laptops, tablets, monitors and more. 

    Laptop is a must-have!

    For Mac users, we advise you to purchase from the official Apple website, as the prices are comparable to third-party sellers. Even better, Apple offers various student discounts. For example, you can trade-in your old MacBook or iMac for a discount on your purchase. 

    Like Apple, some companies provide student discounts for their products as well, such as Samsung, Dell, Lenovo. This discount can be useful for your wallet if you want a product of a specific brand, but how exactly does it work? 

    Using your student e-mail address given your university, you can register for a student discount on the respective sites of your favourite brands. Some companies recognize other proof of enrollment as well, like your student card. If you have a specific brand in mind, you can always look up online if they offer student discounts. 

    If you’re tight on money or don’t care for a pricy, high-end laptop, you can always buy second-hand ones, although this has its risks. The most reliable way to get second-hand laptops is to buy from the laptop brands themselves. Some offer refurbished laptops that are as good as new, but for a lower price. 

    We can’t recommend purchasing laptops from resale sites because these laptops may have faulty components that are not apparent the first time you use it. 

    Additional study supplies

    Now that you’ve got your basic study supplies, it’s time to search for additional supplies that will be helpful, but not necessary, depending on what study you’re following. We’re talking about headsets, software and more.

    So you’ve got Windows 10 installed on your laptop, but without Microsoft Office. If your university is connected to Surfspot, you can log in via your student number, after which you will receive discounts on their products. 

    For example, you can buy MS Office 365 for €4 a year, for which you can use on ten devices at a time. If you need an Office license for your laptop, Surfspot is the place to buy it. 

    TIP: Check if your university offers MS Office 365 for free

    Surfspot also offers other software such as Adobe Creative Cloud and even free training kits and Windows 10 upgrades. 

    Now that we’ve covered software you may need; let’s talk about some things that are nice to have. 

    As a student, having headphones or earbuds can be very helpful if you need to study in a busy area. 


    Don’t like using a laptop for everything? Or do you have a crappy laptop that you just use during lectures? Sometimes a personal computer can be helpful if you need something more powerful. 

    If you like the challenge or know someone with enough knowledge, you can buy individual components, build your own PC and completely customize it.
    Once you’ve acquired all the study supplies you need, you may want to learn where to buy your textbooks.

    [helpful]

    Do you need Dutch health insurance?

    When starting a new adventure abroad, concerns about your health should not get in your way and it’s important that you are covered for any misfortune the student life may throw at you. But is it necessary to get Dutch health insurance?

    Specialized Student Health Insurance

    Specialized student health insurance is meant for international students who are unsure if their domestic insurance covers all costs while they are staying in the Netherlands