Cost of Student Living in the Netherlands

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    How much is the cost of living in the Netherlands?

    The answer to that might be nice to be aware of how much you’re going to expect to spend on essentials in the Netherlands. This may be important to know before you move – or even before deciding to move there. Accommodation, textbooks, food, and transport, along with other essentials, are all vital parts of having a comfortable living. Getting an overview of their costs can, therefore, be helpful in planning your everyday life in the Netherlands.

    Tuition Fees and Textbooks

    Your tuition can depend heavily on where and what you study, as well as whether you pay the Dutch/EU or international fee. Thankfully, you can find the exact cost on your university’s website, making it easier to organize your spendings for the year.

    One thing you’ll probably see yourself spending money on multiple times during your stay is textbooks for your programme. The price of these depends on the specific courses and whether you can buy some used copies off another student, but be prepared to spend anywhere from €30 – €100 per month on books and other study materials.

    Textbooks could be a big part of your expenses

    Accommodation Costs

    It can vary greatly how much accommodation costs in the Netherlands. It depends on just what kind of accommodation it is, as well its location. Usually, a single room in a student house is cheaper than sharing a rented apartment, which again is less expensive than renting a single apartment. Here’s an overview of the typical price of the various types of accommodation:

    Room in a student house: €350 – €600 per month

    Renting a shared apartment: €400 – €700 per month

    Renting a single apartment: €500 – €1,000 per month

    You should keep in mind that certain necessary utilities are sometimes not included in the accommodation cost. It’s therefore essential to make sure what’s included so you can get an overview of how much you’re expected to pay for other utilities every month.

    When utilities are not included in the accommodation cost, they usually come around to anywhere from €100 – €230 per month. This price, of course, does depend on which utilities you have to pay for. If you have to pay for internet, there’s a variety of different ways to do it. Overall, you should be able to find internet for around €30 – €50 per month.

    There’s also usually a deposit you have to pay when renting. You’ll get that money back when you move again, as long as you stick to the contract and don’t cause damage to the property.

    Student housing in Utrecht

    Transportation Costs

    Again, this depends on your type of transportation. If you bike, you’ll initially pay more but overall save money every month when compared to taking public transport like the train or bus.

    If you use public transport in the Netherlands, the typical cost per month can range from €35 – €70 per month, depending on how far you travel and with what. If you regularly use public transport, it’s recommended that you get an OV Chipkaart, as that will lower the fare for busses, trains, and trams by €1 per trip. While this may not sound like much, it can matter a lot in the long term. The prices for public transport in the Netherlands is measured by the number of stops you pass, so if you travel 2 or 3 stops and the ticket costs €3 or €4, saving €1.

    If you bike, you have the option of renting or buying. Renting is fairly affordable and an ideal solution if you’re planning to only stay for a semester or two. A popular place to rent bikes from is Swapfiets, which operates in most cities in the Netherlands and has prices starting from €16,5 per month. 

    If you plan to stay for longer, it might be nice to have your own bike. If you decide to buy, you can save some money by buying it used, either from a Facebook group or from a bike shop. If used, you should be able to find a used bike for less than €100. An example could be that you can find bikes that were parked incorrectly and later collected in Groningen for €65 each.

    You will find yourself using these blue-yellow NS trains when you are travelling across cities

    Food Costs

    When living alone, the average student spends around €150 – €200 per month on food and groceries. That number does, of course, depend on your lifestyle, including what and how much you eat. It also depends on which city you live in; the major ones like Amsterdam or Rotterdam are usually more expensive than the smaller ones like Groningen or Eindhoven.

    Eating out will generally cost you more than if you cook at home. While the prices can vary a lot depending on what city you’re in, eating out will probably cost you anywhere from €7 – €25 for a meal. Drinking in bars and clubs will also cost you more, with beers costing around €3 – €5 per glass. If you aim to get drunk, it would therefore be cheaper to drink before heading out.

    Other Essentials

    Something that you might quickly find necessary is getting a Dutch sim card or telephone plan. These cost around €25 per month on average, though you can find different plans that suit your specific needs.

    You might need to get insurance – whether for your health, fire, theft, or something else entirely. While this does depend on the specific insurance, you might end up paying anywhere from €50 – €120 per month, depending on what type of insurance you need.

    If you’re from a non-EU, non-EEA nation, you’ll require a student visa to study in the Netherlands, which you’ll have to pay for. A Dutch student visa costs €174, both for the first application and any extension necessary, regardless of your level of education.

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