The first few days in a new place are always exciting and there's lots to do, sort out and discover. We've laid it all out for you below.

It's worth remembering that you need to carry ID with you at all times. This may be a passport, ID card or Dutch driving licence. You'll need it for if a police official or other official asks for proof of identity, but also, for instance, when buying alcoholic beverages at the supermarket.

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Register on campus

Once you've arranged your journey to the Netherlands, fill out the arrival information form on your iGo portal so we know when to expect you.

Please go to the Student Info desk as soon as you arrive on campus (or at the latest the following working day) so we can register your arrival. The staff at our student info offices on our campus sites can then help you with settling into your new hometown.

Register at City Hall

All international students need to register in the municipality of the city they study in (the city hall) within five days of arrival. We recommend you arrange this as soon as possible as you will then be given a citizen service number and you will need this for official paperwork like opening a Dutch bank account. Note: you need to get an additional form from the City Hall to open a bank account. Remember, it can take up to 3 weeks to receive your BSN number.

You can get more information on the BSN on this website.

For more information on the different ways of getting your BSN number, refer below to the specific information for the student city you will be studying in. You need to make an appointment online before going to the City Hall.

Please bring copies (you will need to hand them in) and show the originals of the following documents:

  • Passport or ID card
  • Rental contract of your student room/house
  • Original birth certificate with the official translation (if it’s not in Dutch or English)
  • NHL Stenden letter of admission (received by email during the application process)

Plan (online) appointment and location City Hall

Open a Dutch bank account

We strongly recommend that you open a Dutch bank account for your time in the Netherlands. It will mean you avoid paying high transaction charges and it gives you access to an online payment tool which is linked to your bank account. The most popular online payment method in the Netherlands is iDEAL, and it is also used at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences. iDEAL is similar to PayPal; easy to use and secure.

To be eligible to open a bank account, you must be enrolled at NHL Stenden and you must be registered with the local authorities as a local resident. You can easily open an account online. You will need to have digital copies of the following documents:

  • Passport (not a copy)
  • Proof of enrolment
  • Citizen Service Number (BSN Number)
  • Rental contract

The choice of a bank is yours and we’ve listed links to the main ones below.

Healthcare and healthcare insurance

The Dutch healthcare system is a universal, multi-payer system. This means healthcare is funded through a combination of public and private contributions. The system includes a Standard Health Insurance Package (known as the basisverzekering) for all residents which is mandatory if you are aged 18 and over. All Dutch residents, including international students, are free to choose their own private health insurance provider.

What if you get sick?

If you require medical treatment, you must contact a general practitioner (huisarts). You will need to make an appointment by telephone to consult the doctor at their practice first. You'll need to take your EU Health Insurance Card or other proof of insurance with you.

If you need to see a physiotherapist or other specialised medical practitioner, you will also need to go through your GP first. Although your GP can refer you to a medical specialist, general practitioners in the Netherlands are generally your main source of medical care. Their level of responsibility and the treatment they administer extends beyond that in many other countries. In many cases, they will attempt to treat the problem themselves and refer you only if they are unable to do so.

It is important to know that you can only visit a GP in your place of residence. You will also need to register with a dentist. This is a separate process but works much the same way.