Wednesday , February 28 2024

Student Checklist for going to Holland

Nataly Linzey has prepared a checklist for Students that are planning to continue their education in Holland.

Click here to download this Checklist

Checklist for Students planning to go to Holland

Prepared by Nataly Linzey


Choice of study

  • Which study will you be following?
  • Will your study be offered in English or Dutch? It is important to know this because of language exams.
  • Are there any other conditions applied to your study that you may not know about?
  • Why do you want to do this study? What do you want to accomplish by doing this study?
  • How many years would you have to study before you reach where you want to be?
  • Is your goal realistic?

==> Begin on time with your planning!

  • It would be handy to know the following by January:
  • What are the conditions for the study which you would like to do?
  • How are you doing with your subjects? Will you be passing this year?
  • What are the deadlines for applying to your study?

Language preparation

  • Watch Dutch TV (BVN, uitzending, etc.)
  • Explore the Dutch Culture: fashion, habits, traditions, etc.
  • Try to speak as much Dutch as possible. Dare to make mistakes, but learn from them!
  • Follow a Dutch crash course.

NTII Exams:

This is a requirement to follow a Dutch study, aside from your high school diploma. There is not really a course you can follow on Saba for this exam, but you can find past exams online to prepare you for this.

More information to be found at: (copy and paste the link into your browser)

Where are you going to study?

  • Which city would you like to go to?
  • Why would you choose this city?
  • Have you taken a look at other cities?
  • Have you looked at the average price of accommodation in this city? (See: accommodation).

Study financing

  • Do you know how much study financing you are entitled to?
  • Do you know how much study financing you will actually lend?
  • Do you have an idea of what your budget will look like per month?
  • OV chipcard: you should apply for this directly with your study financing. Take note that you will ask for the right to the OV with your study financing, but you will have to regulate your own card when you get to The Netherlands.
  • You will need a Sofi
    number to do that. (If you need help with this you can ask Nataly or Sharuska aboutthis).

===> Begin on time with your planning!

It would be handy to know the following by

  • What are the deadlines for applying for study financing? Contact RCN for this!
  • Do your parents know that their tax information is needed to find out how much
    study financing you can receive?
  • Are your parents’ tax information in order?

===> If you can apply for study financing, you also have the right to the so called ‘opstarttoelage’. Ask RCN for more information about this.

Please note: this ‘opstarttoelage’ will be used to pay:

  • your ticket to The Netherlands;
  • a laptop if needed;
  • your housing for about 3 months (plus down payment which is usually a month or two of the rent you have to pay)
  • your room furniture;
  • your insurance for 3 months;
  • food.
  • Travel costs by train and bus in The Netherlands.

So make a budget on how you will spend this money as the first payment of study financing from The Netherlands gets paid at the end of September!

Please note again: this is a student LOAN you are taking from the Dutch government. You will be required to pay back this loan at the end of your study (whether you pass or not). They will also ask you to pay interest and so the higher your loan, the more money you will be asked to pay back.

Read the conditions carefully and ask every question you may have!

Directly before you leave Saba:

  • KLM Ticket: when will you be leaving?
  • Writing out of Saba: by the Census office. You will be required to bring your birth certificate of the place you were born and proof of where you live on Saba. Contact Nellie Peterson for more information on this.
  • Driver’s license: you can turn your Saban license to a Dutch license within 5 months after you have moved to the Netherlands.
  • passport: is that regulated? You have to have a passport to go the The Netherlands (and the rest of Europe). An ID card is not sufficient.

Directly after arriving in The Netherlands:

  • Writing into the city which you will live in The Netherlands: has to happen within 5 days of arrival in the Netherlands. You will have to do this at the city hall of your city. If you do not do this within those five days, you will get a boot for every day you are in The Netherlands unregistered. It is also important for the sofi number. Without that you can do almost nothing in The Netherlands.
  • Bank account: student accountABN Amro, ING, Rabo Bank?
  • – Health insurance: It is handy if you take a regular insurance and not a student account due to the fact that you cannot work if you have a student insurance.
  • Doctor: chose one that is close to home. It is important to regulate this ASAP.
  • Cell phone: Lebara and Lyca are very cheap options to call home with.
  • Can you ride a bike? It would be useful to buy an old second hand bike to get around with. It saves you time and money getting to places.


Handy tips for finding housing:

– is it close to school? (Can you be at school within an hour? That is important for the winter especially with your exams).

– Is the price range within your budget?

– What kind of house/ room is it? Doe you have your own bathroom/ kitchen etc?

– How many people live in the house with you?

Winter clothing:

– Try to get a good quality winter jacket for the winter during the summer. They are then on sale!

Social life tips:

  • Mingle with Dutch people, classmates and people who motivate/push you to do your best while in The Netherlands.
  • Get out of your comfort zone and find out what works best for your study.
  • Give yourself time to adjust to life in The Netherlands.
  • In your first year, focus solely on your study. I would not recommend you to get a side job.
  • Minimize your debt: avoid those attractive subscriptions especially in your first year!
  • Learn new things or find something you like to do. The choices are many.
  • I would recommend you to spend your first Christmas in The Netherlands/ Europe. Many students who have come home their first Christmas experienced homesickness when they went back up.
  • Get connected with positive student mentor groups: HvAnti for example (contact me if you want to know more about them).

Stay positive!

Remember that giving up is the easiest thing to do, but you came to Holland to become something! That will never be a smooth ride!


Answers to parliament about poverty and NIBUD report (in Dutch)
Minimum wages and premium percentages 2014