How do university admissions work in the Netherlands

In the previous blog post you found some useful tips on how to choose your major without regretting it. Today you will learn how to apply successfully for a Dutch university. Before you panic, let me tell you that applying for university in the Netherlands is quite easy. Keep reading to find out how!

Documents you need to apply to university

There are several standard documents which apply for all universities in the Netherlands, both research and applied sciences.

Let’s take a closer look at each one:

1. Diploma

This is typically your highest level of educational achievement, such as a high school diploma or an undergraduate degree, depending on the level of study you are applying for (e.g., Bachelor’s or Master’s program)

2. Transcript of your grades

It is very important for your transcript to be translated in English by a sworn translator with a stamp and a signature.

3. English Language Certificate

You can choose between IELTS, Cambridge or TOEFL. For more information regarding the score, you can consult with us.

4. Motivational letter

This is a crucial element of your application. It is your opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest by explaining why you are the best candidate, what motivates you to choose this particular university and why you believe you are a great fit for the program. Explain what your goals are and how this program aligns with them.

5. Curriculum Vitae

Your CV should provide an overview of your academic and professional background. You should include your personal information and educational history. Mention also any relevant work experience such as internships or projects you have worked on. Highlight responsibilities, skills gained, and accomplishments. Feel free to add any extracurricular activities you have participated that demonstrate your valuable qualities.

6. Letter of Recommendation

Some universities may require a letter of recommendation. Ask a teacher or any relevant person who has a great understanding of your abilities. This information helps universities assess your suitability for the program

Applying to university in the Netherlands

After you have gathered all the documents, it is time to start the application process. For all public universities in the Netherlands, the first step is to register in Studielink. This is the centralized platform where you will manage your applications to universities in the Netherlands.. For private universities, you can apply directly on the university website.

If you’re applying to Studielink, here are the steps you need to take:

1. Fill in your personal information such as name, address, and contact information. Make sure the information is accurate and up to date.

2. Choose your program(s): search for the program you wish to apply for and select it. Studielink will guide you through the process.

3. Upload your documents and ensure that all your documents are in the proper format and meet the university’s specifications. If you do not have your transcripts and English certificate, you can upload them later but make sure you do so.

4. Some universities may charge an application fee, so be prepared to make the necessary payments during the application process.

5. Submit Your Application: double-check your application for accuracy and completeness. Then, submit it through Studielink.

6. Confirmation: After submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation email from Studielink. Keep an eye on your email for updates from the university as well.

7. Wait for a Response: Universities will review your application and contact you with the results. This may take some time, so be patient.

8. Acceptance and Enrollment: First you will receive a conditional acceptance letter. In order to ensure your spot, follow the instructions provided by the university to confirm your acceptance and complete the enrolment process.

Need help with the application process? Contact us! Our team of digital study counsellors have plenty of experience in submitting a winning application. Good luck!

Picture of Kalina Ivanova

Kalina Ivanova

Kalina studied in The Netherlands and is now Educational Consultant at The Discov

Discover your Dream university

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Australia is a popular destination for international students, thanks to its high-quality education system, friendly culture, and stunning natural surroundings. Everyone’s study abroad journey involves numerous steps, one of the most critical being able to find a suitable student accommodation in Australia. In this article we will guide you through the process of finding a room in Australia, types of student housing and insights on how to facilitate your search. 

Student accomodation in Australia


Types of Accommodation in Australia

Managed Student Accommodation

Managed student accommodation, also known as purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), is a popular choice among international students. Prices can be on the higher end, but these are fully furnished apartments or studios, usually located close to university campuses and equipped with amenities like Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and common spaces for socialising. 


  • Proximity to the university campus.
  • All-inclusive rent (utilities and internet).
  • Access to a community of fellow students.


  • Can be more expensive compared to other options.
  • Limited privacy due to shared living spaces.

Residential Colleges

Residential colleges are another on-campus housing option, providing fully furnished rooms, meals, cleaning services, and access to amenities like gyms and laundry facilities. On-campus housing is an ideal option for those who prefer proximity to their institution. Costs typically range from AU$80-250 per week. Normally, you can apply for student dorm accommodation once you get accepted into the university but be quick! Securing a spot on campus can be competitive, so apply early to increase your chances. 


  • Proximity to the university campus.
  • All-inclusive services (meals, cleaning, utilities, and internet).
  • Access to a supportive academic and social community.


  • Higher cost compared to other accommodation types.
  • Limited privacy.

Private Rentals

Private rentals involve renting a house or apartment from a landlord or real estate agent. Off-campus rentals or “shared houses” are popular among both local and international students. Students can choose to live alone or share the space with other students or professionals. This option allows for more independence and freedom as you can select your preferred location and type of housing. While this may be a more daunting choice, especially for those new to the country, there are numerous resources available to assist in the process.


  • More independence and freedom.
  • Flexibility in choosing the location and type of accommodation.
  • Potential for lower living costs when sharing with others.


  • Additional costs for utilities and internet.
  • Responsibility for maintenance and repairs.


A homestay involves living with a local Australian family, offering a unique cultural exchange experience. This option often includes meals and cleaning services, with costs averaging AU$110-270 per week. While this arrangement may be less social as you will be living with a family instead of other students, it provides an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the Australian lifestyle.


  • Cultural immersion and language practice.
  • Supportive and family-like environment.
  • Meals usually included.


  • Limited independence and privacy.
  • May be located farther from the university campus.

The best flat finder platforms in Australia 

is an exclusive platform created specifically for internationals who want to secure student housing in Australia before the arrival. Here you can search, filter and browse rooms from trusted providers. Book your new place instantly and don’t worry about the bills – they are already included in the price! is another widely used platform for finding shared houses and off-campus rentals. It provides listings for shared housing and private rental vacancies, allowing students to inspect the accommodation and make their own assessment. 

Link2 Student Living is a platform that offers off-campus rental options for students. It provides various accommodation options managed by private student accommodation providers off-campus. 

SemesterinAustralia is a platform that offers housing solutions for students studying in Australia. It provides listings for off-campus rentals and shared houses, catering to the accommodation needs of international students. 

Amber Student is a one-click platform with a significant catalogue of properties to choose from, including shared en-suites, private studios, and various single and dual occupancy rooms near major educational institutions in Australia. It offers a hassle-free, 24/7 end-to-end service and a free cancellation policy designed to assist students during the Covid-19 situation. 

Tips on Finding Accommodation in Australia

  1. Start Your Search Early: Start researching your options as soon as you receive your acceptance letter. The earlier you begin, the better your chances of finding a suitable place within your budget.
  2. Utilise Reliable Platforms: Use reputable platforms to search for accommodation. Top options for student housing Australia include Flatmates, Gumtree, and Student Housing Australia. You can also check your university’s student services for recommendations.
  3. Inspect the Property: Before signing a contract, be sure to inspect the property in person. Look for any potential issues with the property and clarify any questions regarding the lease agreement. If you can’t physically inspect the property, consider asking someone you trust to do it on your behalf.
  4. Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities: It’s crucial to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Familiarise yourself with local renting laws and regulations to avoid any potential pitfalls or misunderstandings.

Tips for Avoiding Scammers

Unfortunately, rental scams are a reality in the housing market. Here are some tips to help you avoid falling victim to such scams:

  1. Beware of Too-Good-to-Be-True Offers: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of properties advertised at significantly lower prices than similar ones in the area.
  2. Never Pay in Advance: Avoid paying rent or a deposit before you’ve viewed the property and signed a contract.
  3. Verify the Landlord’s Identity: Ensure you are dealing with the real property owner or a legitimate property management company. Ask for identification and do some online research if you have any doubts.
  4. Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off, it probably is. Trust your instincts and don’t rush into any agreement that makes you uncomfortable.

It’s also a good idea to look into the tenant rights body in your state or territory:


How to apply for student housing in Australia 

Preparing for Viewings

When looking for a rental property, it’s important to inspect the property in person or request a virtual tour. This allows you to assess the condition of the property, check the facilities, and get a feel for the area. Here are some tips for optimising your viewing experience:

  1. Schedule Multiple Viewings: If possible, try to view several properties in one day. This will save you time and provide a basis for comparison.
  2. Take Notes and Photos: Taking notes and photos during the viewing can help you remember important details later.
  3. Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the property, the lease terms, and the local area.

Applying for Accommodation

Once you’ve found a property you like, the next step is to apply for it. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Fill Out the Application Form: The application form will ask for information about yourself, your financial situation, and your rental history. 
  2. Provide Supporting Documents: You may be asked to provide supporting documents such as proof of identity, proof of income, and references from previous landlords. When filling out applications, you will typically be required to provide information regarding your contact details, current employment situation, personal and professional references, as well as your rental history. It can be advantageous to have this information readily available prior to commencing your search, particularly if you are seeking recommendations from previous landlords in a different country. Rental opportunities can sometimes be highly competitive, depending on the location, so having a well-prepared application is crucial. Additionally, making a positive impression during an in-person viewing can greatly increase your chances of securing a rental.
  3. Pay a Holding Deposit: If your application is successful, you may be asked to pay a holding deposit. This is usually equivalent to one week’s rent and is used to secure the property while the lease is being finalised.

Finalising Your Accommodation Choice

Once your application has been accepted, there are a few more steps to take before you can move into your new home:

  1. Sign the Lease: The lease is a legally binding contract between you and the landlord. It sets out the terms and conditions of your tenancy, including the rent, the length of the tenancy, and the responsibilities of both parties.
  2. Pay the Bond and Advance Rent: In addition to the holding deposit, you will usually need to pay a bond (security deposit) and one or two weeks’ rent in advance. The bond is held as security against any damage to the property or unpaid rent.
  3. Inspect the Property: It’s important to inspect the property before you move in and note any existing damage. This is known as a condition report and can help protect you against unfair claims on your bond when you move out.

Setting Up Your New Home

Once you’ve moved into your new home, there are a few things you need to do to get settled:

  1. Connect the Utilities: If your rent does not include utilities, you will need to arrange for the electricity, gas, and water to be connected. You may also need to arrange for internet access.
  2. Buy Furniture and Household Items: If your property is not fully furnished, you may need to buy furniture and other household items. Many students choose to buy second-hand items to save money.
  3. Set Up a Bank Account: If you haven’t already done so, you should set up a bank account. This will make it easier to manage your finances and pay your rent and bills.
  4. Register with a Doctor: It’s a good idea to register with a local doctor as soon as you can. This will make it easier to get medical care if you need it.

Managing a Share House

Living in a shared house can be a great experience, but it also requires good communication and cooperation among housemates. Here are some tips for managing a share house:

  1. Set Up a Cleaning Roster: To keep the house clean and tidy, it can be helpful to set up a cleaning roster. This ensures that everyone contributes to the cleaning tasks.
  2. Share the Cost of Groceries: To save money, you might decide to share the cost of groceries and cook meals together. Just make sure everyone agrees on this arrangement.
  3. Respect Each Other’s Privacy: Even though you’re living together, it’s important to respect each other’s privacy. Try to keep noise levels down and avoid going into each other’s rooms without permission.
  4. Communicate Openly: If issues or conflicts arise, it’s important to communicate openly and honestly. This can help to resolve problems before they escalate.

Last but not least… 

Finding the right accommodation in Australia can take some time and effort, but with the right approach and resources, you can secure a comfortable and affordable place to live while studying in Australia. Whether you choose managed student accommodation, a private rental, a homestay, or even decide to buy a house, make sure to do your research, understand your rights and responsibilities, and seek advice when needed. Remember, the perfect home is out there waiting for you – all you need to do is find it!

At The Discov, we help you compare your top university options based on your unique profile, including your academic, student life, budget, and diversity preferences. Just select your preferences and receive a free interactive report with your top university matches, including a virtual tour of what life will look like at each matched university. Start exploring your future today!

Find what universities fit your preferences via our Australian University Matchmaker

When it comes to studying abroad in the UK, one of the biggest concerns for international students is finding suitable accommodation. Luckily, most universities in the UK understand this and offer student dorms for first year students. Not only are the dorms located close to lecture halls and other university facilities, but they also provide a safe and supportive environment for students to foster a sense of community and adjust to their new surroundings. Not to forget, many universities in the UK organise social events and activities specifically for dorm residents where you can connect with fellow internationals. Student housing in the UK often comes with various amenities that make life easier for the first-year students. These can include things like communal kitchen areas, laundry facilities, and study spaces. Having these resources readily available saves time and money, allowing students to focus on their studies and make the most of their university experience. However, not every university can provide you with a secured room to live in. So, what to do if your university doesn’t have dorms? Fear not, we’ve got some exclusive tips and insider knowledge to help you navigate the UK housing market, so you won’t end up homeless or scammed!

Where to find a room in the UK 

Finding the right student accommodation in the UK requires careful consideration of location, security, and amenities. Whether it’s ensuring proximity to university campuses for easier commutes or assessing the condition and safety of potential homes, the choices made can significantly impact a student’s academic and social life.

In this article we will guide you through the process of identifying your ideal living situation, from understanding different accommodation types to navigating viewings and applications. With insights on everything from private rooms to halls of residence, it will be definitely easier to search for the perfect student house as smoothly as possible!

Online Platforms for UK student accommodation

Popular Platforms for Student Accommodation in the UK

  1. Housemates is an exclusive platform created specifically for internationals who want to secure student housing in the UK before the arrival. Here you can search, filter and browse rooms from trusted providers. Book your new place instantly and don’t worry about the bills – they are already included in the price!
  2. AmberStudent offers a seamless booking experience for students, with an intuitive interface and excellent customer service. It simplifies the negotiation, paperwork, and payment processes for cross-border students.
  3. SpareRoom caters to those seeking flatshares, providing a user-friendly mobile site and apps that make searching and posting ads straightforward.
  4. Rightmove Student Accommodation lists thousands of properties across the UK, making it a go-to for students in England and Wales looking for housing options.
  5. StudentPad and LSE Studentpad offer tailored accommodation management platforms and databases, respectively, with the latter focusing on private housing in London. Both platforms are trusted by numerous educational institutions.
  6. Unilodgers connects students with ideal housing options worldwide, allowing for detailed preference-based searches.
  7. Uhomes and Spotahome transform the property viewing experience by offering virtual reality tours and verified listings, complete with comprehensive photographs, videos, and descriptions.
  8. UniAcco not only provides expert assistance but also offers exclusive cashback rewards and a price-match guarantee, enhancing the accommodation search experience.
  9. Home & Co features fully furnished residences with co-working spaces and 24/7 on-site management, ensuring safety and convenience for students.

Safeguarding Student Interests

  1. University of London Property Search ensures that all housing suppliers adhere to the UoL Code of Good Practice, protecting students from potential fraud.
  2. General letting agents like Zoopla, OnTheMarket, and Gumtree also offer student accommodation options, providing a broad spectrum of choices.

Are you ready for the most important part? Here you go! Our educational counsellors prepared a list of tips that will help you navigate the process of renting a room in the UK as an international student. Keep reading to get insights into the various online resources and platforms that facilitate the search for student accommodation in the UK and protect yourself from scammers and non-genuine landlords. 

Tips for Securing Your Accommodation

Understand Costs and Agreements

  1. Financial Preparations: Be aware of the fees involved beyond just the rent. Expect to pay administration fees, a tenancy deposit, and possibly the first month’s rent upfront.
  2. Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDP): Ensure that your deposit is paid into a TDP, a legal requirement that protects your deposit and facilitates any disputes at the end of tenancy.
  3. Read and Understand Your Tenancy Agreement: Thoroughly review the terms of your tenancy agreement and don’t hesitate to ask for clarifications on any terms or conditions that are unclear.
  4. Initiate Your Search Promptly: As soon as you receive your university acceptance, begin your accommodation search to avoid the rush and limited choices closer to term start.
  5. Documentation and Guarantors: Have your documents ready for reference checks and ensure you have a guarantor, such as a parent or relative, to support your application if needed.

Register and Connect

  1. Register with Multiple Agents: To increase your chances of finding suitable accommodation, register with several estate agents and consider those that include bills in the rent for easier budget management.
  2. University and Agent Deadlines: Keep track of any deadlines for university-managed accommodations and stay proactive in your search by starting as early as late September or October for the following academic year.
  3. Engage with Support Networks: Identify who your point of contact will be for any issues or queries after you move in, ensuring a smoother transition into your new home.

Preparing for Viewings and Applications

Optimise Your Viewing Experience

  1. Maximise Your Day: Scheduling multiple viewings on the same day can save time and provide immediate comparisons between options.
  2. Bring Backup: Having a friend or family member join you can offer a second perspective and help remember details you might miss.
  3. Document Everything: Taking photos or videos during viewings helps in recalling the property’s condition and amenities later when making a decision.
  4. Ready Your Queries: Prepare a list of questions to ask during the viewing to cover all aspects of living and management expectations.

Essential Checks During Viewings

  • Inspect Thoroughly: Look for signs of damp, damage, and overall cleanliness. Check all appliances and ensure they are in good working condition.
  • Safety First: Verify the presence of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and secure windows and doors. Ask about the property’s energy certificates for your peace of mind.
  • Internet and Utilities: Ensure that the internet connection is reliable and inquire about the setup of other utilities like electricity and water.
  • Speak to Tenants: Current tenants can provide invaluable insights into the property and the landlord’s management style.

Finalising Your Choice

  1. Review the Agreement: Take your time to thoroughly review the tenancy agreement. Ensure all verbal agreements are documented in the contract.
  2. Understand Financial Obligations: Be clear about the deposit, rent, and any utility bills. Confirm the details about the tenancy deposit scheme.
  3. Council Tax and Insurance: Handle your council tax exemption and consider getting insurance for your belongings and any landlord contents you are responsible for.
  4. Emergency Contacts: Identify and record emergency contacts for urgent maintenance issues to ensure quick resolutions.

Viewing Rooms and Securing Your Place

Essential Steps for Viewing and Securing Student Accommodation

1. Understanding Accommodation Types and Viewing Essentials

When exploring accommodations, it’s crucial to understand the different types available. University-managed halls of residence are often situated on or near campus, offering a vibrant community atmosphere which is great for first-year students and international postgraduates. These facilities typically include utilities in the rent and are easy to book through the university. On the other hand, private halls provided by third-party operators and private rentals offer more varied living experiences, often with different amenities and pricing structures.

2. Viewing Properties and Making Informed Decisions

Viewings are a pivotal part of the accommodation search. It’s advisable to arrange multiple viewings at different times to truly gauge the area’s atmosphere and the property’s living conditions. Bring a checklist during viewings to inspect elements like safety measures, appliance functionality, and overall cleanliness. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the property management, emergency procedures, and tenant support services. Engaging with current tenants can also provide a solid perspective on what to expect regarding landlord interactions and property upkeep.

3. Finalising Your Accommodation Choice

Once you’ve selected your preferred accommodation, the next steps involve securing your place. Start by paying a holding deposit to ensure the property is reserved for you. Following this, complete any necessary applications, which will include providing details for a guarantor if required, and sign the tenancy agreement. Ensure you understand every clause of your contract, particularly those concerning fees, the duration of your stay, and the obligations of all parties involved. Before moving in, participate in the inventory check to document the property’s initial condition, which can help manage any future disputes.

Last but not least…

Final Considerations for Choosing Student Accommodation

Location and Budget

When finalising your student accommodation, location should be a top priority. Opt for places close to your university to minimise travel time and costs, and ensure the area has essential amenities like supermarkets and entertainment options. Budgeting is equally crucial; determine your monthly rental allowance and remember to include utilities and other living costs. Keep in mind, some regions may have higher living costs.

Accommodation Types and Lease Agreements

Choose from various accommodation types such as shared flats, private flats, or university halls of residence, each with different costs and facilities. It’s essential to thoroughly understand your lease terms — know the length of the lease, any fees, and what’s included in your rent like utilities and internet.

Security and Community Living

Security should never be compromised. Look for accommodations with robust security features like CCTV and electronic entry systems to ensure a safe living environment. If opting for shared housing, it’s beneficial to establish ground rules with roommates early on to prevent conflicts and ensure a harmonious living situation.


Q: What are some effective methods to find student accommodation in the UK?
A: A great starting point for finding student accommodation in the UK is using SpareRoom. This platform allows you to customise your search based on your preferences, such as the type of accommodation (flat or house), room size (single or double), and whether you’re looking for flatmates. It’s a comprehensive tool that many students use to find their ideal housing and flatmates.

Q: Which website is recommended for international students seeking accommodation in the UK?
A: is highly recommended for international students looking for accommodation in the UK. It is a free service that offers a wide variety of student rooms across the country. With over 160,000 rooms in 60 cities, Casita allows you to filter options by price, amenities, and proximity to your university, making it easier to find the perfect place.

Q: Which universities in the UK are known for offering the best student accommodation?
A: Several universities in the UK are recognised for their excellent student accommodation options. Notable among them are the University of Nottingham, Durham University, Lancaster University, University of Sheffield, Newcastle University, University of York, University of Edinburgh, and Aston University. These institutions are known for their quality housing facilities that cater to a range of student needs and preferences.

Studying abroad in the Netherlands offers a fantastic chance to immerse yourself in a diverse international community and experience its rich culture, from cycling to stroopwafels, and tulips. Dutch people value work-life balance, and love to take time for personal projects or just to relax. However, one thing you can’t afford to be laid-back about is securing accommodation in the Netherlands. Navigating the Dutch housing market, particularly in bustling Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam, is notoriously challenging, impacting the Netherlands cost of living. But fear not! We’ll share invaluable tips from those who have successfully navigated the process of searching accommodation in the Netherlands, ensuring you find a suitable living space without overpaying.

Room, studio or an entire apartment for yourself?

The first question you want to ask yourself is what type of accommodation would suit you better. Are you naturally an easy-going person who loves having a chat there and then with your roommates? Or maybe, you value your privacy more than anything else? Here are your possible options for apartments and living spaces.

Option 1: room

Price: between €600 and €1000 without utilities

Shared apartments, a staple in the rental housing scene throughout cities in the Netherlands amongst both students and working professionals, present an affordable housing option. Opting for a shared apartment often means living closer to the city centre, which definitely saves money on commuting and contributes to a lower cost of living. Here is how to look for a room in a shared space:

  • The best websites to find a room in Holland are Kamernet and HousingAnywhere — they normally have a big variety of rooms to choose from. If you have already moved here, we would recommend Kamernet, because this platform connects you with landlords who host viewings in person, so you can check the place and meet your roommates before deciding whether you want to rent it or not. Be aware that in order to be able to leave messages to the landlords you have to buy a subscription — it would cost you 26 for 15 days or 68 for 3 months, reflecting the cost of living and rent prices in the Netherlands.
  • If you are still in your home country, it’s safer to search for accommodation on HousingAnywhere. The main advantage of the website is that you are able to book a room straight away without undergoing a bunch of viewings and hearing “we decided to proceed with someone else”. The platform guarantees that you are not misled by scammers — all the rooms offered on HousingAnywhere are verified by their agents. However, the downfall of instant online booking is that you don’t know who you will be sharing an apartment with.
  • Another way of getting a room in the Netherlands is joining as many relevant Facebook groups as possible. Listings on Facebook are mainly put up by people who already live in the offered apartments because one of their roommates is moving out. Good rooms can be sold within several hours — be fast and monitor the groups as often as possible, keeping an eye on both apartments and the cost of living.

Insider tip: don’t look on Facebook Market — it’s flooded with scammers! Search groups with the relevant names depending on what city you’d like to live in: (Rooms Amsterdam, Rent apartment/room Amsterdam, Accommodation Amsterdam, Woning Verhuren Amsterdam, Roommate and Flatfinder Amsterdam, Amsterdam Housing, Zoek Kammer Amsterdam).

Option 2: studio

Price: between €1200 and €1500

Choosing to rent a studio apartment in the Netherlands offers the privacy and independence of living alone but comes at a higher cost. However, you’ll need to be prepared to spend a little bit more, which is an important consideration when managing the cost of living and rent prices in the Netherlands. When searching for a studio, the most popular and reliable websites for rental properties are Pararius and Funda. These platforms provide a wide range of listings and detailed information about each property, making them invaluable resources for navigating the apartments and real estate market.

It’s important to meticulously review the tenancy requirements listed on these sites, as Dutch landlords can have stringent lending standards. These may include proof of income, employment status, and sometimes a guarantor. Additionally, some landlords may require tenants to earn a minimum income that is several times the monthly rent, akin to mortgage lending criteria. Understanding and preparing these documents in advance can significantly streamline the rental process, improve your chances of securing your preferred studio, and help you manage the cost of living through informed rental contracts.

Option 3: an entire apartment

Price: €1500+

If privacy is a priority for you in your new home, consider opting for a separate apartment. Given the high demand for such spaces, it’s wise to start your search early to find apartments that fit your cost of living budget. Platforms like Pararius and Fundaare highly recommended for their vigilant review of listings, which helps protect you from potential scams.

Once you’ve identified at least 10 apartments that meet your criteria and secured invitations to view at least five, ensure you’re fully prepared for the application process. Make sure you make a good first impression during viewings, but also make sure you have all necessary documentation ready. Landlords and rental agents often require proof of income, such as recent payslips, and may not accept guarantors like parents. Being able to promptly provide these documents can significantly enhance your chances of securing an apartment, a crucial step for first-time tenants in the rental market, especially considering the varying cost of living.

If you’re considering sharing an apartment, be aware that many places do not permit this. Even if you and a friend can demonstrate financial stability by earning significantly more than the required rent, policies against sharing can still lead to rejection. This is a common challenge for tenants in the competitive rental market, where the cost of living and apartment availability may vary. Elisabeth shared her experience with navigating the Dutch housing market:

Elisabeth, Fashion Marketing Student & Intern

After weeks of searching, visiting different places, and dealing with the ups and downs of the housing market, I’ve secured a cosy little spot in a great location. It’s such a relief to have this sorted out before the semester starts! I went through a lot, but it worked out in the end – I’m now happily sharing a lovely apartment in Utrecht with the nicest roommates ever! This journey has given me a firsthand look at the apartments and cost of living across different Dutch cities.

Insider tip: if you are bringing your furry friend to your new home, DO NOT mention it on the viewing. Instead, wait for the contract in case you get selected and check if it says anything about pets. There might be a line saying “pets are not allowed” — then discuss it with the landlord. Your contact doesn’t say anything about having pets? Sign it straight away and bring your doggie with you as no one can forbid you from having pets in the apartment anymore, even if the landlord is not particularly excited about it once they find out.

Do I need registration?

The short answer is yes, registration is necessary. However, you may find temporary accommodation without registration for up to three months. During your search for a place in the Netherlands, you might notice listings that mention “no registration” at a cheaper rate than other apartments. It’s important to know that not registering your address officially is against the law, a fact particularly relevant when exploring social housing in the Netherlands.

These no-registration listings are often sublets, where the primary tenant rents the apartment to you while they themselves rent from the landlord. This arrangement typically does not provide a formal rental contract, which poses several risks. For instance, the person subletting to you could require a two-month deposit and then fail to return it when you move out, leaving you without recourse since you don’t have a contractual agreement. Such situations can significantly impact the perceived rental value of these arrangements, as highlighted in various rent reports.

Insider tip: if you are bringing your furry friend to your new home, DO NOT mention it on the viewing. Instead, wait for the contract in case you get selected and check if it says anything about pets. There might be a line saying “pets are not allowed” — then discuss it with the landlord. Your contact doesn’t say anything about having pets? Sign it straight away and bring your doggie with you as no one can forbid you from having pets in the apartment anymore, even if the landlord is not particularly excited about it once they find out.

The best areas in the Netherlands to live in

Every part of The Netherlands has a lot to offer and luckily is generally safe. However, the country is relatively big, which might be overwhelming for newcomers when trying to choose an area to live in. To find out more about the cost of living and different cities in the Netherlands and homes in the Netherlands, have a look at Best Student cities in the Netherlands Part 1 and The Best Student Cities in the Netherlands Part 2.

Let’s be honest! It is quite hard to manage your expenses while studying abroad. Something always comes up and you need to spend money. It does not matter whether it will be a spontaneous night out with friends or you need to buy new furniture for your room. Worry no more! We got you covered! In this article you will find some useful tips on how to save up some money while still enjoying your student life:

Tip 1: Create a solid monthly budget

The first and most important step for spending money correctly is to estimate your monthly budget. Calculate approximately how much you spend on things such as rent, utilities, groceries, university related stuff, ect so you know exactly how to distribute your money. Many banking apps provide functionality to track your monthly spending if you use your bank card.

Tip 2: Apply for benefits and allowances

When studying abroad you may be eligible for different social incentives such as rent, health insurance or maintenance cost allowances. This can reduce your expenses so you can save up for other things. Contact your university or fellow students to find out which grants or allowances you may be eligible for.

Tip 3: Buy food from the local market 

Food is one of the biggest expenses of students. Supermarkets provide a great variety of products but sometimes they may be a bit pricey. Find out budget-friendly supermarkets in your neighbourhood to get the most of out of your budget. Or even better, buy your weekly groceries from the local market in your city. Not only are they fresher and healthier, but they can also be significantly cheaper.

Tip 4: Get thrifty

A great way to save money is to buy second hand. You can easily find everything you need – home appliances and furniture to bicycles, clothes, books,… you name it. In the Netherlands, is the biggest online marketplace for second hand items. But also Facebook marketplace is a great place to start. However, be very conscious and request a viewing before you pay!

Tip 5: Store discounts

Every store, it does not matter whether it is a grocery or a clothing one, has different weekly discounts. Try to keep an eye on these discounts as they are a useful means for saving some money.

Managing your budget is not an easy task. In the beginning it may be quite difficult to navigate with your money, however, if you follow these tips, you will succeed in staying on budget while still enjoying your student life.


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