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Students Coming To The Netherlands-things You Should Know (sponsored post)

When you have made the decision to come and study in Holland, you will need to prepare for your stay. As an international student You will probably need a visa and/or a residence permit. In addition, you must make sure you have adequate insurance and arrange for accommodation and proper funding for your stay.

*EXPENSES..
Your daily expenses include food, public transport, books, clothes, cinema tickets. etc, But you also need to take into account the costs for housing and insurance. Experience has shown that students living and studying in Holland for one year spend between €800 and €1,100 a month.

*FOOD..
Food is estimated to take third of your income. Many cities have pubs (eetcafés) where you can get a good meal at a good price. But the cheapest way to eat is to do your own cooking.
Some average prices: a cup of coffee/tea in a café: €2, a cheese sandwich: €3, dinner in a typical student restaurant: €10. Most supermarkets offer a variety of brands. It is worth comparing the prices to find the cheapest option.

*HOUSING..
In Holland, students usually do not live on campus but have their own room.
Holland does not have a tradition of on-campus accommodation. Most students live in or near their university town.
There are many options for arranging the accommodation that suits you best, but make sure you start looking for a room as soon as possible.
Make sure you check at your university whether they can arrange a room.

*What to expect...
You may have to share the shower, toilet, kitchen and living room with other students. Also, the rooms may be quite small in comparison to what you are used to.

*RENT & BILLS:
The costs depend on the city where you study, what is included in the rent and the arrangements made by the institution. Housing in Amsterdam for example is more expensive than in smaller towns.
An average room in Holland costs somewhere between €300 to €600 a month.
Before you take on a room, make sure you check what bills are included in the rent, as this may have a large impact on your budget. Some accommodations include gas, electricity, TV and Internet in the rent, for others you are expected to pay them separately.
Most rental contracts run for at least six months or a year when you are enrolled on a course programme.

Furnished or unfurnished?

Find out if the room is furnished or unfurnished. The quality can vary greatly, and furnishings may range from just a bed and a chair to a fully-equipped room with an internet connection. If you decide to go for an unfurnished room, you can buy cheap furniture at second-hand shops in your city.

You can also take a look at *Marketstuff*, a website where students can buy and sell furniture and other second-hand goods like bikes, household equipment and text books.

*Check your contract

Make sure you read your rental contract before signing it. Check what you are allowed to do with your room, for example, you may not be allowed to paint the walls. Also ask who you should speak to if you have a problem, for example a blocked drain.

If you have a complaint about your accommodation, you should speak first to the person directly responsible. If you need help, you can ask the housing officer or accommodation coordinator at your university.
If you want to look for accommodation yourself, you can try these websites: easykamer.nl, erasmate .

*WORKING WHILE STUDYING:

if you are from the EU/EEA, you are free to work without restrictions.
If you are from a country outside the EU/EEA there are some restrictions if you want to take a job next to your studies. You need a permit (your employer needs to apply for a work permit for you), and you can only work for a maximum of ten hours a week or, instead, you can work full-time during the summer months June, July and August.

STICK TO THE RULES…

Some students take jobs in, for example, cafes and restaurants through unofficial channels, where the employer does not pay any social security contributions for them. The pay for such jobs is usually higher than for regular
jobs, but it is important to realize that this practice (called zwartwerken, or 'working in the black') is illegal, and means that you cannot claim any rights as an employee. Moreover, you will not be insured in the event of a work-related accident. You should also be aware that if you need a work permit and your employer lets you work without one, he or she risks a high fine in the event of discovery. In the worst case you 
might even lose your residence permit.

*HOW TO FIND A PART-TIME JOB

The easiest way to find a job is through an employment agency, or uitzendbureau. Some agencies specialize in jobs for students. The student affairs office at the Dutch institution where you are enrolled can provide
addresses or may even have their own job agency. Of course you can also respond to advertisements or search for a job on the Internet. The following websites may be helpful:
 www.undutchables.nl
 www.international.monsterboard.nl
 www.dutchisnotrequired.nl/
 www.studentenbaan.nl (in Dutch)

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