Things to prepare when moving to the Netherlands as an International student

Tips by international students

Are you an international student and planning to study in Maastricht? Then this read is for you!

Studying and living in another country is exciting, we know that! The experience of studying abroad is filled with new experiences, opportunities and personal development. There are some things to prepare before packing your bags and moving to Maastricht. This blog we will give you essential steps you should take and valuable tips you should consider before moving to the Netherlands for your academic adventure!

Prepare your documents

Don't forget to prepare important documents before you start your adventure in Maastricht! Some non-EU countries may have stricter requirements and longer processing times for student visas, so apply early!  We’ve listed some of the most important things you should prepare beforehand.

Pack the essentials

When studying at Hotelschool Maastricht you'll be living in the student residence during your first year. This means you won't have to find your own place to stay during this period. While your first-year housing is covered, there are still some other items you should pack before your move to Maastricht. Don't worry if you forget to pack something; you can always purchase it in one of the many stores Maastricht has to offer.

  • The Dutch climate is known for its versatile weather, make sure you prepare clothes for the mild summers and cool winters. Include items like jackets, sweaters, jeans, and comfortable shoes.
  • Bring your laptop for your studies(!).
  • Make sure you have working adapters for your electronic devices.
  • Make your new environment feel like home by bringing personal items.

Adapting to Dutch culture

Moving to a different country means adapting to new cultural norms and practices. When you relocate to the Netherlands, you may notice differences from your home country. Try to embrace these differences, as they will make your international experience more enjoyable!

  • While many Dutch people speak English, learning some basic Dutch phrases can help you feel more at ease and connect with your Dutch peers, it’s also a great way to start a conversation.
  • Be open to trying traditional Dutch cuisine like 'stroopwafels,' 'stamppot,' 'haring,' and 'bitterballen.' If this is not for you, rest assured that international cuisine is widely available too!
  • Embrace Dutch directness in communication, as it's a cultural trait. Remember that their straightforwardness is not meant to be offensive.
  • Consider getting a bicycle for daily transportation, as the Netherlands has one of the most bicycle friendly infrastructures of the world!
  • Join an international association to meet both international and Dutch students, making it a great way to socialize and form new friendships.

Survival Tips

Living in the Netherlands may come with some noticeable differences compared to your home country. To ensure you're not caught by surprise, we've listed some things you may not expect when first arriving in Maastricht:

  • Be prepared for unpredictable weather by carrying items like an umbrella, sunglasses, and a jacket wherever you go.
  • Be cautious of the countless bicycles whizzing past you; the Dutch are known for their cycling culture.
  • If you're invited to a Dutch birthday and find yourself sitting in a circle, you've hit the "kringverjaardag" jackpot: a cake-fueled chat marathon where everyone's a guest star.

Useful Websites

In this blog, we've covered several important aspects of preparing for your life as an international student in the Netherlands. However, there are more resources available to help you get ready! Here are some websites frequently used by our international students when moving to the Netherlands.

  1. Municipality Registration for Your BSN 
  2. Zuyd University's Official Website (Tuition fees, Visa, Insurance, Bank account, and more)
  3. My Maastricht (City information, Health, Transport, Events)
  4. Erasmus Maastricht Student Network
  5. International Student Services
  6. Zuyd Activities and Assistance

These resources will help you navigate the necessary steps and information required to make your transition to the Netherlands as smooth as possible. We hope to welcome you soon at Hotel Management School Maastricht!

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