When I first arrived here―to stay for a longer period―I had so many paperwork to do and things to handle that sometimes it felt like they would never stop. Now after almost 4 years, paperwork and planning became my middle name, so here I share the … steps you need to take if you want to stay in Holland.
- Think before you act
Before you start planning your stay, think for a moment: are you really ready to stay? The thing is that you must stay for the right reason otherwise it won’t work, because you will need an infinite amount of motivation to survive. Know that the coming years won’t be the same as your Erasmus, since all your friends left and life as a fulltime Dutch is not all about parties. So snap out of that dream and face the reality. Is that the reality you would want to live in?
- Open a Dutch bank account
The first and most important step for you now is to open a Dutch bank account. Most students who come here for a short period of time don’t have a Dutch bank account, but here in the Netherlands this is highly important. Without a Dutch bank account you won’t be able to do anything.
- Open a DigiD account
Many thing are done by internet nowadays and often this is done through DigiD portal. DigiD is an online personal account where you can handle all paperwork like insurance, taxes, and other similar stuff. To open a DigiD account visit: https://www.digid.nl/en/
- Get your health insurance
In the Netherlands everyone is obliged in having a health insurance. Insurances can be bought online through different insurance companies. It’s a quite complicated matter, so it is wisely to do a thorough research and compare insurances with each other. There are many insurance organization that have special prices for student. How much you will spend, depends on your needs. Another important thing to keep in mind is that many times it will take some time to process and that means that you would have to pay the first month double (depending on when you apply for it).
- Apply for health care benefit
Almost all student who pay for health insurance have the right to get health care benefits. How much you get depends on your income (often €78). Just like the health care insurance this does take some time to process as well, but the good thing is that you get health insurance benefit from the moment you have health insurances. So sometimes you get double the money the first time. You can apply for health care benefit here: http://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontentnl/belastingdienst/prive/toeslagen/zorgtoeslag/zorgtoeslag_2015/zorgtoeslag_2015
- The job market is tough
Many international student decides to work before they continue studying, or they want to get a part-time job for some extra cash. Due to economic conditions it is hard for Dutch students to get a job easily, so imagine how it is for international student? Look at international companies or approach your school campus. LinkedIn is also a really helpful too for international students.
These 6 steps are the basic steps and there are many more to come your way, but always remember that there is nothing you cannot handle. Brace the challenges and prepare yourself for a worthy ride!
By Omaily Lucas