10 things you shouldn’t forget when in the Netherlands – Part II

After the first part of essential information for newbies in the Netherlands, here’s another 5 tips on how to have a smooth start for your time abroad!

  1. Dutch SIM-card – It might not be essential for you, but having a Dutch top-up SIM card goes a long way, especially if you already made friends here who you’d like to reach on the go. If you signed a rental agreement with SSH, you might have received a SIM-card with a 5 euro balance on it, and you can top it up as you go!
  2. ESNcard (or other student card) – Student cards, especially the ESNcard will not only get you into amazing parties for free, but they’ll guarantee you all sorts of discounts not just in Utrecht, but in the Netherlands and even all around Europe!
  3. Umbrella/raincoat + jumper – Even though the weather has been amazingly sunny so far, it will deteriorate sooner or later. In those times, waterproof clothing, umbrellas and an additional layer can go a long way, so don’t leave those at home, no matter how bright the weather seems to be!
  4. Buienalarm – Even though Dutch weather is unpredictable, this app will be your best buddy during your time in the Netherlands. It can tell you a couple of hours in advance what time rain can be exactly expected and with what intensity. This way you don’t have to get soaked (all the time)!
  5. Learning Dutch – Most Dutch speak English at a very high standard so communication should not be an issue at all. However, you might want to learn some basics while you’re here, so why not check out the courses Babel has to offer, or use one of the numerous apps to learn the essentials? Even better – ESN also offers some Dutch courses so come to the office or send a message to integration@esn-utrecht.nl!
Of course there are many more little tips we could give you, but these 10 must-not-forgets should be enough for you to get started.
Did we miss anything? If you have an invaluable trick for living in the Netherlands, please do share and help your fellow students!
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