The word alone is intimidating, because who wouldn’t want more spending money? Here is some advice on arranging a loan, taking out insurance, finding a job, and more information on grants and scholarships.
Most banks will probably be willing to support you financially and to answer any finance-related questions you may have. Ask about their loans. At least the following banks have special programs for students: ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank and SNS. These programs can include special interest rates, a maximum loan, the use of a credit card, special repayment programs, health insurance for those who cannot take out a health insurance in the Netherlands, and other insurances.
Several banks (certainly in the cities where there is a substantial international student population) understand the situation of foreign students and are quite flexible about working out an arrangement that will help you cover your costs and pay back your loan once you have completed your studies and have a job. The banks will certainly ask to see your student registration and for you to find a guarantor.
Students under the age of 30 who are in the Netherlands solely for study purposes (and are not in a part-time job or paid internship) are exempt from the general requirement to take out Dutch public health care insurance; however, they will have to make alternative arrangements. Perhaps you are covered under a public health care insurance plan at home. If this is the case, make sure this provides adequate coverage during your stay in the Netherlands. If you are from an EU-country, your insurance company can provide you with an EU Health Insurance Card – proof of your insurance. Otherwise, you will have to make other arrangements, for example by taking out a private insurance policy. There are private packages on the market, created especially for international students, visit AON (www.students-insurance.eu), whose packages also include liability insurance, household content insurance, legal advice, etc., or studentsinsured.com.
You can find more about insurances in the insurance section on www.studyinholland.nl/practical-matters.
If you would like to take on a paid job alongside your studies, you are allowed to do so – however, keep in mind that you will need a residence permit and a burgerservicenummer (Citizen Service Number)!
Depending on your nationality, you can only work for a limited number of hours per week and only if your employer has applied for a work permit for you – always make sure you check the applicable regulations. This can be either full-time seasonal work in June, July and August, or part-time work of no more than 10 hours a week outside the summer period. Though your Dutch employer will have to apply for a work permit for you, this process will be relatively uncomplicated as your employer will not need to prove that there are no EU/EEA/Swiss nationals capable of doing the job. EU/EEA and Swiss nationals are free to work as many hours as they like, alongside their studies. Do not forget that you will have to take out health care insurance if you take on a job, as you risk a hefty fine if you don’t.
Many students have on-the-side jobs in cafés and restaurants. However, you can also go to one of the employment agencies for students. Of course, you can also try to find a job without their help. If you feel your Dutch is not up to snuff then you can certainly try the bigger multinational companies in the Netherlands: they often have international projects that can be carried out without having to speak any (or faultless) Dutch. You can find these companies on www.intermediair.nl. Another site to visit, though you mostly will be required to be able to speak at least some Dutch, is www.studentsforstudents.nl.
If you are receiving the studiefinanciering loan, there is no limit on how much you are allowed to earn while receiving this grant.
A CAREER IN HOLLAND AFTER GRADUATION
If you are considering starting your career in the Netherlands after graduating from your Dutch institution, visit www.careerinholland.nl and find all the information you need. Foreign students who have obtained a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in the Netherlands and students that have obtained a master’s degree or their Ph.D. at a qualifying university abroad, as well as scientific researchers and post-doctoral students, have three years to request a residence permit to dedicate a year to finding work as a highly skilled migrant in the Netherlands. You can also use this time to start a so-called ‘innovative company’ or to work without a work permit. Until such time as you find work, you are not eligible for a benefit and will therefore have to be able to provide for your own basic needs.
A lot is already taken care of for EU-students who come to the Netherlands as part of an EU exchange program, such as acceptance at the education institution, funding and housing. To find out more about this, you can look into the Erasmus program (www.erasmusprogramme.com).
To find out more about scholarships, also for non-EU students, and whether you qualify, visit www.studyinholland.nl/scholarships/find-a-scholarship. Here you can enter your field of study and your country of origin and see for which grants or scholarships you might qualify. Also check scholarshipportal.com or contact your university in the Netherlands to find out whether it has a grant for international students, as some have their own grant programs.
Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Those who have refugee status or are asylum seekers and are starting a higher education, can approach Stichting UAF Steunpunt (www.uaf.nl) for more information on the possibilities of a grant. On their website, click on the little British flag in the top right-hand quarter to access a leaflet listing the conditions you must meet.
As of September 2015, the law on the studiefinanciering changed. As of that date, students no longer receive a grant from the government with which to pay for their studies; instead, they can take out a maximum loan of € 1,033 (including a tuition fee loan) (€ 1035, staring in September of this year) – it is up to the student him or herself to determine exactly how high they want the loan to be. If your parents are of limited financial means, you can apply for an additional grant of € 386 a month (starting in September, € 388), which will be converted into a gift if you obtain your diploma within ten years. You will have 15 years in which to pay off the loan (those who start in the 2018-2019 academic year will have 35 years to pay off the loan). There are no longer any limits as to the amount of money you are allowed to earn while receiving the studiefinanciering loan. If you enter a Dutch university (of applied sciences) between now and 2018-2019, and obtain your diploma, you will be issued a € 2000-voucher for further studies. Note: the old system will continue to apply for students following secondary vocational education (MBO): more information can be found on www.duo.nl.
If you have a right to the studiefinanciering-loan, you also have a right to the Studenten OV-chipkaart, with which you can travel by public transportation for free either during the weekend or on weekdays (your choice) and at reduced rates during the other days. This public transportation pass is also subject to the condition that you complete your studies within ten years. If you do not, then, retroactively, you owe a monthly amount for the possession of this card. You are granted a Studenten OV-chipkaart during a maximum of five years. If you do not wish to take out a loan, you can still make use of the free Studenten OV-chipkaart.
Visit www.duo.nl and click on Foreign Student for more on study grants, the restitution of tuition fees and other information. Note: be sure to arrange a DigiD, in order to arrange your studiefinanciering / tuition fee loan online!
Studiefinanciering for Non-Dutch Nationals
If you are a non-Dutch national, legally residing in the Netherlands, you can apply for the studiefinanciering-loan if:
· you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national and lived in the Netherlands for five consecutive years with a maximum interruption of six months, or if you (or your non-Dutch parent or partner) – contact DUO to find out if there are additional conditions.
· you have a type I (temporary) residence permit issued on a variety of grounds (for an overview, please visit the site of the IB Groep)
· you have a type II (permanent) residence permit
· you have a type III (temporary) residence permit or type IV (permanent) residence permit, for asylum seekers
· you have a residence permit type V (EU residence permit for long-term residents).
DUO strongly advises foreign EU-students (if you have not been living in the Netherlands for five consecutive years or more) to contact one of their support offices. They can provide you with further information.
EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who do not qualify for the studiefinanciering-loan, can, however, apply for a tuition fee loan, to be repaid upon completing their studies, see the following paragraph.
Loan Tuition Fees
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national (listed below), but do not qualify for the studiefinanciering-loan, you can receive a loan to cover your tuition fees. In the case of legal tuition fees paid in connection with a government-funded institute of higher education, the total annual amount of the loan is € 2,006 (academic year of 2017-18). In the case of tuition fees paid in connection with a non-government-funded institute of higher education, you can apply for a loan for the total amount of fees, up to a maximum of five times the so-called legal tuition fees. An interesting impending change is the shifting of the age limit: you no longer have to be younger than 30 to apply for a tuition fee loan; starting August 2017, you can request it until you reach the age of 55 (called lifelong credit).
To qualify for this, you must meet the following conditions:
· you are between the ages of 18 and 30
· you are from: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland
· you are enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited course at a funded or recognized institute of higher education or university, senior vocational education (MBO), or secondary vocational education for adults (VAVO).
· you have a burgerservicenummer
· you have your own bank account in the Netherlands
· you have completed a ‘Restitution of tuition fee’-form – for MBO and VAVO, there is a separate form.
Forms can be downloaded from www.ib-groep.nl. Apply for restitution before January 31, of the school year in which you wish to continue receiving it. For the 2017-2018 school year, this means you must have applied for it by January 31, 2018.
Five Years of Legal Residence
To prove that you have been living here for at least five years (with a maximum interruption of six months), you must be able to submit the document ‘long-term residence of citizens of the Union’ or else your history of registration in the various municipalities that you have lived in.
If you have a right to the studiefinanciering-loan, you can take this right abroad with you, provided you have ‘demonstrable’ ties with the Netherlands. This could be because you legally resided in the Netherlands during three of the preceding six years (there are other ties, as well as exceptions to the need to have lived here three of the preceding six years, so be sure to visit the DUO-website to find the exact conditions), do not receive a grant abroad, and follow a study abroad that is considered of ‘sufficient quality’. This can be for a temporary period abroad or for a full study program.
Do not forget that you will have to take out health care insurance if you take on a job, as you risk a hefty fine if you don’t.
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