4 Ways for International Students to Save Money in the Netherlands


Updated on Feb 22 • 2 minute read

Students aren't known for a having a lot of money - thast's a given. In fact, you often have to scrimp and save enough to be able to do your groceries, pay rent, getting around the city and still be able do some fun stuff in your free time. If you're studying in the Netherlands (or going to), then read on for some useful tips on saving money in the Netherlands!

1. Apply for Scholarships

Even before heading to the Netherlands, you can already save money. You have probably heard about applying for a scholarship, but it's still worth mentioning as not everyone applys for one. The Dutch government, as well as some universities and Dutch organisations really encourage internationalisation and offer great scholarships. To name two; if you are a student from Europe and would like to study (for a maximum of 12 months) in another European country, you can apply for the Erasmus+ scholarship. Students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) can apply for a Holland Scholarship, for example.

2. Truly support your decision to save money

It is all about the mindset. Important is that you really want to save money. In this way, you will not do a lot of impulse buying. So, are you about to go to the checkout with another black t-shirt? Then first think; do I really need this?

3. Make use of your student status

You might already know that you will often get discount at cinemas and museums. Super cool of course, but you can benefit from your status as a student at many more places! You do it with the ISIC card. The International Student Identity Card is the only globally accepted student ID and gives you access to more than 42,000 discounts. You will find ISIC discounts almost everywhere in the world, of which many in the Netherlands. So take the card with you or order one in the Netherlands and start saving. The purchase of the card will cost you €12, but you will quickly earn this back with all the discounts you get access to.

4. Discount on daytrips and weekend getaways

We can imagine you would like to do some fun stuff during your days off in the weekend. These “extras” often cost you money, but there are ways to save on daytrips and weekend getaways too! For example, you can often get cheap day cards for the train that allow you to travel throughout the Netherlands for one day. When ordering this type of card through the NS (the national railway company in the Netherlands), you will have to pay the full price, which is around €50, but many shops (i.e. Albert Heijn, Kruidvat, Blokker, Etos, HEMA, Jumbo) regularly offer the card for about €16. Also, check Flixbus for cheap bus tickets to cities in the Netherlands as well as throughout Europe. Moreover, with the ISIC card we mentioned before, these tickets get even cheaper. Last but not least, we highly recommend Studentenkorting.nl for daily and weekly discounts on not only getaways, but also on clothing, electronics, mobile, (study)books and way more. It is definitely worth a visit.

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