Everything You Need to Know about Financing Your Studies in the Netherlands Costs and funding

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The Netherlands can be any student’s dream destination: great universities and teachers, lots of English-taught programmes, friendly locals speaking perfect English and lots of other international students. Of course, there are also bikes, stroopwafels and lots of canals and tulips.

But if you’re seriously considering studying in the Netherlands, and want to know more about the pesky finance details, then this article is for you. We tried to put together everything important international students need to consider in terms of paying for a degree in the Netherlands.

1. Tuition fees in the Netherlands

As all around Europe, public Dutch universities have different tuition fees for EU/EEA students and non-EU/EEA students. The annual tuition fees for a degree programme or study course at a Dutch higher education institution averages at approximately 1,951 EUR/year for EU full-time Bachelor’s and Master’s students.

Students can choose whether they will pay their tuition in one go, or divide between 10 monthly instalments of 190 EUR/month. For part-time study, the amount of tuition fee you need to pay is decided by the university. It can differ (for the 2013-2014 academic year) from 1050 – 1800 EUR/year.The average tuition fees for non-EU students studying a Bachelor’s programme lies between 6,000 – 12,000 EUR/year, whereas the costs for a Master’s programme lie between 8,000 – 20,000 EUR/year.

Depending on the chosen study course and university, both EU and non-EU students may pay as high as 17,000 EUR/year for Bachelor’s studies, and 30,000 EUR/year for a Master’s degree. There’s a detailed website with more detailed information if needed.

Find and compare 354 Bachelor programmes in the Netherlands

2. Student living costs in the Netherlands

As a student, you can expect to also add to your budget the costs for accommodation, and health insurance, but also food, public transport, books, clothes, and leisure activities. Overall, this usually adds up to 800 - 1,100 EUR/month. Students can expect to pay between 300 and 400 EUR for a room in a student housing per month, as well as 160 on tuition fees and 35 on transportation.

These study-related costs are rather average if you look at the European average.If you need a loan to cover your tuition fee, as a student from the EU/EEA you can read more about the criteria on the Dutch governmental organisations website.

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2.1. Accommodation costs

If you’re a regular student, you will find that one-third of your budget will go towards housing. 29% of students live in student accommodation in the Netherlands. An average student housing room in the Netherlands costs on average 300-400 EUR, but some cities or more spacious housing can go up to 600 EUR/month.

Here are examples of average accommodation costs based on type of housing:
  • Students living in student accommodation – 340 EUR/month
  • Students living alone in rented apartment – 419 EUR/month
  • Students living with partner/child – 572 EUR/month.
2.2. Other costs associated with accommodation

It is important to bear in mind that there are different costs that are included (not always!) in your rent. For example, before you rent a place you have to pay a deposit (usually 1 months’ worth of rent), which you will get back at the end of the tenancy agreement if the place is in the same condition as when you got it. Sometimes, the previous tenant will ask you to take over some of the furniture (most room come unfurnished) and it is up to you whether or not you want to. If you would like to take over some of the furniture, you and the previous tenant have to agree upon the price (and you might want to check if you are able to get it cheaper someplace else).

Then there is the gas, electricity, water, garbage and internet which might or might not be included in your rent. The amount you would have to pay depends on the company that is providing these services and if you share the house you live in. Average utility costs for a three-room apartment average 165 EUR/month. Internet subscriptions average 23 EUR/month. Be smart and ask about the facilities before you sign your rental contract.

Find and compare 1,252 Master programmes in the Netherlands

2.3. Food costs

And of course, you need to eat. The average student pays around 170 EUR/month for food. How much you spend, depends on your lifestyle and might, therefore, might differ per student and dietary requirements. In general, the Netherlands has plenty of bio options and small markets, as well as luxurious supermarkets such as AlbertHeijn, but also affordable ones such as Aldi or Lidl.

Food costs also differs per city, as some cities are just more expensive to live in than others (that especially goes for rent and the amount of money you would have to pay for an evening out).food costs students netherlands.jpg
2.4. Transportation costs

Average monthly transportation costs in the Netherlands average 35 EUR/month. Save a lot on transportation by renting a bike – popular transportation option in the country. It is rumoured that each Dutch person owns on average not one, not two, but three bikes. Some universities offer free bike repair services for their students, and as a student, you are usually entitled to a student discount on most train services. If you don’t need a high-performance bike, you can expect to pay about 50-100 EUR to purchase one, but if you want a professional one, the prices can go up to 600 EUR. For the cheaper options, consider buying one from the international students leaving the Netherlands.

2.5. Extra study materials
Related study costs, in addition to your tuition fee, include books, readers and other material you might need to buy. The grand total of these costs differs per course (usually between 300-650 EUR/year).
3. Funding and student support

For students wanting to study in the Netherlands and needing additional financial support, there are quite a lot of options in the form of scholarships, grants, student loans, as well as rent or health insurance subsidies.


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