We have prepared a list of tips for you just after landing in the Netherlands.
- Get BSN: The first thing you should do when you get to the Netherlands is to register with the municipality you’ll be living in to get your burgerservicenummer (BSN; a ‘citizen service number). The BSN is required for you to do many things in the Netherlands, including opening a bank account, applying for rent benefits, and paying your taxes. You can register for The Hague here, or Delft here. We recommend you book your registering slot ASAP since the spots get taken quickly, especially in August when there’s a huge influx of internationals.
- Bank Account: Most places in the Netherlands only take Maestro cards and do not accept VISA or Mastercards. So if you don’t have a Maestro card, plan ahead and bring some cash for the first few weeks you are here while you’re opening a Dutch bank account (most banks require you to have your BSN so make sure you register ASAP!). We recommend you open a student bank account with one of the larger Dutch banks, including ABN AMRO, ING, and Rabobank.
- Visa: If necessary file for a residence permit and visa (non-EU/EEA)
- Short-term accomodation: Find short-term accommodation
- Introduction week: You register for the introduction week of TU Delft. Another introduction program is organized by TPM faculty. On the website Welcome new MSc students you can find more information about this day.
- Sim card: Get one prepaid chip at the airport from one of the companies to be connected during your first weeks. Once you have settled down, you may choose to have a plan.
- Food: There is an Albert Heijn to go at Schiphol airport. You can buy your essentials for a couple of days. We recommend you bring some cash (Euros)
- Buy train tickets: Schiphol airport has a train station. You can buy your ticket to Delft from the counter machines. The ticket is approximately €12. Once you arrive in Delft you may probably have to pay a bus or tram ticket, you can pay with cash.
- Bring cash from home: This is recommended for buying your stuff for the first days.
- Supermarkets: The main ones are Albert Heijn and Jumbo. Albert Heijn does not accept non-Dutch cards, Jumbo does. Also, there is Özhalk (Papsouwselaan 214-216) that offers products from Turkey and the middle east (Halal), Bahar Foods that has Iranian products (Papsouwselaan 208), and Super Panda (Papsouwselaan 15) that offers products mainly from China, Korea, and Japan.
- OV chip card: For using public transportation in the Netherlands, you will need to buy an OV-chip card. You can get an anonymous one from the counters in the train stations but also one with your name by ordering https://www.ov-chipkaart.nl/home-1.htm#/. This option allows you buy different plans according to your needs.
- Clothes: We recommend you bring few clothes for winter and wind. It is better to buy clothes here because it is appropriate for this weather.
- Weather: In the Netherlands you can have the four seasons in one day. It is always recommended to go with a light jacket and a small umbrella just in case.
- Health Insurance: Take out Dutch health insurance
- Long term-accommodation: Find long-term housing/accommodation
- Onboarding university: Prepare to start studying
Last but not least: Connect with fellow students, make new friends and enjoy your time in Delft!
This short checklist may help you pack for your new adventure.
Take this with you:
- Passport (make sure it is valid) and in some cases your birth certificate
- If necessary: your entry visa (you need to pick this up at the embassy or consultate before travelling)
- Diplomas of certificates you already possess (make a copy and leave the originals at home)
- Official letter from your host institution (stating that you have been accepted)
- Insurance papers – healthcare, liability etc.
- Driver’s license – make sure that it’s valid for the duration of your stay abroad
- Housing contract (if you have already arranged for a place to stay)
- Money (preferably euro’s, enough to help you through the first days) and/or a credit card
- Tools like phone, laptop, camera + chargers!
- Summer and winter clothes
- Medicine: make sure to bring your medication with you if you cannot go without them. But be aware that not all medicines or medical herbs are allowed
- Important phone numbers: emergency numbers, contact person from your education institution