The Netherlands is fantastic, but at times it can also be a rather expensive place to live. Prospective students might find themselves at a loss on how to live well during their studies. After all, the costs can get especially steep in populated areas like Amsterdam, which also happens to be famous student-cities. Should you find yourself needing to cut some costs to stay afloat, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of our favorite tips we’ve found to work over the years, which will help you financially and help you better adapt to the local environment. Without further due, here are five tips on how to budget and save as an international student.
- Biking as a lifestyle
You may have heard of the rumors or even personally noticed the staggering amount of people on bikes everywhere. Fun fact: there are presumed to be, on average, more bicycles than people in the entire country. What’s up with that? The most straightforward reason is that cycling is a great way to stay in shape – it’s also a great way to get around! You can see some beautiful historic architecture in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, that also means the roads tend to be narrower, driving being slower and, at times, a chore. If you’re wondering how to save money every month, the first answer is simple – take your bike everywhere!
- Be on the lookout for scholarships!
Considered as one of the most internationalized countries, the Netherlands prides and supports its international students in various ways. One of them is offering scholarships for international students in the Netherlands. There are mobility scholarships if you’d like to study for a period on Dutch soil. If you’re coming from certain areas abroad, there are potential scholarships you can get there too! Indeed, the name of the game here is perceptiveness and persistence. You’d be amazed at how few students apply and how realistic it is to receive one.
- Develop a functional budget
One of the most effective ways for international students in the Netherlands to keep their finances in check is to plan accordingly your budget. Remember, you’re not trying to become a financial expert overnight, but just doing some calculations might open your eyes to things you haven’t considered before. The simplest way to shape the budget up is by tallying your income or spending money per month and comparing it to your money spent. If (and when, really) things start not adding up, figure out what the problem is by classifying all the expenses. Furthermore, you can divide those categories into fixed and variable costs or inevitable and optional. That might help you pinpoint where precisely an overspending problem might lie, and let you deal with it accordingly.
- Unused benefits
If you’re wondering how to save money as a student, there are likely already resources that can help you. Student discounts might be a somewhat surprising sight, especially if you’re unused to them, but an enjoyable one, once you learn to profit off of them. Often there will be several great discounts for students, be it in public transportation, libraries or public events. Look around for student discounts everywhere, primarily if you’ve been issued an ISIC international student card and reap the rewards.
- Get hustling
If all else fails, or you’d like to have a bit more money to spend, you may want to consider job opportunities for students, of which there are many in the Netherlands. Being a student-oriented, travel-centric city leaves a lot of seasonal jobs, jobs of waiting tables, or other, similar part-time jobs. If your degree allows for this kind of flexibility, a job might be just what you need to set your finances in order once and for all. Keep in mind that you’re likely to be more limited in free time and more tired overall, so there are some trade-offs, but this boils to your personal decision.
We hope you can have a more fulfilling student experience with these tips’ help!