If you study in the Netherlands and are enrolled at a Dutch university (this does not apply for exchange students), you can apply for student finance. The student finance program consists of four components: a regular loan, the student travel product, a supplementary grant and a tuition fee loan. You don’t have to take out all four of them.
Especially the supplementary grant and the student travel product are pretty attractive because the loan turns into a gift (with some exceptions) if you successfully finish your studies within ten years. However, whether you get the supplementary grant depends on the income of your parents and whether they are considered to be able to contribute to your finances. Furthermore, to get the loan when studying in the Netherlands, you have to meet the nationality criteria (EU citizen or coming from one of the EER countries) and work 56 hours a month. Be aware that you have to be able to prove that you meet the requirements and, e.g. show your payrolls regularly. Apart from the money, you will get a public transport card with which you can travel for free (either weekends or weekdays). This is a great way to explore the Netherlands for free if you are studying. Please, note that you will only be able to apply for the student finance program after you’ve already worked for three months in the Netherlands. It is possible to apply for this loan retrospectively, but there is no guarantee.
If you are entitled to student finance, you can also take out a regular loan which you have to pay back after you finished your studies. You don’t have to take out the full loan; it is up to you to decide how much you would like to take out.
You can find more information about the student finance program in the Netherlands on the website of the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO = literally translated as “Education Implementation Office”). Please be aware that the application is all in Dutch so it might be worthwhile to grab a cup of coffee with your new Dutch friends and fill in the application together.
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