How much does it cost to study in the Netherlands? If you are interested in studying in the Netherlands, one of the most important things to consider is how much everything is going to cost. This essential guide breaks down the cost of every aspect of university life to ensure that you have everything covered.
Note that prices and exchange rates are correct at the time of publication and may vary from those shown here.
For students from the Netherlands, other European Union or European Economic Area countries, Switzerland or Suriname, the cost of tuition fees can be between €1,000 and €2,000 per year for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. These will often be referred to as statutory tuition fees on university websites.
Students from outside the EU or EEA countries can be charged double or sometimes triple the amount of their EU/EEA counterparts. This could be up to €15,000 a year but the amount depends on the institution, the degree, the residence permit type, previous study history and scholarship opportunities. Postgraduate fees could be up to €20,000 depending on the course.
There may also an application fee, which is €50-100 depending on the programme or course.
A bachelor’s degree in the Netherlands lasts four years so EU/EEA students should estimate to spend up to €8,000 on university tuition in total, while non-EU/EEA students should estimate to spend a maximum of €45,000.
Private schools (particuliere scholen) – which include business schools running bachelor and MBA programmes – are more expensive and can cost a student up to €30,000 for the full programme of study.
There are several options when it comes to renting, but you can expect to pay up to €1,000 a month depending on where in the city you end up staying. If you are able to share with another person, the rent could go up to approximately €1,600 a month.
University accommodation is also available but it can be quite limited, depending on where you end up studying. The cost of university accommodation is usually between €350-€600 a month.
It is important to factor in average utility costs, which, if not included, amount to €200 per month.
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Other essential student costs
The average monthly internet package costs between €30-€50 a month (split between tenants) and the average phone bill is €15. Per month, students can expect to spend €30-65 on books and other academic materials.
An average one-way ticket on public transport costs €3 or you can buy a monthly pass which costs €35-€70 a month. Travelling by bike is a very popular way to get around so it may be worth renting or buying a bicycle during your period of study. There is also a student discount card for train tickets, which gets you 40 per cent off on off-peak journeys. A litre of petrol costs €1.83.
If you are just studying in the Netherlands (i.e. not employed) you can get private student health insurance, which is an average €40 a month. Those who do choose to work will be obliged to pay Dutch Basic Insurance which is about €90-€110 per month, however a large part of that is often returned with a tax rebate. You can find out more about the options available here.
The application fee for a student visa for anyone from outside EU/EEA countries is €171.
The average weekly shop in the Netherlands costs €50 on average a month. But spending less is possible because there is a good selection of cheap supermarkets such as Lidl, Aldi and Albert Heijn. A meal in a restaurant costs €15 and the average cinema ticket costs €12.
A Big Mac was €4.50 and a pint of beer in a bar was €4 with a glass of wine at €2.50-3.50. The average monthly gym membership costs €30.
What financial support is available
The Dutch government offers a student finance programme (studiefinanciering) to help students pay for the cost of study and living. This can range from free public transport to grants for students from low-income families to student loans with low interest rates and reputable repayment options. These options are typically limited to Dutch students, however, non-Dutch students are sometimes eligible if they have EU citizenships or a type II, III or IV residence permit.
There are also a range of scholarships available for international students, many of which are provided by universities themselves.
Many bars, restaurants, museums and cinemas give student discounts, especially in student-dominated cities. Most will ask for proof of studentship from your institution but it is also worth investing in an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which guarantees a student discount all around the world.