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The cost of studying at a university in the Netherlands

This guide outlines the cost of fees, accommodation, lifestyle and financial assistance options if you are planning to study in the Netherlands

  • Student finance
  • Student life
  • Study abroad
June 18 2024


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. 

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How much are tuition fees in the Netherlands? 

For students from the Netherlands, other European Union or European Economic Area countries, Switzerland or Suriname, the cost of tuition fees is €2,530 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 €20,000 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 €30,000 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. 

The application fee for a student visa for anyone from outside EU/EEA countries is €228.  

Accommodation costs in the Netherlands

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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The cost of living in the Netherlands

The average monthly internet package costs between €30-€50 a month (split between tenants) and the average phone bill is €20. Per month, students can expect to spend €30-65 on books and other academic materials.

Students can register for an OV-chipkaart card to pay for public transport journeys. The price of the journey will depend on how far you are travelling, but this card can be used across all public transport systems. 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. A litre of petrol costs €2.10.

If you are just studying in the Netherlands (ie not employed) you are legally not allowed to take out private healthcare insurance. Those who do choose to work will be obliged to pay Dutch public health insurance which is about €90-€110 per month, however a large part of that is often returned with a tax rebate. 

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 €9.75 and a pint of beer in a bar was €5 with a glass of wine at €2.50-3.50. The average monthly gym membership costs €30.

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. 

Scholarships for the Netherlands

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. 




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