Getting accepted somewhere is always an accomplishment. So kudos are along the way. But if it is within your native country, you have the advantage of familiarity. If it is in some other country, there are a lot of unknowns and a lot of unfamiliarities. It always helps to be a little prepared by reading up or asking what things need to be in the host country to ensure that your stay there is smooth and hassle-free. Here are some of the checklist items to be fulfilled.
- Let’s start off with basic supplies. A traditional grocer’s or ration’s store runs any time between 8 AM and 8 PM. Since the timings are erratic, it helps if you carry a few base supplies and toiletries from your home country for the first week until you get acclimatized with the culture here. After that, prepare a week’s plan, and stock up on rations accordingly. This will ensure that there are no interruptions in your supplies. Also, don’t forget to carry items like charger adapters before the plug points there might be different.
- Netherlands requires precise funding and financing sources. You should carry about $300 on you when you visit the country. After that, it is always advisable to use a Master’s or a Visa card since this removes the problem of petty crimes towards international students, such as pickpocketing especially in larger cities like Amsterdam, Holland, etc.
- Traditionally, students don’t stay in on-campus accommodations. They have their own room. For international students, sometimes, accommodations are offered. Take it because it’s hard to fend for yourself the first week in the country. Also, when you’re signing a rent lease, take a good look at the contract. Check what utilities are included. If it is furnished, understand what furnishings are present. Some accommodations might provide you every utility from running water to internet facility while for some others, you might have to pay for utilities separately. This is an important aspect of your budgetary considerations. You may expect rental expenses to be anywhere between 300-600 Euros a month. Sometimes your university may make some tie-ups with housing organizations. Check that before you book for someplace. Also, it is not uncommon for men and women to share accommodation. If it’s a problem for you, make sure you mention that well in advance.
- While the Dutch can speak English and Dutch with similar fluency, and many courses are taught in English, it doesn’t hurt to learn a few Dutch words to throw in there. While it is no compulsion, it certainly will help your case. StudyFinder website provides you updated information about the universities and courses taught in English along with their location. Before applying, ensure that your university teaches in English.
- Everyone travels on bicycles. It can’t be overstated how much the Dutch love their Bicycles. However, don’t hurry to buy a new one. It could burn a heavy hole in your pocket. Ensure that there are other sources as well. You could always buy the older bicycle from an outgoing student. Invest in a good lock system because with petty crimes common, it might be problematic for you. Only buy a bicycle once you’re sure of the requirements in the country. There might be registration and other formalities required too. So ensure you get familiarised with all of them.
- There are scholarships available, especially for Indian students because the Dutch government is working on increasing the number of Indian students based in the Netherlands. Some of these scholarships offer as much as 5000 Euros a year. Apart from these, there are other scholarships too. Since the quality of education is high, there is going to be stiff competition. Ensure you stand out.
- Insurance is mandatory. But before you get about buying the fancy policies, wait. Buy a generic policy initially. Soon you’ll get to know what requirements are there and you can always change the policy accordingly. Many times, universities will help you with this task. Contact the university first.
- The time gap between organizing your documents and applying for your visa, and finally getting your visa can be as long as 6 months to a year. Until then, you can always apply for a tourist visa.
Work hours are lenient but strictly enforced. Ensure you understand how many hours of work your visa gives you.
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