Costs of Studying Abroad in the Netherlands – Tuition, Housing and Food

Thinking of studying a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the Netherlands? You’re on the right track! Netherlands is well-known for welcoming a diverse international student population, and the large number of English-taught programmes it offers. It's also one of the safest places in Europe. Considering the quality education you will get by enrolling at any Dutch university, studying abroad in the Netherlands is all worth it.

Read below and you’ll get an idea of the main costs you'll have to prepare for as an international student coming to a university in the Netherlands.

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1. Tuition fees in the Netherlands

Member of the EU and agreeing with the Bologna system, universities in Netherlands favour EU and EEA students when it comes to tuition fees. For this reason, students coming from a non-EU/EEA country can be charged double, or sometimes even triple the amount of tuition fee that is charged to EU students.

The common name for these tuition costs will be the statutory fee (for EU/EEA students, or students with special residence permits) and the institutional fee (for non-EU/EEA students).

On average, tuition fees for EU students range at around 2,000 EUR/year, while for non-EU students, tuition fees start from 6,000 EUR/year.

If you are from an EU/EEA country or Suriname and you start studying a Bachelor’s at a public university in the Netherlands in 2018-2019, you will only pay half of the tuition fee in the first year. This means that for the first year of studies your fee will only be 1,030 EUR. A main condition to be eligible is to not have studied in Netherlands before.

The fee discount will also apply to Master’s degrees in Initial Teacher Education, provided that you start a Bachelor’s in Education at a Dutch University in 2018-2019.

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2. Living costs for students in the Netherlands

Your daily expenses include food, public transport, books, clothes, and leisure activities. Of course, you also need to take into account the costs for housing and insurance. Students living and studying in the Netherlands for one year spend 800 - 1,200 EUR/month.

According to Eurostudent, out of the total monthly study abroad expenses, student spend on average:

  • 37% for accommodation
  • 15% on tuition fees
  • 3% for transportation

Study-related costs paid by students in the Netherlands are relatively high compared to the European average.

Here are the average living costs in major Dutch student cities:

Accommodation costs

If you have a moderate student income, one-third of it will go towards housing. Renting a room in the Netherlands can cost between 300 – 600 EUR/month.

Here are examples of average accommodation costs based on the type of housing:

  • Students living alone in rented apartment – 400-6000 EUR/month
  • Students living with partner/child – 600-700 EUR/month
  • Students living in student accommodation – 350 EUR/month

29% of students live in student accommodation in the Netherlands. Accommodation costs in the Netherlands are above the international average.

Other costs related to accommodation

It is important to bear in mind that there are different costs that are included (not always!) in your rent. For example, before you rent a place you have to pay a deposit (usually 1 months’ worth of rent), which you will get back at the end of the tenancy agreement if the place is in the same condition as when you got it.

Other expenses:

  • Average utility costs: 155 EUR/month
  • Internet subscriptions: 30 EUR/month

Food costs

Students living alone pays around 170 EUR/month for food bills from the supermarkets. Lidl, Aldi and Albert Heijn are some of the cheapest supermarkets. How much you spend, depends on your lifestyle and the city you live in.

You should expect shopping in Amsterdam and Rotterdam to be much more expensive than smaller cities like Groningen or Eindhoven.

If you’re interested in having lunch or dinner out, budget restaurants offer meals for around 10 – 20 EUR.

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Transportation costs

Average monthly transportation costs for students in the Netherlands average 35 EUR/month. Save a lot on transportation by renting a bike – popular transportation option in the country; prices start from 10 EUR/day.

There are also many inexpensive options of buying a bike second-hand, as this may prove a better investment in the long run.

Student transportation Netherlands.jpg

Extra costs

  • Books and other learning materials: between 30 and 65 EUR/month
  • Social activities: 50-60 EUR/month

3. Visa fee in the Netherlands

Ready to study in the Netherlands? Here's some more helpful information like the best universities in the Netherlands, applying for the Dutch student visa, or enrolling in a Dutch university

The visa fee for non EU/ EEA students costs 317 EUR. Here are some more Dutch student visa details based on your country of origin: 

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