The Student Services Office is the hub of extracurricular activities and resources for living in the Netherlands. The SSO is responsible for the Webster Leiden First-Year Experience, the LEADS program, student events, and helping students get more involved in clubs and on-campus activities.
Student Services Office Provides:
- Residence permit assistance
- New Student Orientation (face-to-face and online)
- Community-building events
- Life skills workshops
- Assistance with administrative processes in the Netherlands, like signing up for health insurance and registering your address and more
Important Services for New Students
As a new Webster Leiden Campus student, you are required to have a student ID card. Besides confirming your attendance at Webster Leiden Campus, the card also makes you eligible:
- For student discounts at different shops/stores, restaurants and fast food locations.
- To buy movie tickets at a discount.
- To print on campus (Webster staff will put €5,00 on the card, and you can upload extra at Reception when needed).
This student ID card will be arranged during the New Student Orientation. The first card is free of charge. A replacement ID will cost €10.00.
During New Student Orientation you will be asked to provide:
- Your passport photo, (or a photo of your head in full view in front of a white background, looking straight ahead, with your eyes and face unobstructed by other body parts, hair, a hat, sunglasses or other voluntary items).
- Your first name and last name
- Your seven-digit student ID number
- Confirm if you are an Undergraduate or Graduate student
IDs are ordered per term, and you will receive an email when the ID cards have arrived.
A proof of enrollment letter will be needed for:
- Bank Accounts
- Registering at City Hall
- Cellphone, internet, and housing contracts
- Anywhere you need official proof that you are an enrolled student
It's easy to request the letter online. Simply fill out this online form for registrar letter requests. Please note that letters for currently enrolled students will be placed in their mailbox at Information & Services within two working days.
ISS offers you the best service providers on the market. They choose their partners based on their quality of service and commitment to their clients. They have done the work so you don’t have to. After selecting one service, you can get in touch with fellow international students through our community.
Living in Leiden
Students choose from various types of accomodations on and off campus.
Housing in the Netherlands
Students from all over the world come to the Netherlands to study. When it comes to internationalization, universities in the Netherlands rank high, for one reason, because they offer a variety of courses in English. Unfortunately, because there is such a high demand for student housing in the Netherlands, it can be quite a challenge to find a suitable place.
Types of student housing
The vast majority of students in the Netherlands rent rooms in student houses, which are privately owned houses designed to host three to six individuals. Living with strangers and following the house rules might be difficult at first, but nearly all adapt over time.
As a rule, student flats offer private bedrooms and shared facilities (living room, kitchen, bathroom, etc.). These apartments are a bit cheaper than student houses but usually host eight to 12 tenants.
Most Dutch universities offer student apartments and/or student houses through their housing offices or other housing organizations. Although both price and facilities are more or less the same as the privately owned ones, university housing offers expats the opportunity to meet other (international) students and thus, quickly expand their social circle.
How to find student accommodations in the Netherlands
Due to the dramatic shortage of student housing in the Netherlands, international students should apply for a house or room as soon as possible. Here are some tips on how to find student accommodation in the Netherlands:
Most Dutch universities do not have a campus. Instead, they offer student housing through various housing organizations. Make sure you sign up for a room as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Prices may vary, depending on where you will be living and what type of room you will be renting.
Please note, some universities do not offer student housing, in which case you will have to find a place on your own.
There are many housing corporations in the Netherlands that cater to students. When you register with one of these corporations, you will usually have to pay a fee. Also, since there is limited availability, you will be put on a waiting list. The people with the longest registration period will be invited to viewings, therefore, make sure you register as soon as possible. Rooms cannot be booked in advance, and you will have to be in the Netherlands to go to these viewings.
The largest student housing corporations are:
Another option is to use a rental housing agency in your search for a student house in the Netherlands, as many have properties for students. You may have to pay a fee to work with an agency.
The Internet can be a big help in finding a house or room. In addition, do not forget to check out social media in your search; there might be someone in your social network who is looking for a roommate!
While squatting is illegal in the Netherlands, anti-squatting is allowed. Anti-squatters function as caretakers of empty buildings, protecting them from vandalism. It is a cheap way to live, but it requires some flexibility on your part.
Some student associations and societies (studentenvereniging) have their own student houses. But you have to become a member of the association to be able to live in one of the houses.
There are other advantages to joining a student association in the Netherlands, too. For example, when you join a studentenvereniging, you will meet a lot of other international students.
- If you are going to a viewing, try to take a friend with you. Not just for safety, but also because two pairs of eyes are better than one.
- Never sign a rental contract without reading it.
- Don’t pay anything until you have a signed contract. There are a lot of scammers out there, and they often target international students.
Things To Know When You Arrive In Country:
If you are staying, or plan to stay, in the Netherlands for more than four months, you will need to register (inschrijven) at the town hall in the municipality (gemeente) where you are living.
Whether you are a Dutch citizen or an international, everyone living in the Netherlands is required to be registered at their home address. Being registered allows the Basisregistratie personen (BRP or Municipal Personal Records Database) to better handle emergencies, to track the size of the Dutch population, and to allocate the right municipal taxes to each household.
Receiving Your BSN Number
One of the most important reasons to register with your local municipality is that you will then receive your BSN number (personal public service number), which you need for all your administration in the Netherlands. This includes opening a bank account, receiving your salary, visiting a doctor, getting health insurance, and applying for benefits.
Students setting up their new life in the Netherlands will need to open a Dutch bank account to receive their salaries, rent an apartment, or to just take a trip down to the supermarket where they can "pin" for groceries.
Before you go to open your bank account, you need to choose which bank suits your needs or principles. You should also take into account that most banks charge a yearly fee for having an account with them.
Biggest banks in the Netherlands:
bunq (in English)
N26 (in English)
Once you have selected your bank you should check out the details of the accounts offered to see whether they suit your needs and requirements. To open a private bank account in the Netherlands you will need to either make an appointment online, or simply walk into your nearest branch with all of your details. In some cases, it is possible to have a bank employee come and meet you at home or at work to set up the account.
To open a bank account in the Netherlands you will need the following:
- Your BSN number (Burgerservicenummer)
- A valid form of ID (passport or identity card - often a drivers licence is not acceptable)
- Proof of address (i.e., a rental contract)
- Residency permit if you come from outside of the EU
- Once all the details have been processed, you will wait until your account is approved and your new pinpas is sent to you.
The first point of contact in getting healthcare in the Netherlands is to register with a doctor (huisarts in Dutch) or general practitioner (GP), which is important to do when you arrive in the Netherlands. If you have not registered with a GP, and you then become ill, you may have difficulty finding a nearby doctor who is taking patients, as their practice may already be full.
To search and find a doctor near you, go to the Doctena website and enter your location. You can also visit your Gemeentehuis (town/city hall) and ask for a gemeentegids (a booklet issued by your municipality containing information about doctors, sports groups, day care, etc.), which will have a list of all the local GPs. There is also a listing in the Yellow Pages (Telefoongids / Gouden Gids) under Artsen – Huisartsen. Please note, you may not be able to register with the GP of your choice if they are not accepting new patients or you live too far away from the practice.
The role of the GP in the Dutch healthcare system:
In the Netherlands, the GP holds a central role when it comes to healthcare. If you have any questions regarding your physical and mental health, your GP is the first one to ask. In addition to answering any health questions you may have, a GP in the Netherlands can also perform minor surgical procedures and carry out pediatric and gynecological examinations. Generally, a GP does not provide dental treatments.
How to register with a GP in the Netherlands:
When you have found a GP to your liking, you will need to register with said GP. Some GP practices allow you to register online. Generally, you will need the following documents when you register with a GP: valid ID, BSN and health insurance details.
Your GP may wish to have a consultation appointment with you to go over your medical history. This is a good opportunity to have any questions about healthcare in the Netherlands answered. If it is your first visit, you should also bring your medical records you have from your home country and, if applicable, a list of medications you are using.
Hello Doc offers a telehealth service for when you arrive in a new country like The Netherlands and need a GP. They also give advice and treatment in case you are not able to register with a GP and require non-urgent medical care.
Generally speaking, the Dutch public transport network is clean, efficient, and relatively cheap. The local train network – operated by NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) – covers much of the country, and you can move between towns and cities cheaply. Other towns and villages are connected by bus links, while the northern islands have ferry access.
In larger cities, you’ll find either a tram or a metro system (or both), while smaller cities and towns will have bus networks connecting suburbs with central areas. These networks are operated locally. However, wherever you are in the Netherlands you’ll be able to use your OV-chipkaart, the national smart-card payment system for public transport. Disabled travelers are generally well-catered to, and public transport stops and stations are usually near each other. This lets you seamlessly move between transport modes during your journey.
The first thing you need to know when it comes to taking public transport in the Netherlands is the OV-chipkaart. The OV-chipkaart (OV stands for openbaar vervoer, or public transport) is the Dutch smart-card payment system that operates across the country for all public transport options. There are two types of OV-chipkaart: anonymous and personal. Anonymous cards can be bought and topped-up from machines and ticket offices at train and metro stations. Personal cards need to be purchased online, and you will need to provide a photo for the card. These cards can be topped-up online or at a ticket machine. Alternatively, you can sign up for automatic top-ups when your balance falls below a certain amount.
Journey costs are determined by distance. When you check in, a boarding fare is debited from your card. This fare varies depending on the mode of transport. When you check out at your destination, you will then be refunded this boarding fare, minus the charge for the kilometers you’ve traveled. If you fail to check out, you will have to pay the whole boarding fare, which could be up to €20. For more information, visit the OV-chipkaart website.
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