Living expenses and money matters
Information for international students
During your stay in Amsterdam, you can expect to spend between €900 and €1,400 per month on living expenses. This includes rent but not tuition fees.
Costs are roughly as follows:
- visa/residence permit (if not EU national): €340, one-time fee
- accommodation: €375 - €600 per month
- general living expenses: €400 - €500 per month
- insurance: €35 - €100 per month
- books: €50 - €100 per month
- public transport (optional): €40 - €100
Covering your expenses
Make sure you have covered all your expenses for the entire period of studying abroad before you arrive in Amsterdam. It is very hard to find additional funding once you are in the Netherlands. Most scholarship programmes, for instance, will only accept applications while you are still in your home country, and finding work is very difficult if you don’t speak any Dutch.
If you need an entry visa for the Netherlands you have to submit proof that you have sufficient funds in your bank account to support yourself during your studies in Amsterdam.
Dutch currency is known as the euro, abbreviated by eur or €. The currency in circulation comes in the following forms: coins of one, two, five, ten, twenty and fifty eurocents, and one and two euro. Notes are available in denominations of €5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. Most shops do not accept bank notes of €100 or above.
Most small payments in the Netherlands are handled in cash, although an increasing number of shops and supermarkets have instituted bank card and PIN code systems.
Cash dispensers (ATMs)
If you have a Cirrus, Plus, or Euro Card/ MasterCard bank card or a credit card with a four-digit PIN number, you will be able to withdraw money from your home bank account from one of the numerous cash dispensers in Amsterdam. Please inquire at your home bank about this service, its conditions and costs.
Credit cards are becoming more popular, although they are not as common as in the USA or France, and large payments are generally handled through a bank account. Make sure you have a bank card enabling you to draw money from a cash dispenser or that you have access to cash.
Money can be exchanged 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Amsterdam Central Station (central railway station) and at Schiphol Airport.
In the Netherlands, you can generally pay with euros only. However, some tourist attractions may accept other currency as well.
Public transport in Amsterdam can be quite expensive, depending on how frequently you use it and the distances you travel. It will cost you around €70 - 100 per month maximum, unless you live outside of Amsterdam.
The cheapest and easiest way to travel in Amsterdam is by bicycle. Prices of second-hand bikes vary from €100 to €200. A decent lock costs approximately €50.