Cost of Living in the Netherlands

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Preparing for a semester abroad in the Netherlands includes assessing the expenses for daily needs and for the monthly fixed costs. In a European comparison, the cost of living in the Netherlands tends to be in the upper range. The monthly costs vary depending on where you live and your individual lifestyle. The hip Amsterdam is by far the most expensive city in the Netherlands.

On average, many students calculate with EUR 700 to EUR 1,100 monthly living costs in the Netherlands. This includes rent, food, transport and communication costs as well as expenses for leisure activities and health insurance. Fortunately, many restaurants or cinemas offer special student rates for the high amounts.

Rent and housing costs in the Netherlands

A large part of the monthly budget while studying abroad in the Netherlands goes towards rental costs. Housing prices have been rising continuously for a long time. Here, too, our neighboring country is above the European average with a range of EUR 300 to EUR 700 for a room. The high prices occur mainly in larger student cities, where living space is limited.

In the Netherlands, a country that belongs to European Union according to localtimezone, agents often help find a suitable apartment. If they are successful, they will receive a placement fee from the client.

Depending on where you want to live, the search for suitable accommodation can be tedious. It is therefore advisable to find out about the various options in good time.

The shared room

One of the most popular forms of housing for students is shared accommodation. The average cost of a room in a shared apartment is EUR 200 to EUR 400 per month. In Amsterdam the prices are almost twice as high.

The flatmates share the additional costs such as water, electricity and gas. The same goes for internet costs. In many cases it is possible to take over furniture from the previous tenant after consultation in order to save costs. Another point of contact for this are Kringloopwinkel, second-hand shops.

The dorm room

The student residences are in great demand with international students and the Dutch alike. Compared to flat shares or your own apartment, this type of living is cheap and at the same time uncomplicated. Depending on where they live and what facilities they have, students pay an average of EUR 200 to EUR 500 per month. This type of living is particularly recommended for popular cities like Amsterdam.

Here it is possible to move into a room, especially during a summer session, as there is a semester break in the Netherlands during this period. In some cases, the accommodation is then free of charge or included in the price. Usually there are no additional costs for internet and telephone.

Some universities charge fees for the placement.

Average monthly rental costs Average base costs for electricity, gas, water and garbage per month Average monthly internet costs (flat rate)
Shared room EUR 200-400 Share of the total amount Share of the total amount
Dormitory EUR 200-500 Mostly inclusive Mostly inclusive

Transport costs in the Netherlands

In the flat Netherlands, it is absolutely recommendable for frugal students to invest in a bicycle and a good castle. Bicycle paths are a natural part of the cityscape. In the big cities in particular, there is no need to have a car due to the high shortage of parking spaces.

The public transport network is also well developed and a good alternative in rainy weather. A bus ticket costs around EUR 2.50 (short-haul). On average, students in the Netherlands spend around EUR 35 per month on their daily trips. Students who commute to university have correspondingly higher monthly costs.

Spending on groceries

Daily meals play a major role in the cost of living in the Netherlands. The monthly costs mainly depend on the place of residence and the respective habits or preferences. Weekly markets are available in most cities and allow inexpensive shopping.

Students spend around EUR 180 each month on groceries. The following table provides an exemplary overview of daily products and their prices:

product average price
1.5L water EUR 0.90
1L milk EUR 1.00
12 eggs EUR 2.00
500g corn flakes EUR 3.20
500g white bread EUR 1.50
1kg of bananas EUR 1.50
1kg cheese from the region EUR 6.70
12 stroop wafers EUR 2.89
450g liquorice EUR 3.05
200g Vla EUR 0.69

Costs for activities in the Netherlands

The leisure opportunities in the Netherlands are numerous. A weekend trip to the beach for surfing or the nightlife of the nearest town is a good change from everyday student life.

Students in the Netherlands like to be out and about and meet up for a good coffee or a cold beer. However, many only go to a restaurant on special occasions due to the high costs. The individual monthly expenses for businesses in the Netherlands vary greatly. The following overview provides a comparison to German prices:

Company Costs
Cinema ticket EUR 12.50
Eat in a cheap restaurant EUR 15.00
French fries and croket EUR 4.00
2 hour surf course EUR 35.00

Communication costs in the Netherlands

Part of the cost of living in the Netherlands is spent on internet and telephone in the new place of residence. As in Germany, not all providers are available in all apartments. The largest telecommunications company is KPN.

Many students receive television, internet and telephone at one package price. Depending on the availability of the provider and the speed of the internet connection, the prices are around EUR 25 to EUR 30 per month. Contracts for the Mobiel, i.e. the cell phone, cost around EUR 20 per month. Alternatively, there are prepaid cards with a certain amount of credit available from many providers. From June 15, 2017, there will be no more roaming charges in the EU, so this cost trap will no longer apply.

Sick while studying abroad? Treatment and medication costs

The costs in the event of illness are low for German students in the Netherlands. As a rule, the health insurance of EU citizens applies there, so that it pays the bills for treatments and medication. However, taking out a foreign health insurance is a good precaution in the event of a repatriation.

It is also possible that additional costs are incurred when visiting a doctor on site. Expert advice on medicines is available in pharmacies. Sometimes there are prescription fees that are not covered by the health insurance company. However, many drugs are cheaper than in Germany. In addition to pharmacies, supermarkets also sell medicines that do not require a prescription.

Cost of Living in the Netherlands

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