As part of our international studies, we are required to write blog posts on living in a foreign country as part of our international studies. In this assessment we must talk about the are we live in, shopping and cost, the university and its’ programme, accommodation and transport.
Within the first two weeks of living in the Netherlands I learned an abundance. I would like to share some of the newly acquired information with you as I wish I knew all of this before arriving. I was lucky I had people with me to make it easier and to share the little burdens along the way so hopefully you who is reading this is in the same boat. When Arriving through the Eindhoven Airport I felt relief- relief to finally be at my destination to get through third year. Relief was felt because of the uncertainty around Covid 19 and if we would be allowed to go abroad. However, Covid was not our only struggle as you will soon find out! The first day was great- we were staying in an Airbnb and then a hotel until our apartment was ready, which is the 23rd of September. This would go to cause some trouble as we felt we could not settle or properly manage all our belongings.
There are a few things I would advise future students traveling to The Netherlands. One being sort accommodation out within the college. It may be expensive- but we were naïve thinking we could just find a little apartment for ourselves. How very wrong we were! There is a massive housing crisis in The Netherlands- especially Venlo and Eindhoven- not just that, but with a lot of the housing agencies we went with we found out that it is illegal to put students in a house without having the required licence. This went on to prove great difficulty in securing accommodation so much to the point we had no accommodation sorted the night before out flights. Do not let yourself be put in this position- go with Fonty’s accommodation as they have a few places where you live with other students but be quick. What did calm us down was seeing other students in the same position as we were in, I would leave the hotel and noticed other students walking to the train station too- so it wasn’t just us!
Bar accommodation, another problem we encountered was the fact that our bank cards did not work in certain places. I personally am with AIB and I also have a Revolut card. Both got declined so many times to the point it’s not even embarrassing anymore- just more of an annoyance. So be prepared for that, as it was something I had no idea of! To get a Dutch bank account you must provide a lot of documents and register yourself in the town hall. It is a lot of work so I would just try have cash on me as often as I could, however because of Covid some places do not take cash- so be weary before approaching the cashier. Avoid places like Albert Heijn- it looks fantastic, but it will not work out unless you have cash. We found that a shop called Jumbo accepted Debit card, so we have stuck with them. However a month into living here we found out if you change your address on revolut to The Netherlands you can be offered a Maestro card- which is widely accepted here!
That’s all for now- see you in the next Blog!