When preparing for your period of study abroad, you need to take time to arrange certain things, (next to your study plan, and approval of courses) such as: language preparations, and financial and practical matters. On these pages you will find more information about these subjects and useful links.
A study abroad period is often more expensive than when you stay in the Netherlands. Below are a few options to help compensate these extra costs:
This is a financial aid (mainly for Dutch students) offered by the Dutch government. Should you receive this financial aid, you will continue receiving this during your study abroad period.
Student travel card restitution
You will not be needing your 'OV kaart' (Public Transportation card) whilst studying abroad. For this period it is recommended to arrange an OV-refund. In 2018 the refund was €91,62 a month. The OV-refund will only be allowed over the study months abroad; the University has to provide proof of this. The OV-refund form and more information can be found on the website of 'DUO - IB-groep'.
You can apply for this grant when you go on exchange to a partner university within the European Union, including all 28 European member countries, as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, FYR of Macedonia, Norway, Turkey and the overseas territories of all these countries.
More detailed information, including the conditions, can be found on the Erasmus Grant pages of Utrecht University. It is important you keep an eye on the application deadlines.
Other grant possibilities
Unfortunately there are not a lot of additional grant options for exchange. You can browse through a database of grants on www.grantfinder.nl. Note that, in order to be eligible, you should meet the requirements.
Many European universities offer language courses to prepare you for your study; more information regarding these can be found on the partner website.
Can I get credits for language courses?
If you are a bachelor student, you can include these in your optional course profile. You can receive a maximum of 7,5 ECTS for language courses (level 1).
Babel Talen (located in the city centre) offers many language courses. Think about languages like Chinese, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish and last but not least Dutch.
Ensure that your passport is valid for your complete exchange period. Some countries require that your passport is valid for at least six months after your exchange period. Should you not have a passport, ensure that you arrange this well in advance. For some European destinations you can also use an Identity Card.
It’s often worth the trouble to look around on the internet for the cheapest provider. There are many good websites (e.g. Expedia and Cheaptickets), alternatively you can visit a travel agent. A highly recommended agent is Kilroy Travels. Often the sooner you book a flight, the cheaper it is. This is not always advisable, as for many destinations (mostly outside Europe) you are required to go through the visa process. For more distant destinations, it is always possible to purchase a ticket with flexible dates and a cancellation insurance.
As a student you are obliged, and it is your own responsibility, to take out medical insurance, third-party insurance and travel insurance. Ask your insurance company whether your insurance policy is valid and sufficient for your study abroad period. If this is not the case, it is possible in some cases to extend your current insurance with an extra policy to fully cover your study abroad period. Some partner universities (e.g. American and Australian Universities) require exchange students to take a separate insurance. Should this be the case, bear in mind that you can’t stop your basic health insurance in the Netherlands. For more important information regarding insurance whilst studying abroad please visit the insurance pages of Utrecht University.
For some destinations you are required to get vaccinations (DTP, Mantoux test, typhoid, hepatitis A). Should this be the case, the partner university usually informs you of this. You can arrange for your vaccinations at the Travel Clinic at the Uithof, Heidelberglaan 8, tel: +31 30 35 688 03 00 and www.health-services.nl. You can also contact the GGD or your own GP.
Visa / residence permit
For some countries it is clear that you will need a visa. Often visa processes begin after you have received the acceptance letter from the partner university. It is important to check the partner university website to get information on visa proceedings.
TOEFL / IELTS
A few partner universities require that a TOEFL or a IELTS test be completed by the student. However, most universities ask only for the Language Proficiency Form (included in the application form) to be completed and signed by the exchange officer. Should you be required to complete a TOEFL or IELTS test, the partner University will inform you of this.
ISIC stands for International Student Identity Card. This is an international student card, which is issued in more than 80 countries. With the card you can receive discount on some excursions, in restaurants and museums etc. in different countries all over the world. On top of this you can also receive discount on KLM air tickets.
Are you leaving Utrecht for a few months to study abroad or to do an internship? Why not place a rental ad offering your room as a temporary sublet!
You can advertise your room on, for example, the Housing Anywhere website. Through this student-to-student housing platform you can offer your room to international students who are looking for temporary accommodation in Utrecht.
Another useful website is www.kamersinutrecht.nl (SSH).