Cost of Living in the Netherlands for International Students

9 mins read5.3K Views Comment
Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Sep 12, 2023 16:52 IST

Cost of Living in the Netherlands for International Students: Studying abroad can be an expensive affair. In this article, we will talk about the cost of living in the Netherlands for international students. We will also look at some ways to reduce these costs.

The Netherlands is a great choice for internationals who want to continue their higher education at abroad universities. This country is the home of some world-popular universities that rank high in the QS World University Ranking. This Land of Tulips attracts many international students every year because of top-ranked universities, numerous English-taught courses, and a friendly multicultural environment. It is essential for international students to be well prepared when preparing to study in the Netherlands and the most important preparation is to consider your living expenses. This includes food, transportation, books, clothes, and accommodation. A student should prepare to spend around €800 to €1,100 per month in the Netherlands.

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Why Study in the Netherlands?

Here are some top reasons to study in the Netherlands for international students:

  • High-quality Education: The Netherlands is well known for having a top-notch educational system. The nation places a high priority on research and innovation, and universities in the Netherlands routinely rank among the best in the world. In order to prepare students for successful employment, the Dutch educational system places a strong emphasis on interactive learning, critical thinking, and practical application.
  • Job Prospects: The Netherlands is home to a wide range of job sectors, numerous international corporations, cutting-edge start-ups, and a robust economy. Excellent job and internship possibilities can be found for students studying in the Netherlands, giving them the chance to get important work experience abroad. The nation also provides graduates with favourable post-study employment possibilities, allowing them to explore professional options after finishing their studies.
  • Affordability: Compared to other well-liked study destinations, the Netherlands has more cheap study fees. International students pay considerably less in tuition, and there are numerous scholarships and financial aid programmes available. For many students, this increases accessibility and lowers the cost of studying in the Netherlands.
  • Quality of Life: The quality of life in the Netherlands is continuously great. It is renowned for its security, social welfare programme, first-rate medical treatment, and advanced infrastructure. The nation has a high level of living, a thriving cultural scene, and a wide range of leisure opportunities, events, and tourist sites.

In conclusion, studying in the Netherlands provides students with a diverse and international environment, low tuition fees, a variety of English-taught programmes, a high-quality education, good employment opportunities, a bilingual society, and a high standard of living. For students looking for a fulfilling and enriching educational experience, the Netherlands is a desirable location because of these aspects.

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Top Universities in the Netherlands

The table given below provides the top-ranked universities in the Netherlands. QS World University Rankings 2024 and Times World University Rankings 2023 have been provided in the table.

Universities in the Netherlands

QS World University Rankings 2024

Times World University Rankings 2023

Delft University of Technology



University of Amsterdam



Utrecht University



Eindhoven University of Technology



University of Leiden



University of Groningen



Wageningen University & Research Center



Erasmus University Rotterdam



VU University Amsterdam



University of Twente



Cost of Living in the Netherlands for International Students

Let us now look at various factors that contribute to the cost of living in the Netherlands:

1) Accommodation Costs

If you have a part-time job that supplements your student income or you have a scholarship, you will realize that one-third of it will go towards accommodation rent. Here are some examples of accommodation costs based on the type of housing -

  • Living in a rented apartment – €419/month
  • Living with partner/child – €572/month
  • Living in student accommodation – €340/month

30% of total students and most international students live in student accommodation. It is important to remember that there are additional costs that are included in your rent. For example, you have to pay an initial deposit which you get back at the end of the tenancy term. Then there are gas, electricity, water, garbage, and internet bills which might or might not be included in your rent. Plus the amount you would have to pay for these services depends on the company providing them. Average utility and service costs for a three-room apartment average €165/month. So the total amount paid for accommodation will be higher than only the rent mentioned above.

2) Food Costs

An average student living alone pays around €170/month for food. How much you spend depends on your lifestyle and does differ from person to person. The costs also differ according to the city as some cities are more expensive to live in than others. So if you are living in cities like Amsterdam or Rotterdam, the shopping and groceries will be much more expensive than in smaller cities like Eindhoven or Groningen.

3) Transportation Costs

Average monthly public transportation costs in the Netherlands average €35/month. You can save a lot on transportation by simply renting a bike, which is the most popular transportation choice in the country. If you want you can buy an older bike as a second-hand purchase because this will prove a better investment in the long run.

4) Living expenses

On average, an international student needs approximately €800 and €1,100 per month in the Netherlands. Prices differ a lot in the big cities and small towns all across the Netherlands.



Meal, inexpensive cafe


Milk (one litre)


Coca Cola can




Lunch from the campus cafe


Meal at a restaurant


One-minute cell phone call


Taxi 1 km


Petrol 1 litre


Movie ticket


1-room apartment in the city centre (including all bills)


How to Save the Cost of Living in the Netherlands?

In order to save the cost of living in the Netherlands, students may follow these tips:

  • Accommodation: As housing expenses in major cities like Amsterdam tend to be higher, think about relocating outside of them. Look into opportunities for shared housing or student housing, which may be less expensive. For assistance in locating acceptable housing choices, get in touch with your university.
  • Transportation: Choose a bicycle as your form of transportation because it is popular and economical in the Netherlands. Additionally, effective, public transit like trains and buses frequently offers reduced costs for students. To economise on transit expenditures, think about getting a discount card or season ticket.
  • Meals: Prepare your own meals rather than constantly dining out. Restaurant meals can frequently be more expensive than shopping at neighbourhood markets and supermarkets. To save money, make a meal plan in advance and buy supplies in large quantities.
  • Student Discounts: Use the student discounts that many establishments, such as restaurants, theatres, museums, and transportation services, offer. Wherever you go, always have your student ID card with you and ask if any discounts are offered.
  • Part-time Jobs: To boost your income, think about pursuing internships or part-time work in the Netherlands. The job market is robust in the Netherlands, and working part-time can help you pay your bills while obtaining useful work experience.

Students must be careful of their expenditures as studying abroad can be an expensive affair. For help with university applications, students seeking to study abroad can contact our Shiksha Study Abroad Counsellors. The comments section below allows candidates to contact us as well.


Q. Is the Netherlands affordable for international students?

A. With the country's superior education and relatively low cost of living, studying in the Netherlands will give international students actual value for money. The average tuition fee for a degree program in the Netherlands for non-EU students is 6000 EUR/year, depending on the institution.

Q. How much does a student need per month in the Netherlands?

A. International students used to spend an average of € 800 - € 1,100 a month. Living expenses in the Netherlands depend on the location or university you are studying at.

Q. How much can an international student earn in the Netherlands?

A. The Netherlands is one of those abroad destinations that offer better education and opportunities to international students. Applicants who are willing to apply for a work permit in the Netherlands should take note of the following points: International students are permitted to work part-time in the Netherlands between 10-16 hours weekly. Part-time working students can earn up to 20 Euros per hour, which is almost INR 1,700.

Q. Is the Netherlands affordable for students?

A. Yes, the Netherlands is affordable for international students. Low tuition fees and affordable living costs are the most important benefits for students. Keep on reading as we'll offer more information about them to help you decide if studying in the Netherlands matches your personal and academic goals.

Q. Can I settle in the Netherlands after studying?

A. After completing the degree, international students must apply for post-study work permissions – called the Search/ Orientation Year or 'zoekjaar' in Dutch. Simply put, students completing their bachelor's or/and masters' from an accredited Dutch University are eligible to apply for a Residence Permit for 'Orientation Year' which is valid for one year.

Q. Are there application fees at Dutch universities?

A. Sometimes, students must pay application fees when applying to Dutch universities, usually ranging from €75 to €100. This fee is most commonly charged to non-EEA students or students with a non-Dutch previous education. Fees and conditions vary from one university to another.

Q. Can I work while studying at a university in the Netherlands?

A. Yes, you will work while studying at a university in the Netherlands. A part-time job is a good way to finance your studies, especially since tuition fees in the Netherlands can be quite expensive for non-European students.

Q. What are the monthly costs of living in the Netherlands?

A. In general, an international student's monthly cost of living in the Netherlands will be around €800-1200. Students need to pay around the cost between €300 and €600 for an average room. The cost in a small town is cheaper than in cities and the type of accommodation will also have an impact on the price.

Q. How much bank balance is required for a Netherlands student visa?

A. An international student who applies to study in Dutch universities must earn at least €850 per month. They need to prove that they have sufficient financial means to support themselves during their studies.

Q. How high are the tuition fees at the best Dutch universities?

A. Many Dutch universities rank among the world’s top universities. For students from the EU/EEA, Switzerland, or Suriname, the fees at these top universities are the same statutory fees they would pay anywhere in the Netherlands. However, other international students pay the institutional fees set by universities, and these may vary. Some of the best-ranked universities in the Netherlands charge up to €15,000 per year for Bachelor and up to €20,000 per year for Master’s.

Q. Which is cheaper to live Germany or Netherlands?

A. Studying in Germany is a better choice than that of the Netherlands. The average cost of living in Germany ($1325) is 21% less expensive than in the Netherlands ($1680). Germany ranked 30th vs 18th for the Netherlands in the list of the most expensive countries in the world.

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About the Author
Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert

Aprant has scored 700 on the GMAT and likes to write articles and blogs in his free time. He has considerable experience in the study abroad domain, especially in MBA admissions and wants to provide authentic guidan... Read Full Bio


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