10 things to bring with you to the Netherlands

At IHS we know that moving abroad for your studies is both an exciting and daunting experience. One of the most common questions that we receive from prospective students is what to bring to Rotterdam. To ensure that you have the packing side of things taken care of, here are 10 things that you should add to your list to bring with you to the Netherlands.

  1. A pair of wellington boots… or at least waterproof shoes. Those Dutch images of windmills and tulips against a background of blue sky is unfortunately a rare occurrence… sorry to shatter the illusion. Dutch weather is often unpredictable and showers are common. 

2. A warm winter coat. On a similar note to the above the Dutch winter can get pretty cold – think frozen canals cold! While we are at it bring a hat, gloves, scarf, basically your whole winter wardrobe. 

  1. Passport. For obvious reasons, without a passport your dream of studying in the Netherlands will remain just that. You should ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your course finishes. 
  2. Birth Certificate (if available) – when you arrive in the Netherlands you will be required to register at the ‘gemeentehuis’ (town hall). If you are able to, it may be worthwhile to get an apostille stamp, which authenticates the document and may speed up the process once you are in the Netherlands.  It is also handy in general to have copies of your most important documents such as passport, diploma, language certificate, etc. in case you need them.
  3. Passport photos – the last thing that you want to be doing when you arrive in Rotterdam is running around looking for a photo booth and then realising that you don’t have the six euro coins required. We’ve all been there. We recommend that you get your photos before you travel for convenience and it is often cheaper. 
  4. A European power adaptor – again for obvious reasons. How else are you going to charge your smartphone and ensure that your laptop has enough juice to watch Netflix late at night?
  5. Photos, pictures, posters. Or fairy lights, cardboard cuts, plants… you get the idea. Student accommodation can be very bland and so to make your room feel like home you will need to get creative and bring items with you to decorate your humble abode. 
  6. Some cash. When you first arrive in the Netherlands it is a good idea to have some euros in cash to help you grab your first stroopwafel or something slightly more practical, life you know a train ticket. 
  7. Laptop. Our students are free to use the computers at IHS, but most find it more convenient to bring their own laptop. 
  8. Sports clothes. From the IHS sports day to the Erasmus charity run, there are lots of opportunities to get active during your time studying at IHS. You are also able to make use of the Erasmus University sports facilities.

You may also find our frequently asked questions and housing in Rotterdam pages useful.

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Photo credit: Marc Heeman