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Your arrival as a degree student

Your first days and weeks in Amsterdam will be filled with new experiences, new people and a few practical considerations too. On this webpage, we give you more information on how to get started once you have arrived.

Practical Matters Days

For all new international students, VU Amsterdam International Office organises the Practical Matters Days. During these days, you can arrange all sorts of practicalities, e.g. register at the municipality or arrange insurance. 

  • The Practical Matters Day for Bachelor's students will take place on Tuesday 23 August
  • The Practical Matters Day for Master's students and exchange students will take place on Wednesday 24 August

More information about the Practical Matters Days will follow, both on this website and via e-mail.

Note: the date and name of this event differ slightly from what was mentioned in the Getting Started Guide. The information mentioned above is up-to-date and correct.

Introduction week

For more information about the general introduction weeks, please see the following web pages:

Travelling to the Netherlands
Even though practically all COVID-19 measures have been lifted in the Netherlands, we strongly advise you to look at this checklist by the Dutch government before you decide to travel to the Netherlands. The status of your country may change, therefore please consult this information regularly.

Travelling via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Amsterdam's airport is called 'Amsterdam Airport Schiphol', and is located in the south-west of Amsterdam. Schiphol created a special landing page with commonly asked questions about travel through the airport, and current COVID-19 measures.

Public transport and taxi
From Schiphol, you can easily travel to VU Amsterdam's campus, or to your student accommodation. More information about public transport in the Netherlands can be found here. It is also possible to make a reservation for a taxi in advance. 

Practical arrangements

  • Step 1: Collect your room key

    • If you rent an accommodation via VU Amsterdam, we will inform you at a later time when and where you can pick up the key to your room.
    • If you rent an accommodation on the private market, you will have to make arrangements with your landlord yourself.

    To be able to pick up your keys, you need to have signed your tenancy agreement and paid the amount due.

  • Step 2: Register with the municipality

    If you will stay in the Netherlands for more than four months, then you need to register with the local authorities, also called the municipality. If you are going to live at student campus Uilenstede, you need to register at the municipality of Amstelveen.

    More information about registering with the municipality can be found here. During the Practical Matters Day, it will also be possible to register with the municipalities of Amsterdam and Amstelveen.

  • Step 3: Set up a bank account (if necessary)

    You will need to have an IBAN bank account in order to arrange your day-to-day activities in the Netherlands. As an EU/EEA student, you do not need a Dutch bank account. If you are a non-EU/EEA student, you need to make an appointment at a bank office in order to get a student account.

    More information about setting up a bank account can be found here.

  • Step 4: Pick the right insurance

    It is important that you are properly insured during your time in the Netherlands. To simplify the business of arranging suitable insurance during your time in the Netherlands, it is advisable to consult your current insurance company and explain that you will be studying abroad for a semester or an entire academic year.

    More information about possible insurances can be found here. During the Arrival Day, our partner Aon will also be present.

  • Step 5: Register with a General Practitioner (GP)

    As a student at VU Amsterdam living in Amsterdam or in the surrounding areas such as Amstelveen/Uilenstede, you will be able to register with the GP at the University General Practice (located in the VU Medical Centre on our campus) once you have a valid health insurance. More information can be found on their website. If you live outside of Amsterdam, you can look for a GP close to your home.

    More information about health care in the Netherlands can be found here.

Other useful information

  • Getting Started guide

    In our Getting Started Guide for Bachelor's and Master's students you can find contact details and general information about studying at VU Amsterdam. We invite you to take a look at it! Please note that this guide is not applicable for exchange and Semester in Amsterdam students.

    Getting Started 2022-2023

    In this guide, the dates for the Arrival Days are not correct. Correct is:

    • The Arrival Day for Bachelor's students will take place on Tuesday 23 August
    • The Arrival Day for Master's students and exchange students will take place on Wednesday 24 August
  • Cost of living and working

    Experience shows that living and studying in the Netherlands for one year costs a student between €1,000 and €1,400 per month (not including tuition fees). Some students manage to spend less, but this of course depends on your own lifestyle.

    Some rules apply when you work in the Netherlands during your studies. More information about the average costs per month, rules and regulations and tax can be found here.

  • Your personal dashboard & Canvas

    Your personal dashboard

    During your stay you will have access to your personal dashboard on You were sent your login details when you first applied to VU Amsterdam. It is important that you familiarise yourself with this dashboard, as a great deal of important information is only available via this network. Registration for courses etc is also carried out via your dashboard.


    Canvas is the digital learning environment from VU Amsterdam. It is a tool that supports our education and is used by both students and teachers. You can log into Canvas with your VUnet-ID, or through your personal dashboard on For students, there is a VU Canvas Student Guide available that shows you how to work with Canvas. You can also watch a short video about the system.

  • Study books

    For your studies, you will need books. Click here to order them at the VU Bookstore.

    Which textbooks you need is published in this booklist. Textbooks are sold in our main building at the VU Bookstore or at the Students' Unions.

  • International Student Services

    It’s useful to arrange all of your basic needs as soon as possible, so you can have the best start in the Netherlands. On the International Student Services platform, you can, at once, free of charge! After signing up for your services, you will get free access to the international student community where you can chat and meet fellow internationals.

    Prepare for your arrival and start connecting! Organise all of your basic needs here.

  • Learning Dutch

    Would you like to learn Dutch to help you feel more at home on campus? Of course you do! Luckily, VU-NT2 offers two course modules (8 weeks per level) of the Basic Dutch on Campus course at a greatly reduced rate for international students. You will learn to introduce yourself, do some shopping, order a meal and chat with local students and teachers. Finished the course? Then you receive a ‘Basic Dutch on Campus’ certificate. Check out the website of VU-NT2 for more information.

  • Contact us for practical matters

    If you have practical questions about your stay in the Netherlands or if you would just like to talk to someone from the International Office, you can come by the Global Room on Tuesday (Outgoing Exchange Team), Wednesday (Incoming Exchange Team) or Thursday (Services Team) between 12:30 and 13:30. The Global Room is located in the Main Building (HG-1A36).

    If you have specific questions, please contact the relevant team within the International Office via the contact details on this webpage.


Do you have any questions? Please contact the Student Desk.

Call +31 (0)20 59 85020 (Mon – Fri: 10:30 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 16:00)

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on, please read the FAQ or contact the Student Desk:

Are you currently a VU student? Ask your question via the question form (log in with your VUnetID)