study abroad in the Netherlands

Do’s and Don’ts of Packing for Study Abroad in the Netherlands

Moving abroad to a new country can be a puzzling experience, especially when it’s for studies and you are wondering what to pack. Figuring out what’s essential and what’s not, can be tricky as each country has its peculiarities, and essential items could vary. Since your luggage space is limited, you must pack wisely. You would not want to miss out on packing essential items that would help you settle down nicely; while your luggage is filled with unnecessary stuff. It’s important to be well prepared when moving to the Netherlands. This is why we have a list of do’s and don’ts of packing for study abroad in the Netherlands.


The Do’s of Packing for Study Abroad in the Netherlands

Here is a list of do’s of packing for study abroad in the Netherlands. Make sure to check whether everything applies to your personal information.

Have a Bank Card

Regardless of wherever you travel, it is important to have MONEY. How you access your money is also an important aspect. While it is standard to always have cash on you whenever you travel, do not bring too much with you for security reasons. This makes having a bank card the most convenient option for accessing your money.

In the Netherlands, bank cards are the more preferred option of payment for most things. As nearly everything is automated, you will encounter many self-checkouts as you settle down. Not having the appropriate bank card will no doubt cause some inconvenience. To avoid this, pack your international VISA Debit card or Debit Mastercard. These cards are accepted at major points, stores, and supermarkets. Be careful since the Dutch don’t often use credit cards, and are therefore also not accepted commonly.

Since you will be living in the Netherlands for months, you should open a Dutch bank account as soon as possible. This would give you unrestricted payment access as you go about your daily life in the country. You also save money on the transaction fees with a Dutch account within the Eurozone. Also, you should open a bank account with either ING, Rabobank or AMRO ABN, as they open accounts for students without any charge.

Pack your Local Ingredients and Spices

Your local ingredients and spices are a must-pack when moving to the Netherlands. These ingredients and spices come in handy because you are not yet familiar with where to find them here. Some of your local spices and ingredients might not be easy to find, especially in the first few weeks of your settling down.

Easy access to familiar food and spices will go a long way in providing comfort, particularly if you have a special diet. Also, this is a great way to represent your country and make friends by introducing them to your favorite local cuisines.

Travel Adapters, Chargers, and Power Banks

If you are moving to the Netherlands, your charger plugs might differ from those readily available here, as the sockets and plugs are in types C and F. Also, each country uses different electricity voltage, and just changing the shape of your power plug might not solve the problem. And, it could potentially damage or short out your devices, as appliances usually use 230-volt, 50Hz.

The travel adapters and chargers must be compatible with the recommended voltage rates in the Netherlands. If you cannot get those ahead, power banks are an alternative to keep your mobile phones charged until you can get the standard chargers when you arrive. It’s advisable to pack travel adapters or power banks to keep your devices charged. It is not a great experience navigating a new country with your phone and laptop out of batteries.

Bring Medicines

Falling sick abroad can be a frightening experience, as you are not yet familiar with the health care system. And if you are not fluent in Dutch, you might have difficulty communicating the help you need in the Netherlands.

Prepare ahead of time for this possibility and have your family doctor prescribe meds and antibiotics you might need. Carry along the basic meds, inhalers and an extra pair of glasses if you use one. Having these meds handy will go a long in helping you settle-in in your first few weeks.


The Don’ts of Packing for Study Abroad in the Netherlands

After checking of on everything on the do’s, it is important to know what perhaps is not the best idea if you are packing for study abroad in the Netherlands. Again, make sure all applies to your personal situation.

Too Much Food and Snacks

As much as you might be tempted to bring packs and packs of convenience food, do not – you’re not moving to some survival jungle. Doing this will only take up baggage space that should be saved for essentials. Snacks and convenience food should be packed in moderation for the first few days of arrival. You need not take more than necessary, as you will likely find your favorite snacks or a very close variant in our Dutch and Asian supermarkets.

Also, the fun part of living abroad is trying out new food and snacks. You might discover tasty new treats you never knew before. Now you have dishes and treats you can bring back after your study program. So, hold off on fast food, rather pack more spices and ingredients that are not readily available here.

Overpack Clothes

Although it might seem like the best idea to pack many clothes since you are going away for a while, it’s not. All you need to bring along are the basics, as you will get more clothes as your study progresses. Especially when you’re not aware of culture and weather appropriate clothes to bring with you, it is better to buy your clothes in the Netherlands. Therefore, prioritize packing the basics.


Concluding the Packing for Study Abroad in the Netherlands

Try to be strategic with what you bring and ask as many questions about living in the Netherlands as possible. Also, do not forget to leave some space in your baggage for things you accumulate during your stay for when you return. Remember that, “less is always more.” If you are still in search of accommodation here in the Netherlands, make sure to visit our residences page to find a place to call home!



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