Register with the city council

If you are staying in the Netherlands for more than 4 months you will need to go to the city council and register as a resident in the Personal Records Database (BRP). This will enable you to get your Citizen Service number (Burgerservicenummer or BSN).?

You need a BSN to open a bank account, take out health insurance or get a job or internship position in the Netherlands.

Read more about the BSN on?

Get your DigiD

After you receive your BSN, you can apply for a DigiD. This ID allows you to take care of government related issues online. You can use DigiD to log in to government websites like DUO (study finances), Belastingdienst (taxes) or municipality services.

Read more about DigiD on

Open a bank account

If you stay in Holland for a long period, it is useful to open a bank account. Most people use a Maestro debit card (pinpas in Dutch). Many grocery stores do not accept credit cards and some stores have even stopped accepting cash.

You must have a bank account if you are working or doing an internship.

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Apply for health insurance

Dutch health insurance is compulsory for all residents of the Netherlands. Students often stay on a temporary basis, so may not be obliged to get insured. Things change if you also do an internship or have a part-time job.

Read more on our page about health insurance

Insure your stuff

There are several things you can insure yourself for. For instance, liability, repatriation and travel insurance are common things to have in the Netherlands.?

Another important one is the household insurance (inboedelverzekering in Dutch). This insurance covers the contents of your student room against loss due to fire, water damage or burglaries.

Many insurance companies offer student discounts or competitively priced insurance packages. It may look expensive, but it is really worth it to be properly insured.

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