Finances Basics

Introduction

We are here to help you take control over your finances now so that you can save yourself from a great deal of stress in the future. Before you come to Maastricht it is very important to make sure that you fully understand the financial costs. Aside from your tuition fees, you also have to consider other costs such as housing, groceries, leisure and many more. There are hundreds of apps that can help you manage your finances. The Maastricht council has also developed a useful website called pas op je geld (look after your money) with the same aim. Taking control of your financial situation now is absolutely essential to leading an independent student life in the Netherlands.

This section takes you through the information you need in order to manage your money more effectively. The first step is to open a Dutch bank account. Second, you should be aware of your overall total expenses when moving to Maastricht.  Third you might want to check if you can apply for any financial support. Finally we explain how to go about getting a job in the Netherlands.

Bank Account

First off we suggest you open a bank account here in the Netherlands. The Dutch government, local municipalities and most employers alike prefer you to have a Dutch bank account in order to facilitate financial transfers. Furthermore, opening a bank account in the Netherlands allows you to make use of practicalities such as iDEAL and AcceptEmail. Our map will show you where the banks are located in Maastricht.

To open a bank account in the Netherlands you will have to take the following documents with you when you visit their office:

  • Valid ID
  • BSN or burgerservicenummer
  • Proof of address (your rental contract or a recent utility bill should do just fine!)

The UM and the ING Bank have an agreement that you can open a bank account with them even if you are not in possession of a BSN number. This option is especially helpful for non-EU students. Maastricht University provides more information on their website.

DigiD

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Your DigiD is your digital identification in the Netherlands. By linking your BSN number to a username and password you will be able to access most Dutch government websites. You can apply for a DigiD online and doing so will save you time and money in the long-run. Be sure to keep your username and password in a safe place for future uses!

Transferring money abroad

Transferring money from a bank account in one currency to a bank account in another currency can be quite expensive. Banks will usually charge 5% service fee and use their own conversion rate. We’ve found that TransferWise is a fair alternative that lets you bypass the banks and save money.

Say you want to transfer your tuition fees from a bank account in the United Kingdom to a bank account in the Netherlands. Instead of making an international transfer yourself, you would simply make a local transfer to TransferWise’s bank account in the United Kingdom. TransferWise will then in turn transfer the amount in € to your Dutch bank account from their Dutch bank account. Simple! TransferWise charges 0.5% service fee and uses the mid-market-rate without any markup. Check TransferWise’s website for more information!

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If you need off-line help with filling out an application or finding specific information, you can turn to the International Service Desk (given that you are a student at UM). We collaborate closely and one of our colleagues will welcome you and assist you at the reception of the Student Services Center (SSC, located at Bonnefantenstraat 2, 6211KL, Maastricht) from Monday to Friday from 13.00 until 17.00. If you are not a student at UM step by the Holland Expat Centre South. They help every international in the Maastricht Region with all kind of issues.

International Service Desk Holland Expat Center South

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