Some students may choose to live in Belgium or in Germany, where accommodation tends to be cheaper and easier to find. This is quite a common option, particularly in these last years, where the Maastricht housing market has been a little crazy.
The Belgian border is only a 15-minute bike ride from Maastricht’s city centre, so you can commute to Maastricht quite easily. Germany is a little bit further away (1.5 hours by bus), but this is still also a relatively common option among students.
However, students choosing not to live in the Netherlands during their studies in Maastricht should consider certain things:
If you’re a non-EU student, you should especially remember that your Schengen visa will only allow you to reside in the country in which you’re going to study – so the Netherlands; you can move around the EU freely, but can only stay in another EU country for a maximum of 90 days during a 180-day period. This means that, unfortunately, residing in Germany or Belgium will not be possible for non-EU students, unless you have a visa for those countries.
EU students, on the other hand, are free to move and reside in any EU country. For you, however, choosing to live in Belgium / Germany means that you’ll need to check the requirements for living there – do you have to register at a municipality? Do you need to take out new health insurance? Do you have to pay taxes?
Because mymaastricht is only here to provide information for residents of the Netherlands, you guys will have to find out about any requirements for yourselves. Bear in mind that you may face additional bureaucratic steps that we unfortunately don’t cover here. Additionally, remember that you may not be eligible for things like huurtoeslag (Dutch housing subsidy), or have access to the free GGD services. As a default, assume that the information covered in our housing section (apart from this page!) does not apply to you if you opt for living in Belgium / Germany.
Living abroad, but working in the Netherlands
If you live in Belgium / Germany (or anywhere else in the EU), but have a job in the Netherlands, then mymaastricht can help you out again! Here are the main things you should know:
- You still need to take out Dutch basic health insurance, or risk getting a fine.
- You are, however, allowed to take out zorgtoeslag (Dutch health insurance subsidy), to help cover the costs of the mandatory basic health insurance, so that’s great! You should check out our page explaining how to apply for zorgtoeslag if you don’t live in the Netherlands.
- You should check the rules on income tax that apply to you; these might depend on the country you reside in. For example, the Netherlands has tax treaties with both Belgium and Germany (as well as with other countries), so students living there should read through those carefully to find out where they are liable to pay taxes. You can also ask your employer / employment agency about this, as they might be able to help. In the case that you have to pay taxes in the Netherlands, then our section on inkomstenbelasting (income tax) might be useful for you.