Top 9 things to do before arrival

By Ronja Holopainen on Sunday 4 June 2023 at 20:37
Top 9 things to do before arrival

Hi all! We’re glad you found us 😉 

We can bet you’re all super excited to begin your studies in beautiful Maastricht! But we do know that moving to a new city/country can be very daunting (at least it was for me), and there are now a lot of things you have to consider to set up your new life. That’s why we’ve made this checklist for you to make sure that you’re all set to settle into your new home town. If you have ticked off this checklist, your landing will be as smooth as possible!

1. Housing

Find housing as early as possible! Housing in Maastricht can be quite competitive. If you’re going to be arriving in September, start looking for a place to stay immediately. There are quite a few different options ranging from rooms to studios, so be sure to check all your options out. People here mostly use Facebook groups to find their accommodation. On our housing page you can find tips and tricks on how to find a new home. Also, please note that the official advice from Maastricht Housing is that you should not arrive in the case that you do not have accommodation!

2. Health insurance 

Check that your health insurance is valid! This is super important because none of us want to end up with crazy bills from going to the doctor. I know you might feel invincible and like you won’t need a doctor but trust me, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If your health insurance is not valid in the Netherlands, you need to consider getting Dutch private health insurance! Everyone here has it and depending on your income level you may be able to get the money back each month. Read more about this in our health insurance section.

3. Registration

Register with the municipality as soon as you get here! Registration is so boring but it is your key to Dutch society. Not only are you legally obliged to register if you stay in Maastricht for over 4 months but it’s also the gateway to getting a Dutch phone number or opening a bank account. When you register you’ll get a BSN number (it’s a local social security number) that will let you get all types of services that you may need during your stay. Remember that you must register within 5 days of landing here! Register with the municipality here

4. DigiD

Get yourself a DigiD as soon as possible. A DigiD is going to make your life easier so get one once you have your BSN. It’s basically an app that allows you to log into government websites so that you can arrange all your things easier. Link here to apply for a DigiD. You can read more about DigiD also on our dedicated page.  

5. Bank account and phone number

Think about getting a Dutch bank account and Dutch phone number. Depending on where you’re coming from, a Dutch bank account and phone number may be necessary for you. If you are coming from outside the EU/EEA region, these will be necessary for you to prevent high transfer fees or call costs. You’ll need your BSN for these so make sure you register with the municipality before attempting to get yourself these.

6. Doctor

Everyone here is signed up with a family doctor. Your family doctor is responsible for your health and wellbeing and also acts as a gatekeeper to specialized healthcare. So it’s really important to sign up with one. You can find all of the family doctors from our city map and choose the one that suits you best.

7. Get a bike and become a real Dutchie!

Having a bike is essential in Maastricht. Good news, there are barely any hills and most places are maximum 15 minutes bike ride away. You can get a secondhand bike from Facebook or Marktplaats or if you prefer to invest and buy a new bike, the various bike shops in Maastricht are your way to go. Maybe you would prefer to rent a bike? Then Swapfiets is your go-to.

8. Master the trash system 

You need to master the trash system here. The system in Maastricht can be quite different from your hometown. But this is nothing to worry about, you will definitely get to grips with the system after a couple of weeks. To make your life a little bit easier, we’ve dedicated a page to recycling and trash disposal so you can make sure you’re doing it right. We also recommend downloading the Milieu App, which is an all round tool for trash disposal in Maastricht. 

9. Arrive in Maastricht and get exploring!

There are so many things you can do in Maastricht and there is always something going on whether it is a park festival or a jazz concert. Not only is there a lot going on but the bar and restaurant selection is huge – there are more bars and restaurants than there are days in a year. From our city map you can find nice cafes and restaurants and from our events page, you can check out all the events that are happening in your neighborhood. 

Good luck settling in! Remember that our website is here to support you. You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok! 🙂 

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