The International Exchange Erasmus Student Network is a very big student association that works towards supporting student exchange and international students throughout Europe. The network operates on international, national and local levels, and offers help with academic, social and practical integration matters.
The local ESN chapters are very well known for organising activities for international students, such as cultural trips and events like film nights, food festivals, and language projects, but are perhaps better known for their social events like parties and night time gatherings, which provide a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. Many chapters have also introduced mentor systems, with the aim of helping international students when they first come to the Netherlands with academic and practical matters.
ESN holds an introductory week for new international students coming to the Netherlands, typically at the end of August or the first week of September. It costs around €55, but is well worth the price, as it provides a great chance for you to settle in quickly. They provide a lot of information about living in the Netherlands and the Dutch university system, meetings and lectures are organised, and some very fun events that bring big numbers of international students together are held. Friendships can be made very quickly!
Be sure to find your local ESN Netherlands chapter online to see what they have to offer.
If you need help with bureaucratic processes, make sure to get in touch with your on-campus resources such as your school’s international office. The staff there should be able to answer any questions you may have, or can at least point you in the right direction. Your faculty or program may also have a student society for you to contact.
Information is also available on a number of expat websites with forums that discuss common questions, and general information as well. expatica.com has a Student Portal that covers a lot of information about student life in the Netherlands. Other useful sites include Study in Holland and eurogates.nl.
These guides are never finished.
Want to help?