Most activities listed below can be done during the ONE-STOP-SHOP event at the start of the academic year. Click here to sign up.
1. Register at the City Hall (Gemeente in Dutch)
If you will be studying at RSM/Erasmus University for more than one semester you must register at the City Hall in the city in which you are living in (e.g. if you are living in Rotterdam the City Hall is located in the heart of the city center in Coolsingel). For additional information visit the website of the Erasmus Student Service Center.
2. Open a bank account
As you will be living in the Netherlands for an extended period of time we recommend you to open a Dutch bank account in the Netherlands. For instance, you will need a Dutch bank account if you want to pay your tuition fee in installments (this is not possible for NON-EU students who need to apply for a visa, they have to follow the visa guidelines, to be sent after accepted their offer). There are several major banks in the Netherlands. Most banks offer similar quality services and have online banking facilities. All banks can charge for products and services, but they must inform you of the charges.
Based on our experience, (especially the speediness), we strongly recommend you to open your Dutch bank account at any branch office of the ING Bank in the Netherlands.
Needed documents for opening a bank account with ING:
- ‘Letter of acceptance’ (sent to you by email) in a full-time study programme (BScIBA or MSc) or your Student Card
- Your Dutch home address (a tenant agreement is NOT required)
- Valid passport / ID (the original document, a copy is NOT sufficient)
- BSN-number (Social Security Number/Tax identification number). If you do not have your BSN-number, your passport if sufficient
- Dutch mobile phone number (useful for online banking) or a prepaid number
If you fulfill all the above mentioned requirements, a bank account with ING can be made available to you in 30 minutes.
NOTE: The minimum age to open a bank account is 18 years. If you are under 18 a parent or guardian should accompany you plus you need to have your BSN number!
Advantages of opening an account at the ING Bank:
- There is no need to make a minimum deposit when opening your account
- You do not need to make an appointment in advance, you can directly go to any ING office in the Netherlands
- After you have completed your studies, you can close the account and withdraw all the money
3. Get an OV- chipcard for paying for public transportation
Trams, buses, metro and a train systems serve Rotterdam. You need an OV-chipkaart (public transport chip card) to travel. The card is the size of a bankcard and contains an invisible chip. The OV-chipkaart can be loaded with credit in Euros. You may choose from personal, anonymous or disposable cards.
- The personal OV-chipkaart can be purchased online or from the public transport company RET in Rotterdam (subway station 'Beurs').
- The anonymous OV-chipkaart can be bought at ticket offices and vending machines at metro- and trainstations.
- The disposable card can be purchased at station vending machines. This OV-chipkaart allows the holder to travel immediately, but it cannot be re-charged or loaded with more than the original travel product
To find more information about where to buy and load your OV-chipkaart please visit www.ov-chipkaart.nl (available in English).
4. Get a Dutch mobile phone
The cheapest deal for mobile services will be via a contract (‘abonnement’) with one of the main suppliers. You can compare the latest rates on www.bellen.com (in Dutch). For the contract you will need proof of address and income, a Dutch bank account and a passport (an ID card is not sufficient). Another possibility is to buy a prepaid card, for which you do not need to show proof of any documents. However, this is a more expensive option, charges per minute will be more expensive than with a subscription. You can buy re-charge cards at supermarkets.
5. Buy a bike and a lock
The easiest and cheapest way to travel in Rotterdam is by bicycle. Most students buy second-hand bikes and use good quality bike locks because bike thieves are very active. A reasonable second hand bike will cost you between €75 and €150. You can find them at second-hand bike shops, from international students who are leaving, advertised in the small ads found at the back of local newspapers under ‘Rijwielen’, or by putting an ad in the supermarket. Please don't buy bikes from strangers on the street because they are probably stolen and you can be arrested for possessing stolen goods.
Below you can find the websites of other shops where you can also buy a bike.