Daily expenses

What kind of expenses should you expect when coming to Holland?

Your daily expenses include food, public transport, books, clothes, and cinema tickets. But you also need to take into account the costs for housing and insurance. Experience has shown that students living and studying in Holland for one year spend between €800 and €1,100 a month.


If you have an average student income – from a scholarship for example – you will find that one-third of it will go towards housing. An average room in Holland costs somewhere between €300 to €600 a month.

The costs depend on the city where you study, what is included in the rent and the arrangements made by the institution. Housing in Amsterdam for example is more expensive than in smaller towns.

You can find more information about accommodation in our section on Housing.


Food is estimated to take another third of your income. Fortunately, most higher education institutions offer hot meals at reasonable prices. Many cities have pubs (eetcafés) where you can get a good meal at a good price. But the cheapest way to eat is to do your own cooking.

Some average prices: a cup of coffee/tea in a café: €2, a cheese sandwich: €3, dinner in a typical student restaurant: €10. Most supermarkets offer a variety of brands. It is worth comparing the prices to find the cheapest option.

Other expenses

The remaining third of your income will go towards leisure, books, travel and other expenses. Bus tickets cost around €1,60 for a single fare in the city. You can consider buying a discount card for train tickets, which gives you 40% reduction in off-peak times. Visit the website of the Dutch railways for more information.

Cinema tickets cost about €8,50, but most cinemas give student discounts.

Student discounts

Many bars, restaurants, museums and cinemas give student discounts. Most of these ask for proof in the form of a student card from your institution. You should check in advance if a student discount is available.

Especially for international students, the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) can provide some interesting discounts and offers on travel, shopping, museums and more, worldwide. Find out more on the ISIC website.

last modified Apr 15, 2015 12:51 PM