BEING INTERNATIONAL STUDENT IN GRONINGEN
When you arrive in Groningen for the first time, you will see incredibly many students around you. This is the city of student in Netherlands. This surely makes you much more comfortable because you have already changed and tried to adapt new environment. One of the most advantages that you will encounter is that given the large international population here, English is a broadly spoken language. Believe me the beggar on the street also is able to speak English J It was the first time that I have ever seen a guy who begged money by talking Dutch, I responded that I don’t understand what you mean. He suddenly started to speak English. I was shocked and gave money to him. No pain no gain.
There many steps for international students to follow when they arrive in Groningen with the help of my experiences here.
- Gemeente- Registering
- Open a bank account (if needed especially for Non-EU)
- Getting a bike
- Get your planner
And one of the most important ones before coming here is accommodation!! It is really difficult in Groningen to find a suitable room or house. MoyMoy provides you with multiple opportunities, no worries J
Alright, let’s discover what should be done here when you arriving.
Gemeente – Registering
The first thing you should do is registering with municipality. Upon registering your (Burgerservicenummer) BSN number, which is a social security number that will stay loyal to you for your entire stay here. I am not joking this is the foundation of your entire existence in this country. You can see the next step why this might sound a bit too dramatic.
If you are going to dwell in Groningen for more than 4 moths, it is required to register the municipality. You will reach your BSN number immediately at the office. When you leave the Netherlands again, you must deregister. It is really easy for foreign students to de/register, but first you should make an appointment with the municipality via their website.
( https://gemeente.groningen.nl/student-registration-or-deregistration). You should bring important documents;
- Your passport
- A copy of the approval letter
- Your residence permit card
Then you can get a green paper included BSN and your address.
Open a bank account (if needed especially for Non-EU)
If you don’t have your BSN number you cannot open a bank account. There is one more thing; Dutch phone number. And you are all set you have your BSN and Bank account. Having a bank account here is so important that you can transfer and use for everywhere such as payment of sim card, rent, shopping etc.
Important hint: once you have a Dutch phone number and BSN you can apply for a DigiD which is regard to public administration and application for loans or grant from the relaxation of your home.
If you are not a member of EU/ EEA country which use a different system called SEPA (Single Euro Payment Area systems). Therefore, it is really needed to open a Dutch bank account. After getting your BSN number, you can make an appointment on the bank website. There are several banks such as ABN AMRO, ASN Bank, Bunq, ING, Rabobank. They are all almost doing the same procedure for opening an account. Afterwards, you will go to the bank, and give the all documents (green paper BSN, and passport). They will send an envelope to your address, which includes all of the steps you are going to do for activation. You should also upload the bank application on your phone. Thus, you can shop by using the app.
Getting a bike
Groningen really is a cycling city in NL. There is no doubt that the number of bicycles is more than people. Approximately from my observation 60 percent of all traffic movements is bikes. It is beneficial for international students not to waste their money on transportation here. There are various options to find a cheap bike in good condition. Although there are various available to get you going on two wheels, bikes from Swapfiets have apparently taken control over the city.The main point is that you do not buy your own bike, but permanently rent one following a payment procedure per month similar to Netflix or Spotify- just without all the people bleeding sucker of one account.
Get your planner
No matter if you are planning out a study meeting or anything else, you will sooner or later will research the best planner on the internet. The planner allows you to indicate the times when you available and you will be much more organized.
I hope you all enjoy your life in Groningen.