Money matters

It is practical to have a Dutch IBAN bank account while studying in the Netherlands. You may need it to pay the tuition fees by bank transfer or to receive your scholarship, but a Dutch bank account is also very useful for everyday matters such as getting a cell phone subscription.

When you open a Dutch bank account, you will receive a debit card with which you can pay at cafetarias, photocopiers, printers, soft drink and snack vending machines at the university (where you cannot pay in cash!), or in shops and supermarkets where credit cards are not commonly accepted. Moreover, with a Dutch bank account you can withdraw cash from ATM’s without paying a fee.

Note that if you have an IBAN bank account with a Maestro card, you may not need to open a Dutch account.

General requirements for opening a Dutch bank account

There are generally three requirements for opening a Dutch bank account:

  • You must have a valid identification document (for non-EU students: passport only).
  • You must have a Dutch address where you will live during your stay.
  • You need a proof of enrolment at the university.

Banks will also ask for your ‘BSN’ number. This is a unique identification number assigned by the Dutch government, which you obtain when you register with the city. Banks usually only open a bank account if you stay in the Netherlands for at least one full semester (5 months).

Bank office in Utrecht city centre

Because opening a bank account can involve a rather lengthy procedure, it is recommended to make the necessary arrangements as soon as possible after your arrival. Several banks offer the opportunity to open a Dutch bank account to international students. The following bank office is situated at central location in the city centre of Utrecht:

  • ABN AMRO Bank
    Located at Neude 4 in Utrecht. The terms and conditions for a student bank account as well as contact information can be found on the ABN AMRO Bank website

Other money matters

Even if you intend to open a Dutch bank account you still need to have other means of payment at your disposal after your arrival as Dutch bank account takes time to prepare. Therefore we strongly recommend that you bring:

  • A bank card that allows you to use an ATM in the Netherlands. Check with you bank to make sure that it will work in a Dutch ATM.
  • A credit card (Visa or Mastercard).