Practical information

How to prepare for your study abroad?

To have a good start (to your life) as a student at Driestar Christian University, it may be useful to know a little about the Netherlands (Holland) as well as to know more about a few practical issues concerning visa, accommodation, et cetera.

More information about studying in the Netherlands
Higher education institutions in the Netherlands and Flanders can only be recognised by law or by a governmental decree. The recognised higher education institutions and and accredited programmes are registered in the Central Register for Higher Education Programmes (the Netherlands) and the Higher Education Register (Flanders).  Driestar Christian university for Teacher Education is a recognised institute. Our degree programmes are recognised by all the authorities in the Netherlands and Flanders. Other programmes (accredited)  For more information, please check NVAO.


The Netherlands is a small country and public transport will take you almost anywhere you want to go. We have a dense railway network that offers frequent service and is the quickest way to travel between city centres. Consider buying a rail card (OV-chipkaart).

For public transport travel information, including detailed travel directions, visit the 9292 door-to-door journey planner.

We are located within walking distance of the NS railway station. At Gouda station (Bus and train station), take the 'Bloemendaal' exit and turn left. Follow the cycle path along Burgemeester Jamessingel until you see our building on your right.

After your arrival, the internatonal office will organise introduction meetings to help you with your programme and your stay. Every programme/course also has an introduction seminar. During the International class programme Dutch students (buddies) will be in touch with you and help you with your study and practical issues. 

More than four months 
If you are staying in the Netherlands for more than 4 months you will need to go to the municipality and register as a resident in the Personal Records Database (BRP). This will enable you to get your Citizen Service number (Burgerservicenummer or BSN).  You need a BSN to open a bank account, take out health insurance or get a job or internship position in the Netherlands.

There are 3 ways to avoid delays in obtaining your BSN:
  1. Be prepared. 
    Arrange important documents such as birth certificates and make sure your passport is valid. If possible, find accommodation in the Netherlands before you leave.
  2. Register at your municipality as soon as possible. 
  3. Know your rights. There are only three grounds on which the municipality can refuse your registration: ​​​​1) you do not have a valid passport or European identity card; 2) you do not have lawful residence; 3) you have no intention to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 4 months.
Read more about the BSN on

Get your DigiD
After you receive your BSN, you can apply for a DigiD. This ID allows you to take care of government related issues online. You can use DigiD to log in to government websites like DUO (study finances), Belastingdienst (taxes) or municipality services.  Read more about DigiD on

Open a bank account
If you stay in Holland for a long period, it is useful to open a bank account. Most people use a Maestro debit card (pinpas in Dutch). Many grocery stores do not accept credit cards and some stores have even stopped accepting cash. You must have a bank account if you are working or doing an internship.
Read more about banking matters on

Apply for health insurance
Dutch health insurance is compulsory for all residents of the Netherlands. Students often stay on a temporary basis, so may not be obliged to get insured. Things change if you also do an internship or have a part-time job.
Read more on our page about health insurance.

Insure your stuff
There are several things you can insure yourself for. For instance, liability, repatriation and travel insurance are common things to have in the Netherlands. Another important one is the household insurance (inboedelverzekering in Dutch). This insurance covers the contents of your student room against loss due to fire, water damage or burglaries.  Many insurance companies offer student discounts or competitively priced insurance packages. It may look expensive, but it is really worth it to be properly insured.
Read more about insurance matters on


Students have set up a student union, Semper Fidelis, with the intention bring students into contact with each other by entertaining and/or inspirational events. This contributes to closer solidarity and a better atmosphere at Driestar Christian University.

Semper Fidelis is formed of enthusiastic students and organises all kind of events, such as: 

  • (Hymn) singing
  • Politics
  • Inspirational meetings
  • Meals (i.e. New Year’s get-together)
  • Sports

The library of Driestar Christian University contains a large collection of books, magazines, teaching kits, illustrative teaching materials, etc. The collection consists of more than 50,000 objects. The majority of it can be found in Gouda.  All objects have a connection with education at the university or with educational practice at primary, secondary or special needs schools.

A large part of the collection consists of teaching schemes and methodology, with the subsets of Pedagogy and Religious Education featuring strongly. The libraries in the regional offices are primarily focused on pupil care and educational advice. The complete collection is listed in our catalogue.

Medical services

Whether you feel stressed, overwhelmed or experience troubles with your course or health; you are very welcome to use our health services. Any questions or do you need more information? Please contact our international office (see the information below). 

Student support

Driestar Christian University wants to provide its students with a safe learning and working environment. Every student therefore has a right to protection from behaviour that is experienced as undesirable. We have facilities for students with (chronic) illness or disability. We will ‘go the extra mile’ to help your study go as smoothly as possible. You can gain more information on this by contacting the international office. You can also have a look at the website of Expertise Centre for inclusive education (ECIO), a Dutch expertise centre for education and disability.

Counsellors at Driestar Christian University are available to help students with their study progress, regulations and conflicts, student facilities, or personal problems.

Gouda is an attractive town to study and live in.

According to Keuzegids HBO - a Dutch independent university guide - Gouda is one of the most attractive university cities in the Netherlands!

Read more about student accommodation options here.

Your daily expenses include food, public transport, books, clothes, and other costs like leisure activities. 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 (without tuition fee). This schedule provides an estimate of the living costs and should be used as a general indication of the costs of living in the Netherlands.
Expenses What Costs per month
Tuition fee   See Tuition Fee Table for the Master track Christian Education.
See Tuition Fee Programme International Class.
Study costs Textbooks, readers, photocopies € 50
Housing Rent (incl. Wi-Fi, energy, etc.) €250 to €600
Insurance Health care and travel insurance €100 to €120
Phone Prepaid sim cards or a plan €25 to €30
Food and drinks Meals, drinks, etc. €150 to €250
Travel expenses OV-travelcard €62
Additional costs Clothes, relaxation, sports, etc. €150
VISA costs Visa application short stay of Residence permit MVV (TEV €60 / €192

Every person living in the Netherlands is obliged by law to have insurance for medical expenses. Which type of healthcare insurance you need depends on your personal situation. You need to make sure that you are properly insured during your stay! For more information see the following website.

Study purposes only
You are legally not allowed to take out a Dutch public health insurance if you are in Holland for study purposes only. Make sure you have a health insurance from your home country with enough coverage or take out a private health insurance or health insurance from your home country. If you are from the EU/EEA you may be eligible to receive a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which covers your necessary medical costs during your stay. Please make sure you check this with your health insurer in your home country as this might differ per EU-member state. For more information see the website of Zilveren Kruis.

If you wish to arrange your own insurance in your home country you must make sure your country has a reciprocal agreement with the Netherlands regarding health insurance. Make sure you have a Health Card before you leave for the Netherlands which declares you are insured against medical costs in the Netherlands. Your health insurance must cover the Dutch tariffs, as medical costs are (very) high in the Netherlands.

Aon Student Insurance 
If you apply for insurance on this website, you will need the following information: 

  • The institution of registration in the Netherlands is: Driestar educatief, faculty: Education

  • The address in the Netherlands will be: Burgemeester Jamessingel 2, 2803 PD Gouda.

You or your organization/foundation should pay for this insurance.

Other sites/insurance companies: 

More information?
For more details about insurance, please refer to the Study in NL website of Nuffic.

To study in the Netherlands, you might need a visa and/or a residence permit. Whether you need a visa or not, depends on:
  1. Your nationality – as stated on your passport.
  2. The duration of your stay: more or less than three months.
    For a stay of up to three months, (International Class & Master Track Modules), you might need a short stay visa (IND).

    With a short stay visa, your stay in the Schengen area is limited to a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days. This means that once you have been in the Schengen area for 90 days you may not return until another 90 days have passed. An entry visa is also valid for only 90 days and is meant to be followed by a residence permit for a longer period of time. If you will be staying for more than three months, you might need a residence permit.

  3. Your purpose of stay: we assume you would come to the Netherlands to study, but for any other purpose of stay, please check the website of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) for the requirements.

Which Visa will you need?

The website of Nuffic will show you which immigration procedure applies to you.

Start preparations early

Start preparing your visa application as soon as you can after applying to the study programme and receiving your letter of acceptance. It sometimes takes time to collate the right documents required for the visa application. Also remember to check that your passport is valid for long enough for your intended stay. If your passport expires within 3 months of your date of arrival you will be turned away at immigration, if not before at your departure airport.

Finalise your enrolment

Once you have been admitted to your study programme at Driestar Christian University, you will need to finalise your enrolment in our online system. In this system, you will be asked for all the necessary details for your registration, residency and visa procedures, emergency contact details and proof of health insurance.

More information

Please check the website of Nuffic or the website of IND for more detailed information or contact the International Office.