Before you arrive

Steps to take before you arrive in The Netherlands.
Note: Some steps only apply to students from Non-EU countries. They are marked with: 'Non-EU' in the title.

Seven steps

Living in Amsterdam is expensive. It’s the most expensive city in the Netherlands, and renting a room can easily cost €800 per month. See below for realistic budget estimates. We advise you to make an estimate for yourself, it will help you avoid problems once you are in the Netherlands. If you expect financial problems, discuss this in advance with the artistic director of your study programme.

There are funds that may help you if you have insufficient financial resources.

Budget coaching
Puur Zuid - Jongeren en Geld
Smaragdplein 3-5, 1074 HA Amsterdam

Contactperson: Anne Verwaal - contact via student councellor Timon Hagen. If you have financial problems during your studies, please contact the student councellor immediately. Don't wait until it's too late. Financial problems do not disappear by themselves.

Also visit:

Please note: the amount mentioned for tuition fee is an estimate!
For the fees go to:

2a Don’t wait: register now!
Don’t delay registering with your study programme. Don’t wait for your final exam results before registering. You can go through the registration process on StudieLink without this information.

Please note: it is possible that (some parts of) the study programme are given online.

2b1 What to do if you haven’t got a DigiD (Digital ID)
Your DigiD is your personal digital ID for interacting online with Dutch government bodies. You will need one (see how to get one here), but for now you can still register through StudieLink without it.
To register with your study programme without a DigiD go to and click on ‘Create StudieLink account without DigiD’.

Once you have logged in you will be guided through the process of registering with a study programme in the Netherlands. First you will be asked to enter your previous education. The second step is to select from the list the study programme you wish to register with. You can narrow the search by filling in the name of the programme or the institute that you will be attending (Amsterdam University of the Arts, AHK). Lastly, you will be asked to answer some questions from the institute itself and to check that everything has been filled in correctly.

If all the information has been entered correctly, you have just successfully applied to be registered with your study programme. Congratulations!

But you’re not done yet. You will find your next step in your ‘To Do list’ on your personal StudieLink Dashboard, and the Central Student Administration of the Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK) will contact you with further steps. These next steps may include verification of your identity, previous education, selection procedures and payment. Keep an eye on incoming messages in your StudieLink inbox!
If you’ve got any other questions, check out the FAQ on, where you will also find helpful step-by-step guides for creating an account, paying your tuition fee in StudieLink, withdrawing your application for registration, and other processes.

2b2 What to do if you've already got a DigiD (Digital ID)
Complete the following steps:
1. Use your DigiD code to create an account on StudieLink ( Follow the instructions on StudieLink to request to register for the degree programme you have been admitted onto.
2. In StudieLink you will be asked to immediately arrange authorisation for payment of your tuition fees. This authorisation will automatically expire if you cancel before 1 September.

2c Once the Central Student Administration has received your request for registration
The Central Student Administration (CSa) will process your request as soon as possible. You will then receive further emails with the information you need to complete your registration.

Email with subject: ‘Activate your AHK account’
You will receive this email after Step 2. It explains how to get an Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK) account. The AHK account gives you access to your AHK email, the AHK intranet and various online applications. The login details will be sent to the email address you entered on StudieLink.

Email with subject: ‘Upload a passport photo for your student card’
Follow the instructions in the email to upload your passport photo to get your student card

Your student card is a multifunctional chip card that gives you access to the university buildings, allows you to print and copy, and lets you pay in the canteens. The student card also serves as an admission ticket to the opening party at the Melkweg concert venue in central Amsterdam. The card is valid for the entire duration of your studies at the AHK. You will be able to pick up your card at your faculty in September.

Go to StudieLink to register with your study programme (using your DigiD if you have one). You will need:
•    proof of admission
•    proof of payment of tuition fees
•    proof of sufficient prior education
•    passport photo

Once you have completed the registration process you will receive a proof of registration by email. Keep it safe and in a readily accessible place (together with your student card it confirms that you are registered with the study programme). Your proof of registration is valid for one year, and you will receive a new one each year following your annual re-registration.

If you have any further questions on this subject, see:
If you can’t find the answer to your question there, please contact the Central Student Administration at the AHK: or +31 (0)20 527 7734.

The Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK) provides visa and residence permit services for students registered with an AHK Bachelor’s study programme, Master’s study programme, or preparatory programme for a Bachelor’s or Master’s.

These services are operated through the AHK’s Central Student Administration (CSa), which acts as an intermediary between the applicant and the Netherlands Immigration Office. For more information, please go to

3a Appointment at the Dutch Embassy in your home country
Make an appointment with the Dutch Embassy in your home country. Requirements vary slightly from country to country, so make sure you do this to avoid missing out important steps before leaving your country.

You will need to bring your original birth certificate with you to the Netherlands. We need it to be able to complete official documents connected with your Bachelor’s study programme. They include your degree certificate, which is something you really want done right!

Now it’s time to book your journey to Amsterdam! We recommend you arrive in Amsterdam between two weeks and two months before the start of the academic year, depending partly on whether you already have a place to live. That way you will have enough time to get used to life in Amsterdam and to prepare the official documents you need as an international student in the Netherlands, and you won’t have to be bothered with all that once the school started.

If you’re coming to study in Amsterdam the most urgent issue by far is finding a place to live. You have probably heard that there is a real housing shortage in Amsterdam. So before coming to Amsterdam it’s smart to search the relevant websites and register yourself when necessary (click here for a list of recommended websites).  If you’ve already got friends in Amsterdam, this is the time to contact them and spread the word!

A word of advice for newcomers in the Amsterdam housing hunt: Please be careful! If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. The housing market is very tight at the moment, and there are always people who take advantage of the situation by trying to scam newcomers.

6a University webpage on housing

6b Other tips
Visit this webpage with other tips for accomodations in Amsterdam.


Prospective students can start learning Dutch from their current location.

At ATD we know how important it is that everyone can communicate easily. That is why we use funds from our quality assurance budget to help international students learn the Dutch language. We have started a special project so that, if you speak little or no Dutch, you can learn the language in a fun way that suits your studies. We cordially invite you to use the form below to sign up for Dutch classes. Everyone can start learning Dutch before the start of the academic year.

We are offering this course in in close collaboration with our partner De Taalkamer.


  • The first program consists of 10 free online Dutch language classes for anyone who comes to study or is already studying in the Netherlands.
  • The ATD offers online Dutch language lessons for all students of the ATD. It is an advantage if you have followed the 10 free lessons first.
  • This is your invitation to participate in the Dutch classes. They are optional, not required!
  • The course consists of 20 lessons.
  • The course consists of one lesson per week plus self-study. This means that you should be able to participate in classes even during busy periods and be able to do self-study assignments.
  • More information about the language course 2021/2022 will be online soon.

Dutch language courses are usually very expensive (as you may have already discovered!), So the ATD has decided to subsidize this course to make it affordable for its students and to help them settle into their studies - and in the Netherlands.

In return, the school has the following conditions for those wishing to take the course:

  • Students of the course undertake to attend at least 80 percent of the classes (minimum of 16 out of 20)
  • Students of the course undertake to attend the course for the full duration and complete all assignments and self-study.
  • These terms and conditions have been drawn up to maximize your progress and the quality of the lessons. By registering for the course and making the payment, you indicate that you have accepted these terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions
Dutch language courses are usually very expensive (as you may have already discovered!), so the ATD has decided to subsidise this course to make it affordable for its students, and to help them settle into their studies – and into the Netherlands.

In return, the school has the following terms and conditions for those wanting to follow the course:

  • Students on the course commit to attending at least 80 per cent of the classes (minimum 16 of 20)
  • Students on the course commit to attending the course for its full duration, and to completing all assignments and self-study.

These terms and conditions have been put in place to maximize your progress and the quality of the classes. By enrolling in the course and making the payment you indicate that you have accepted these terms and conditions.

Tailored language courses at De Taalkamer

  • De Taalkamer (literally, ‘The Language Room’) runs language courses and study programmes that maximise individual attention and personal development and offer a safe and pleasant learning environment. We develop our own study materials for use in our classes – we even check out the classes our students will be attending to gain an understanding of the language they will encounter. And our teachers use real-life study materials that match the student’s study programme and professional life.
  • Using this method, students achieve quick results, and retain what they have learned. And students really enjoy learning because they can immediately use what they learn in daily life.
  • De Taalkamer has already used this tailored approach at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and students and staff alike are thrilled by the results.
  • De Taalkamer is run by teachers Thijs van der Linden and Katrien van Riet.
  • Thijs van der Linden is a creative thinker who looks curiously, analytically and critically at situations where there is a need for language enhancement. He offers his students insights into how they can ‘make the language leap’ in the quickest, most enjoyable way. Besides developing language study programmes and teaching materials, Thijs also composes for the piano – the similarities between these two activities are a constant source of new insights and energy for him.
  • For Katrien van Riet, the best moments in class are the joyful ‘lightbulb moments’ when students suddenly ‘get it’, and gain new understanding. Her strengths as a teacher lie in her boundless enthusiasm and talents as a creative designer – she makes sure her classes are relevant to the experiences of the target group, so every lesson is interesting. In her free time Katrien is a volunteer at FabLab Amersfoort, where she organises training sessions for the maker community.