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.


The ATD offers language support for students through the language institute UvA Talen. UvA Talen is a language institute affiliated with the University of Amsterdam. Students can take several courses at this institute. Please see MyAHK to sign up for a language course.