To arrange before arrival (1) – things to do in advance
After Wageningen University accepts your application, basically, they will contact you through your e-mail to tell you what to do next. These following information is the overview of what you have to do in order to complete the registration processes and officially become the student of Wageningen University.
- Confirmation letter
Send back the confirmation letter along with your financial statement (or your sponsor’s information if you have got a scholarship) to inform the university that you are willing to study in the upcoming academic year.
You will get an invoice for the tuition fee and relevant expenses. Transfer the money to the university within the deadline. If you are supported by a scholarship, the university will usually contact your sponsor directly. You, however, will still be informed about the payment progresses by e-mail.
- Other documentation
You will also receive information about the insurance and housing. There are some documentation you may be asked to send or bring with you to the university in person, for example your birth certificate. Keep checking your e-mail and prepare the required documents in advance.
“Keep checking your e-mail and prepare required documents in advance”
Subtitle Passport and Visa
To travel to the Netherlands, the very first step is to follow the Dutch immigration procedures. For a non-EU student, apparently you need a valid passport and visa. This is not a complex task at all since Wageningen University will help you throughout the progresses. Just check your inbox constantly.
If you have travelled to other countries before, you must already have a passport. Make sure it will not be expired at least within 3 months after the intended visit day. If you don’t have one, apply your first passport as soon as possible because it may take some times before you get it.
- Visa and residence permit
The applications for an entry visa (MVV) and residence permit (VVR) will be sent to you by the Office of the Student Service Centre (SSC) of Wageningen University via your e-mail. They will provide you the forms and instructions as it is not possible to start this procedure by yourself. If you don’t fully understand what you need to do, you can visit the university’s website for more information on visa and residence permit, or contact the Dutch Embassy in your own country.
There are many types of visas, depending on your nationality and the length of your study. For a short stay, you may need a Schengen visa. However, I suppose that your study plan is usually longer than 3 months, so you will need a special visa called an authorization for a temporary stay (MVV). With this entry visa, you will be able to apply for a residence permit (VVR) and receive the ID card later when you are already in the Netherlands.
Above all, since your departure date to the Netherlands will be somewhere August, I hope you have already got your passport and visa ready by now!
- Physical health
Before going abroad, it is important to visit a doctor and dentist to get a medical examination to ensure that you are in a good heath and ready to travel. It is also advisable to have your medical records with you when staying abroad in case of any emergencies or when you need a proof for your health. If you have any congenital disease, bring your medicines and prescriptions overseas.
If you wear glasses just like me (or contact lenses), I suggest you to visit your ophthalmologist to have your eyes retested before leaving your country. Your glasses should be in the best form of vision so that you can enjoy reading during your upcoming courses!
“If you have any congenital disease, bring your medicines and prescriptions overseas”
It is the Dutch law that you must be properly insured during your stay in the Netherlands. Besides, you need to have at least the healthcare insurance in order to register as a student at Wageningen University. To facilitate new students, the Student Service Centre (SSC) provides an insurance package in cooperation with AON Consultants. (For more information, click). However, it is not obliged to use the university’s offer. You can apply for other preferable insurances by yourself or use the insurance that you have already had, but make sure that it will cover your stay in the Netherlands.
Apart from the healthcare insurance, you can also consider other types of insurance, such as liability insurance, repatriation insurance, and household contents insurance (For more information, click).
Anything can happen when you are away from home. Be prepared is the best thing you can do. Having the insurance will make your life much easier when the moment comes, though I hope you will never have to use it!
Of course, you must feel excited about your “home away from home”. There are a large number of dormitories, apartments, and houses in Wageningen and nearby areas for students to rent. To get the room that suits you, decide what kind of living environments you want to stay. Ask yourself these questions
- Living environments
Are you seeking for a self-contained room which you can spend time as long as you want in your own private bathroom? Or do you prefer to have a room with shared- facilities so that you and your new neighbours can have some fun together in the shared kitchen and living room?
Do you prefer living near the university or the city centre?
- Affordable price
Which price ranges suit your requirement and income? Is there the rent subsidy possible for your room target?
“Rooms are always on demand, leading to high competition.”
New students have to apply for the room themselves. You can visit the Idealis homepage to check out the accommodations they offer. The website administrator will update the current offer at noon everyday (local time in the Netherlands). Once you subscribe, you can apply for the rooms you are interested in. Note that there are many other students coming to Wageningen just like you and looking for housing. Rooms are always on demand, leading to high competition. Students are eligible for Distance Priority when they live more than 130 km from Wageningen Campus, this may increase your chances of finding a room. Try to book a room in advance to make sure that you have a place to stay before the arriving date. Good luck seeking your new home!
Alright, If you have done the steps above, seems like you have got all essential things you need in order to go to the Netherlands. Now let’s decide the departure date and seek the nice flight for your journey. Although getting cheap tickets depends on luck and times, generally the earlier you book your flight, the cheaper your plane tickets tend to be, and you can be guaranteed to have the place on the day you want to fly.
You can look for the tickets by surfing the internet yourself. Another good idea is to consult the student travel agencies which can offer cheap tickets or discounts for students.
One important thing to take in to account when you buy plane tickets is the baggage allowances. You will not want to reorganize your suitcases and throw your favourite shirts away at the airport just because their weights are too heavy and not allowed. So choose the tickets considering reasonable price and the suitable weight for your ‘little home in the trolley bag’! If you know your luggage will definitely be overweighed, buy extra weights in advance is much cheaper than paying the fine on the travelling day. However, before you cram everything into your belongings, wait for the next blog on ‘How to pack your life into suitcases’.