Leaving Wageningen? Five things to do
I am writing this post not form the Netherlands but on a plane to the United States. I am 8 hours into a 40-hour journey and have exhausted all the available episodes of the Big Bang Theory on the in-flight entertainment.
After a remarkable 18 months in the Netherlands, I am moving to the US for a 6-month internship, which means over the last 2 years, I will have lived, studied, and worked in 3 different countries, which has been a whirlwind of an adventure.
I have noticed that there are a lot of posts on this blog about what to do when you arrive in the Netherlands, but almost none about what to do when you leave. So for those who are wrapping up their time at this great university and moving on to new pastures, here are five important things you need to do.
En route to Montana
1: Deregister from the Municipality
When you first arrive in Wageningen you need to register with the Municipality, so it makes sense that when you leave you need to deregister. Deregistering will help the government cancel any of your benefits such as rent and health insurance subsidy which could land you in hot water if that is not done. The process is very simple and takes about five minutes.
When I went I barely had to wait and the entire process took five minutes, but depending on the time of year it could take longer so don’t leave it to the last minute.
2: Cancel room
Ok, a very obvious point but make sure you cancel your rental contract in time. I lived in Earth House and had to cancel my contract one month before moving out. Check with your landlord what your situation is and make sure you are organized, otherwise, you may end up having to pay for a room that you are no longer in. When you do move out, be sure to take everything out of the room and clean the room otherwise you may get charged a cleaning fee. For those in Earth House, this may mean painting the walls white if you have decorated them whilst you were there. The caretakers are amazing and very helpful so be sure to ask them any and all your questions.
3: Sell Sell Sell
When I moved to the Netherlands I vowed not to buy anything unnecessary as everything I acquired would have to fit into a suitcase. However, like most things in life, this plan did not work out well because after 18 months I had acquired so much stuff. So I jumped on Student Plaza and attempted to sell my possessions. This did not go so well because I was selling my items during summer… when almost everyone was gone… so there were no takers.
Lesson learned. Plan in advance. If you are going to leave Wageningen during a quiet period then think about selling your items a month beforehand or when new students arrive. If you do not have a lot of success in selling your items then you can either donate them to charity, leave them outside your room with a sign saying “take me, I’m free”, or force them onto friends as gifts.
4: Post things home
If you have some possessions that cannot fit in your suitcase and are too valuable to sell then you can always post them home. As I was moving directly to the US from the Netherlands, I either had to take everything with me or send a few boxes back to Australia. I opted for the latter. There are a few ways to send items across the world with varying price tags.
If you are moving within Europe then I would recommend EuroSender as it is a lot cheaper than the normal post.
If you are moving outside of Europe then you are out of luck and will have to use the post office. Unfortunately, all my boxes had to go to Australia which drove up the price. Perks of living on an island in the middle of the Pacific ocean!
Heading to Sweden with bamboo in hand.
5: Grab your Dutch souvenirs
Last but not least, be sure to grab all your Dutch souvenirs and food for friends, family, and yourself. Stroopwafels, speculoos, cheese, things with tulips on them, miniature windmills, the list goes on and on.
You never know when you will want a stroopwafel (or five).