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Study and Money: How to finance your student life

Date:30 May 2022
Author:Leslie Willis
How to finance your student life
How to finance your student life

You just sent your application and are waiting for your offer, but you are not exactly sure how you are going to finance your studies? Or, you are already enrolled and the money-part is a little challenging at times? In this blogpost I will share some tips and tricks on financing options as well as on how to save money in your daily student life.

How much does it cost to study?

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First of all, you need to know how much money you need. That, as so many things in life, depends! However, there are some areas of student life that we can scale to some degree and most variables  will be the same for everyone. The bigger part of your spending a month will go to renting your student home. In Leeuwarden, you can find a room starting from 300 Euros and 700 Euros max (I’d say, of course prizes are subject to change and demand is higher than supply). After that, you’ll have spendings on food, materials for studying, and leisure activities on the list. It can be very helpful to try and break that down, so you can plan accordingly. If you know that you are likely to be overwhelmed by that or loose track of your spending, I can recommend you to get a bank account that allows you to tag your expenses and give you an overview at any time. 

Am I even eligible for a scholarship/grant?

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To most people, scholarship sounds like you must have straight A’s, at least five extracurriculars, and have won one or more nobel prizes. Fortunately, this is not true and your chances can be higher than you’d assume. You can apply for one of several scholarships AND have the chance to get it, if you meet certain criteria (cultural background, country of destiny, and more). Depending on what country you are from, you might be able to apply for a scholarship that is offered in your country and that supports a Bachelor or Master program abroad. Don’t be afraid of doing a little research, it may pay off! 

For Dutch students, DUO student finance is a very good option and you are eligible to apply if you are under the age of 30 and are registered in full-time or dual education at university level.

What to keep in mind?

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In general, as with a lot of paperwork related things, you should try to keep track of time and requirements. Make sure you are aware of deadlines, know whether or not you need a letter of recommendation, payslips etc. It can sometimes take time to get the paperwork you need for applying on time. Don’t shy away if it looks overwhelming. That’s very normal and only one more reason to maybe get assistance from someone who’s applied for student finance or a scholarship before. You can always get in touch with the university or current students to ask for help.

Planning is Saving

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Apart from getting student finance, the way you spend your money can also save you money. That can be a little tricky, but if you are ahead of your spending and plan round about what you want to spend in a month, more specifically how much on what, that can help a lot too. As briefly mentioned before, there are fixed costs (costs that are set as rent and a phone contract) and variable costs (the ones you can influence such as food, leisure activities, etc). Make a list, use an app, or visualize your expenses in any way that works best for you and it’ll help a lot to be less worried about money. 

Finding a Side Job

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Another way to finance your studies is of course to get a side job. Possible options are student assistant vacancies the university offers. You can find them on the student portal nestor or ask your professors whether they know of something. Apart from that, you could consider applying for a remote student job. For further information and useful tips, check out the blogpost on All things you need to know about getting a side job in the Netherlands.

If you are struggling and not sure how to tackle the money question, be sure that you are not the only one and do ask for help - It’s about your education, your development as a person and that contributes a lot to what your future will look like. It is worth it to do the research and ask for assistance. You got this!

About the author

Leslie Willis
Leslie Willis

I am Leslie, 23 years old and currently studying the MSC Voice Technology at Campus Fryslân. Before I studied in Germany which also is where I am from. I’m a language enthusiast and I love music and coffee ..and ginger beer!