Information for new students

Here to support you

Our programmes focus on building the skills and confidence you need to thrive at university and beyond. Despite these challenging times, we can still help you reach your goal of studying at university in the Netherlands. We will provide inspiring online teaching and welcome you to campus when the time is right.

We will get you to where you want to be

Our aim is to get you to where you want to be, studying at your chosen university in September 2022.

Studying with us in 2021 is about putting your education first. It is your time to learn, to develop and to be ready for the world. By starting your university education now, you can look forward to achieving your graduation dreams and starting an exciting graduate-level job in just a few short years. Whether your goal is to start your own business, research medical developments, work for an NGO or something in between, this is your future.

If you are starting your programme with us in Autumn 2021, we are expecting that teaching will be mostly face to face and that you can start on-campus. If you are not able to start your programme in person, due to travel restrictions, you’ll be able to start virtually from home.

If you choose to start your programme virtually, you will also benefit from:

  • 21-day money-back satisfaction offer*
  • Visa refund policy*
  • Wider range of English language tests accepted

*Government guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is regularly changing and therefore we will continue to review and adapt the measures that we’re putting in place to safeguard our staff and students. Students should continue to check government health and travel advice regularly before making any plans to travel. We will continue to communicate with you in the event of any changes.

Start your programme in September 2021 and progress to your chosen university in September 2022

Our experienced, specialist staff will be available to offer academic guidance, tutorial sessions, careers advice as well as personal and welfare support. We'll get you to where you want to be, the way you want to get there.

FAQs for prospective students

Health, safety and support

We’ll ensure that you have all the information and support you need ahead of your move to Holland. We will provide you with tailored information to prepare you for your journey; including information about what to pack, planning for your arrival, and how to make the most of your time at the Centre.

If you need help with anything when you arrive, you can call the Centre's emergency contact number for support:

  • Office Hours : +31 (0) 20 303 2075
  • Out of office hours: + 31 (0) 6 33418233

We follow national guidelines to ensure your safety while in the International Study Centre. You can learn more about the national guidelines here.

Admissions information

Students who start the course online will still have to submit a formal proof of English ahead of the start of the course.

Holland International Study Centre will accept the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. Please note that you can submit your initial application to the University of your choice without the English-language certificate, as long as you submit a result before the given visa deadline. Ultimately, it is required for your visa application (if you need a visa).

In order to be able to start your course online, we still require you to submit an English certificate. Once your final academic results are in and meet the minimum requirements, we are able to process your visa with the aim to arrive in The Netherlands six weeks after.

Before you depart

We will advise you on when you should arrive in Holland well ahead of your start date. Please ensure to check your emails for more communication.

You may, however, need to quarantine upon arrival.

Travelers from safe countries do not need a test nor quarantine.

Please check the list of safe countries, that you can find here.

If you are coming from a country where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low (a safe country) you do not need to show a negative test result when you travel to the Netherlands. You are also not required to self-quarantine when you arrive in the Netherlands.

We recommend you pack the following items in your hand luggage:

  • passport and visa letter
  • conditional offer letter from your university
  • International Study Centre offer letter
  • notarised and original copies of diplomas / high school grades 
  • IELTS certificate or other original Secure English Language Test result
  • accommodation documents
  • four passport-sized photographs
  • any insurance documents
  • medical certificates including vaccination records
  • essential toiletries and medications
  • a small amount of cash in Euros.


Getting here

If you are arriving by plane and have asked for a taxi transfer via the pre-arrival form, you will need to go to the Schiphol Travel Taxi at the Schiphol Transfer Assistance (STA) desk located in Arrivals 4. Please go there immediately after customs. Please do not pay your taxi driver as your fare will be added to your account.

If you are heading directly to your accommodation, the taxi driver will take you to collect your keys - they will have been informed where you will be staying, but it is a good idea for you to have the details to hand.

Check your room confirmation for details of where and when to collect your keys, particularly if you are arriving late at night or early in the morning. If you are arriving when the reception is not open, check your room confirmation for out of hours key collection information. If you are staying in private accommodation, provided you have given us the address in advance, the driver should have this information.

What if my plans change?

If you have booked a taxi transfer but your arrival date changes or you decide to arrange your own taxi transfer, you will need to let us know as soon as possible. We will require two business days’ notice to be able to change or cancel your booking. If you book a taxi but then choose not to take it, it will not be taken off your financial statement and you will still be charged.

Please email

Making your own way

At or you can plan your trip and see how long it will take and how much it will cost you to get to your destination. Both websites are available in English and provide information on the trains (NS) including door to door advice (9292).

You can buy an anonymous OV-chipkaart at the airport for €7.50. To travel on trains there must be a minimum credit of €20 on the card. Visit Chipkaart for more information. Alternatively you can purchase a personal OV-chipkaart (a card with your name and photograph on it - a good option if you intend on using trains frequently). You can only apply for an OV-chipkaart once you have a Dutch bank account so this may be something to look into once you are settled in The Netherlands.

In cities where the OV-chip system is already in use, you will need to swipe the card whenever you get on or off the bus, tram and metro. Travelling (also by train) in areas that still have not introduced the OV-chipkaart system means you will have to buy a ticket.

Please note that you are required to wear a face mask when using public transport.

We expect that most of your teaching will be face-to-face. However, if you cannot travel to the Netherlands, you will be able to study online.

Your arrival checklist

  1. Confirm your offer
    After you have received an offer of a place to study at Holland International Study Centre, you must pay your deposit to confirm your place. Check fees and confirmation payment details.

  2. Arrange your visa
    We’ll send you more information on the visa process after you confirm your place. Your chosen progression university will apply for your visa on your behalf, and this will be valid for the full duration of your studies in Holland.

  3. Book your accommodation
    We’ll send you a link so you can book your room at The Student Hotel. Find out more about accommodation options.

  4. Book your travel to Holland
    Make sure you arrive the weekend before term starts. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the nearest international airport and is just 15 minutes away from the International Study Centre by train.

  5. Complete your pre-arrival form
    Let us know when you’ll be arriving and if you need us to arrange a taxi from the airport for you by sending us your completed arrival form.

  6. Organise insurance
    It is essential you arrange insurance for your time studying in Holland.

Get involved

Become a student ambassador

We are looking for Student Ambassadors to represent their International Study Centre. This is a sociable and engaging role involving a range of activities from social media takeovers to writing blogs. If you would like more information about being a Student Ambassador or would like to apply for this role, please email us on We look forward to hearing from you.

Make friends before you arrive

Join our Facebook group to connect with your classmates or ask us any questions before you arrive in Holland.

Mingshan (Sally) from China

The first week everybody was shy and we don’t know each other. This is the first time I knew lots of foreign friends and classmates, and I was nervous to talk with them. With time, you will get yourself using, not your mother language, your English to express what you thought. It’s a big change.

Discover more

Student life

I Amsterdam sign in the city

As a student in Amsterdam you will enjoy the city’s history, art and culture as well as bright, modern facilities at the International Study Centre.


Communal area at The Student Hotel

Most of our students choose to live in The Student Hotel, which offers a choice of locations in the city, fun social events and free use of a bicycle.

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.