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.

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 current students

Latest updates

The official updates from the of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) provide the very latest information, including health and travel advice (both for those entering the country and those travelling abroad) and information on current travel restrictions. This is an ever-changing situation and advice is being regularly updated

Visit our International Study Centre pages to find out more about what to expect on campus.

The Dutch Government has introduced a requirement for people travelling to the Netherlands by aircraft, ship, ferry, international train to present a negative COVID-19 test result if they are coming from a country not on the EU safe countries list.

For passengers from the Schengen zone countries, the negative test result requirement applies only to public transport, and not to private coaches or cars.

The test used must be a COVID-19 PCR (polymerise chain reaction) test. No other type of test will be valid. The test sample must have been made no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in the Netherlands. The test result must be written in Dutch, English, French, or Spanish. Full details of the test requirements are available here.

Passengers attempting to travel without a negative test may be potentially denied boarding. International train and coach passengers will be asked to provide a negative test result before boarding or before the first stop in the Netherlands.

The Government has made it very clear that a negative test result does not avoid the need for self-isolation upon arrival in the Netherlands. You should still self-quarantine for 10 days on arrival in the Netherlands.

In accordance with Dutch government guidelines and following consultation with our university partners and staff, Holland International Study Centre resumed on-campus teaching upon start of the September 2020 programme. In the period from 4 January 2021 until at least 2 March 2021 we will temporarily shift to fully online education.*

For most up-to-date information, please check the Latest Netherland Government Lockdown news.

*Information is subject to change. 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 at the International Study Centre.

The International Study Centre is currently offering all of its teaching online.

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

Your health and wellbeing are our top priority. We have put a rigorous health and safety risk-assessment in place so you can be assured of a safe and inclusive campus environment.

We will ensure you feel confident to start your programme in The Netherlands. The International Study Centre will be adapted to ensure that it is safe, through the following measures:

  • We will encourage the wearing of face-coverings around our buildings;
  • We will provide hand sanitisers in all our buildings;
  • We will have enhanced regular cleaning and sterilising regimes;
  • We will manage the flow of people around our buildings;
  • We will manage social distancing including limiting class sizes;
  • We will make use of online learning and will ensure the right balance of face-to-face interactions and engaging with learning and fellow students online.
  • We will take additional steps to ensure that vulnerable students or those with special requirements are given enhanced and appropriate levels of support.

If you show the symptoms of COVID-19 then you should follow official Dutch medical advice. You should also contact the International Study Centre for further information.

View the government’s advice on what to do if you are displaying symptoms of the coronavirus.

While the campus is closed, we are still available to support you, and all essential services will still be provided.

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.

Study information

Your learning materials will be hosted on our virtual learning environment. We will provide technical support via email if you need it.

For a quality online learning experience, you will need:

  • A reliable laptop or desktop computer with internet access

Operating system

Recommended: Windows 10, Mac OSX Sierra, iPad IOS10

Internet speed

Use a broadband connection (256 Kbit/sec or faster—this will ensure that you can view videos and online presentations) through USB wireless modem, ADSL, T1/T2, fibre optic or cable

  • A place to concentrate on your studies - ideally a private area with a comfortable chair and a desk
  • Earphones, earbuds or speakers that will enable you to hear audio content clearly.

Make sure that you’re prepared to begin studying online. Download full technical requirements for online study here.

  • Assessments will be held online via coursework submissions. We use Turnitin software which scans for plagiarism and other forms of academic impropriety.
  • There may be some skills that we can't assess online such as practical lab skills and we are looking at alternatives for students impacted by this. As government travel guidance is changing regularly, we will provide more guidance on assessments and exams relating to specific programmes of study in due course. These will be in line with approaches taken by our university partners and, as appropriate, with guidance that is due to be issued by the Dutch Government and Ministry of Education.

Currently, there has been no change made to this aspect of our programmes. Students will continue to work towards the same targets, and we will be supporting you to achieve these through online sessions.

On successful completion of your programme you will of course be supported in your transition to degree programme studies at your chosen university.

In order to create the safest possible learning environment, and whilst social distancing restrictions are in place, you will enjoy a mixture of face to face and online learning.

When the International Study Centre opens, you'll receive a warm welcome and plenty of support to help you succeed. We will offer both face-to-face and online welcome activities to help you settle in to student life and make the most of your student experience.

We do recognise, however, that there may be reasons that you are unable to travel for the start of term.

If you want to apply to study with us, complete our online application form. The form will ask you some basic questions including your personal details, preferred programme and your education history, to help us assess your academic level.

If you have now confirmed or conditionally confirmed your place and have any questions about starting your studies either at the Holland International Study Centre or online; you can contact our Central Student Support Team at

In order to create the safest possible learning environment, and whilst social distancing restrictions are in place, you will enjoy a mixture of face to face and online learning.

When the International Study Centre opens, you'll receive a warm welcome and plenty of support to help you succeed. We will offer both face-to-face and online welcome activities to help you settle in to student life and make the most of your student experience.

As part of our programme of welcome activities we will encourage you to take the opportunity to meet your teachers and fellow students both face-to-face and online - you will be fully part of our international community from day one.

As soon as you start your programme, you will meet other international students who are going through a very similar experience to you. During your time in The Netherlands, you will have the opportunity to join clubs and societies where you will meet people who share a common interest.

Before you depart

Your course will start on the first day of term as per your offer letter or on the Holland International Study Centre website and will start with Induction Week. The first day of teaching will begin the following week.

People arriving in the Netherlands (Holland) from most countries should self-quarantine for 10 days. Travellers from a number of countries are exempt from the self-quarantine rules. You can find more information here.

If you have booked your accommodation via The Student Hotel, we recommend you arrive at your accommodation the weekend before Induction Week. If you need to quarantine, it may be possible for you to arrive at your accommodation earlier than this date. More information will be available during the booking process.

See the 'Do I need to quarantine?' section below for more information.

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.

People arriving in the Netherlands (Holland) from most countries should self-quarantine for 10 days. Travellers from a number of countries are exempt from the self-quarantine rules. You can find more information here.

On arrival at the Holland International Study Centre, we will ensure you have everything you need to be able to settle in. Whilst you will not be able to go to the local shops, we will make sure that you can access supplies of bedding packs, shopping deliveries and take-away services.

Useful links for takeaways:

Online deliveries from supermarkets such as Albert Heijn, Jumbo, PLUS, Deen, Spar, and Vomar are available too.

We are looking forward to welcoming you. We have worked hard to develop a programme of virtual learning that prepares you for your next step and we will get you to where you want to be. Whenever it is safe to do so, we will support you to join us on campus.

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.