At a time when students are facing increased debt and stress levels, the upcoming Christmas break provides an opportunity for much-needed fun, festivities and relaxation. It is also a time when students can put in place some simple ways to save money and improve their well-being throughout the New Year ahead.
Recognising the Challenges
The Intercity Student Consultation (ISO) recently described Dutch and international student debt as “irresponsibly high” having risen from an average of 12,400 Euros in 2015 to 13,700 Euros in 2019. Student stress is also a national problem and as ISO Chairman Kees Gillesse states, “students who borrow are more affected than students who do not borrow.”
Take Advantage of the Opportunities
Despite the challenges associated with an extended course of study, the Netherlands does offer students – from the EU and other countries – a reasonably priced degree, particularly when compared with the USA, UK, Canada or Australia. Equally, the quality of lifestyle and education on offer is why the Netherlands is such a popular study destination. Whilst for most students taking out a student loan is a necessity, there are still many ways students can save on day-to-day expenditures and make positive choices. Here are three tips to start…
1.) Switch and Save Before 31 December 2019
Health insurance is a compulsory part of living and studying in the Netherlands and it varies greatly in price. Health insurance policies can be switched in the last six weeks of the year from 12 November, up to and including, 31 December. So now is the time to compare providers and policies because it can result in big savings on annual policies.
2.) Select a SIM Only Smartphone Plan
Smartphones are used extensively every day, but many students pay too much for their plans. By investing a little time, students can ensure their phone plan covers their usage at the best possible price. For example, sim only plans are a great option for students who own their own phones or have just completed a mobile with subscription contract. There are many providers and reasonably priced plans to choose from.
3.) Benefit from Services and Additional Courses
Universities offer many free services, courses and clubs. Students can access everything from language and culture lessons, to career counselling and cooking classes. Investing in well-being can make a huge difference to a student’s study performance and overall health, so it is well worth researching what’s on offer and signing up for the New Year.
Enjoy the upcoming break, look out for ways to save, but – most importantly – invest in your well-being.