Welcome to the Fulbright U.S. Graduate Student Resources page. Below you will find information to prepare you for your Fulbright grant period in the Netherlands.

Please read all sections carefully after receiving your grant documents, also the general sections and the information for during your stay and at the end of your stay. This way, you will have a complete overview of which organizations are involved, what will take place when, which dates to block in your calendar and where to find information on which topic. You may also find it useful to use this checklist.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Fulbright Program Manager via email.

Organizations

The Institute of International Education administers the Fulbright program in the US. They contacted you with the result of the selection procedure and will provide you with access to much information and documents via their website. 

Contactperson: Kyler Castro, FulbrightStudentAdvisingEUR@iie.org,
tel.  (202) 326-7855.

The Fulbright Commission the Netherlands (in short Fulbright Commission or Commission) is the organization that administers the Fulbright program in the Netherlands. You can find more information in English on the Fulbright Commission the Netherlands on the following link: https://fulbright.nl/en/over-ons/

Contactpersons: Linda Pietersen, Program Manager US students and Scholars, Dutch Fulbright Programs, l.pietersen@fulbright.nl, +31 (0)6-2701 3344
If Ms. Pietersen is absent and it is urgent, you can contact:

Dr. Gradenwitz, Executive Director, c.gradenwitz@fulbright.nl, +31 (0)6-1134 1150

The Netherland-America Foundation was founded in 1921. It is a bilateral foundation initiating and supporting high-impact exchange between the Netherlands and the United States, including the NAF-Fulbright Fellowships and programs in the arts, business, public policy and historic preservation. As of 2003, the NAF sponsors a number of Fulbright grants. 

Contactperson: Maggie Maloney, Program Manager NAF, MMaloney@thenaf.org.

Before Arrival

The IIE website for finalists has a detailed overview of what actions you need to take to accept the grant. You can find the information on this link: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/finalist-resources.The Netherlands is a Commission country. Please follow the instructions on this link to make an account on the IIE participant portal, where you can upload the necessary documents. The Fulbright Commission does not have access to the participant portal, so please also send any documents required to your program manager. 

Document 1: Grant Authorization

The Grant Authorization is the document that explains the various benefits of the grant. It will indicate the grant amounts and the grant length. This document is sent to you by the Fulbright Commission. If you accept the award, you must sign it, and upload a signed copy into the IIE portal and sent to the Fulbright Commission as soon as possible, but within two weeks at the latest. You can send it to the Fulbright Commission to l.pietersen@fulbright.nl

You will see on your grant authorization if you are a NAF-sponsored grantee or not. If you are, your grant authorization will state “Netherland-America Foundation Fulbright Grant Authorization”. If you are not sponsored by the NAF, it will state “Fulbright Grant Authorization”. 

NAF-Fulbright grantees have the same rights and obligations as other Fulbright grantees. The NAF will contact you before your departure with more information. If you are sponsored by the NAF, a specific sponsor, a company or a private person may sponsor your grant. We would appreciate it if you could cooperate with the NAF in letting the sponsor know that you are grateful for their financial help. The NAF will give you further information if this is the case. If you have a NAF-Fulbright grant, please also send the signed Grant Authorization to the NAF, with the same deadline, to Ms. Maggie Maloney at MMaloney@thenaf.org

Document 2: Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions, together with the specific Dutch terms that you will find on the second and further pages with your grant authorization, form the terms and conditions that apply to the grant. You need to sign the last page and initial every page at the bottom, and once on the initial the first page in the middle. Please upload the complete set of the Terms and Conditions on the Fulbright self-service portal and email it to l.pietersen@fulbright.nl. This needs to be done at least 2 months before the grant period starts. 

These documents, the grant authorization and the terms, spell out the most important terms and conditions under which the grant is given. Not all possible situations are (nor can be) covered by these documents, as they are generic in nature and apply to all countries where the Fulbright-program is carried out. In the Netherlands, the Board of the Fulbright Commission takes decisions on all matters concerning the Fulbright program, within the framework of the program policies formulated by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB). The FFSB is the official governing body of the Fulbright-program, based in the United States of America. You can find the program policies of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board on this link:

https://eca.state.gov/fulbright/about-fulbright/j-william-fulbright-foreign-scholarship-board-ffsb/ffsb-policies

Document 3: Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct is sent to you by the Fulbright Commission the Netherlands together with your Grant Authorization. Please sign and initial this document and return it to l.pietersen@fulbright.nl. This document does NOT need to be uploaded to the IIE participant portal. Please make sure you have sent this to the Fulbright Commission at least 2 months before the start of your grant period. 

Other required grant documents: 

For the Medical form, the proof of U.S. citizenship, and the Bachelor’s Degree Verification, please follow the instructions on the IIE finalist resources page: you do not have to send this to Fulbright the Netherlands. These documents need to be uploaded to the participant portal no later than two months before the start of your program. You will find all documents on the finalist resources page, apart from the Grant Authorization and the Code of Conduct, which you will receive directly from the Fulbright Commission. 

If you do not yet have a passport, please apply for one as soon as possible. You can find more information on the procedure, documentation needed and costs via this link. If you already have a passport, please make sure it is valid for at least 3 months after the end of your grant, see this link (there is also interesting information under all the tabs!).  

To stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days, your host will need to apply for a residence permit (called VVR in Dutch, or Verblijfsvergunning Regulier) on your behalf before your arrival. Fulbright does not anticipate any issues with this application process, provided you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. You do not need an entry visa (sometimes also called MVV, which is the abbreviation of Machtiging Voorlopig Verblijf) or other visa to enter the Netherlands as an American citizen.

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service of the Ministry of Security and Justice (IND for short) issues these residence permits. The host university will need to apply for your residence permit on your behalf well before your arrival. You cannot do this yourself. If you have any accompanying dependents (spouse, children), the host will also be able to apply for a residence permit on their behalf. Please ask them to do so concurrently with your residence permit application. The application process for the residence permit needs to be started well in advance of your arrival. To start the application, the host will need several documents from you, and most likely will ask you to fill out one or more forms. The procedure and requirements of the documents you will need to provide may differ between hosts, so please follow their instructions. If you have not yet received any requests for documents or information 3 months before your intended arrival, please ask your host about the process and whom to contact to start up the application process.

Costs of the Residence Permit

The Fulbright Commission will reimburse you for the costs to obtain this residence permit. The costs for a residence permit at the moment of preparing this information is € 207 or € 345, depending on which kind of permit your host will apply for. This may increase or change slightly, and if so, you will be reimbursed for the changed fee. Your host will have to pay this to the IND before your arrival in the Netherlands, and we will reimburse either your host or you after your arrival. We will give you more information on how this will be done at our first meeting with you. Please bear in mind that you must pay the costs of this permit for any dependents yourself. 

Background/More information on residence permits can be found on these links:

You may see the term “work permit” or “TWV” mentioned. If necessary, the host will also apply for this for you. In all cases, please follow the instructions of your host. 

To live in the Netherlands, you will need to register in the municipality where you will live (also see this link). One of the documents you will need for this registration is a birth certificate with APOSTILLE (stamp). This is different from a regular birth certificate. If you have an accompanying spouse, a marriage certificate with apostille will also be needed, as well as a birth certificate with apostille for your spouse. The same goes for any accompanying children. An apostille is a certification of the validity of your document and must be obtained specially from your state’s department of the Secretary of State. It is only given to official documents. A “regular” birth certificate or marriage certificate is not sufficient. You can find more information on apostilles on the website of U.S. Department of State. A list of U.S. authorities that issue apostilles can be found here.

 

It is extremely difficult at the moment, especially in university cities, to find affordable housing in the Netherlands. There has been a problematic housing shortage in the Netherlands for some time, especially for students.  This is now increased by the influx of refugees in the Netherlands from the Ukraine. 

Looking for accommodation can be very time-consuming, expensive and a difficult challenge, also for Dutch students. Universities have already indicated that they expect an enormous shortage of student accommodation for next academic year. Therefore, please contact your university as early as possible, to inquire if they have housing for international students available. If they do not, they may have tips for you on the local housing market and where to look. If your university does offer guaranteed housing as part of your stay, we very strongly recommend that you accept their offer. The Fulbright Commission cannot provide any assistance in finding accommodation. In case you do have to find your own housing without assistance from the host university, a few years ago the Fulbright Commission made a brief brochure on housing that you can find here. Prices have risen considerably in some cities since then, so please keep that in mind when reading the brochure. Also feel free to reach out to the current grantees for advice on housing. 

Your grant will contain an amount of € 1,000 allocated for international travel costs for regular Fulbright grantees,  OR, if you are sponsored by the NAF, a KLM round trip ticket. 

Regular grantees will receive the travel allocation after arrival in the Netherlands with your first grant payment, to avoid international bank transfer fees for the grantees. If the travel costs are a financial burden for the grantee, it may also be possible to receive the € 1,000 prior to booking travel. This would involve transfer fees, which vary depending on the U.S. bank. The grantee is responsible for any fees their bank may charge. Special circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your program manager if you need to have the travel allowance transferred before booking your ticket.  

NAF-Fulbright grantees will be given a KLM round way ticket, for which you will be sent extra information in a separate document. NAF-Fulbright grantees will arrange their ticket via the NAF: the taxes and other costs associated with the ticket will need to be paid by the grantee.

Boarding a plane without a return ticket has in the past sometimes been an issue. It is not mandatory, as far as we know, if you have a residence permit to also have a return ticket. Should this occur, please make sure that you have your grant authorization, letter of admission/invitation, and notification that your residence permit has been approved in your hand luggage.

If you already know in which municipality you will be living, it may be possible to make an appointment to register from the U.S. before you travel to the Netherlands. In the past two years, there have been delays in getting appointments to register at Dutch municipalities, so it may be handy to check whether you can set up an appointment from abroad. This may not be possible in all municipalities, but it could give you a head start after arrival if you can arrange it beforehand. 

https://groningen.nl/en/practical-matters/municipal-services/register-your-move

https://www.amsterdam.nl/en/civil-affairs/first-registration/

A number of you have indicated that you are studying Dutch already at the moment, and a number of you have plans to do so after arrival. Please keep in mind that although most universities organize Dutch courses, it is usually too late to enroll after your arrival for first semester courses. The courses fill up really quickly. Therefore we advise you to have a look at this link: it has links to all university language courses or the organizations the universities work with to give the courses, so you can research the possibilities and register early from the US. It also has links to other useful links and apps for learning Dutch. Student cities usually also have a number of independent language schools, commercial or not, which you can easily find through google. After arriving, it may also be an idea to check whether there is a language café in your city: a low-cost or fee way to practice languages.

Arrival in the Netherlands

To be able to pay out your grant soon after your arrival, the Fulbright Commission requires you to open an online bank account immediately after your arrival. There are two possibilities for this: 

  • BUNQ: you can open an account in minutes with just your passport. You have 90 days to provide your BSN. The cheapest option is € 2,99 per month
  • N26: you can open an account in minutes with just your passport. The cheapest option at the moment is € 4.99 per month, the free option has a waiting list. You do not need to provide a BSN. 

Both internet banks are suitable for immediately opening a bank account while you may not have a valid residence permit or Burgerservicenummer yet (see link). Once you have opened a bank account, please send the IBAN number to your program manager as soon as possible, so that your first month grant can be deposited. 

Fulbright asks you to open an online bank account immediately after arrival to make sure you have funds available as soon as possible. However, if you do not feel comfortable using an online bank account, and want to set up another account at one of the regular banks in the Netherlands (ABN AMRO, ING, ASN, Rabobank, SNS), you can of course switch to one of these banks after you have received your BSN number. Also, if your university is arranging for you to open a regular bank account within a week after your arrival, that would also be acceptable instead of an online bank account. Fulbright just wants to make sure that you receive your first month grant as soon as possible. 

You will need to register at the municipality where you will live as soon as possible after your arrival. This is a legal requirement in the Netherlands. First contact with the municipality (setting up the appointment) should be made within 5 days of your arrival, if you were not able to do so ahead of arrival. Not all municipalities follow the same procedure. However, either your host will be able to provide you with the information on how to do this, or you can find it on the website of the municipality itself. An example of this you can find on this link. It is important to do this as soon as possible, as this is a requirement, AND it is a prerequisite for receiving a “Burgerservicenummer” or BSN, comparable to a U.S. social security number. This number is needed if you want to open a bank account at a regular bank. Depending on the municipality, you may receive your BSN immediately during your appointment to register, or a number of weeks later.

A number of universities also may organize a “one-stop-shop” around the arrival times of new international students. At these events, you can register at the municipality and open a bank account, and also have the residence permit appointment all at the same time. If this is available at your university, this is a much easier process, so please check ahead of your arrival and make use of this possibility.

Before your arrival, your host organization should have applied for a residence permit for you. After your arrival in the Netherlands, there are still two things you will need to do before your residence permit process is complete: 

  1. Give your biometrics via an appointment at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). Your host university will give you instructions when and how you need to do this. 
  2. Pick up your actual residence permit, which comes in the form of a plastic card the size of a bank pas or credit card. You will receive a letter at your accommodation when this is ready to be picked up. 

For all residence permit issues, please contact the university for guidance. 

Please download and fill out this personal data form, and send it to your program manager within 5 days of your arrival. Also, if you have any changes of address during your Fulbright grant period, please always inform your program manager. 

Please register in the Smart Traveler Enrolment Program (STEP) after your arrival. This is a service from the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate in the Netherlands. If there are any safety or security issues, they will send out an email message to everybody on the list. Also, in case of emergencies they know you are in the country. 

The Dutch health system (see this link) is set up so that for minor health complaints or referrals to a specialist you will first need to see a General Practitioner, or in Dutch a “huisarts”. Literally translated this is a house doctor: they still do house calls for those people who cannot get to the doctor’s practice. They will service a certain postal code area that they can easily reach. 

To have access to health care in the Netherlands, it is imperative to register at a huisarts near where you live. This link gives you an overview of how you can find a huisarts in your neighborhood. Also, a few universities have their own huisartsen or may recommend certain huisartsen. If this is the case, this will be available on the university website. Please DO NOT wait until you fall ill to register, but do this immediately at the beginning of your grant. 

In case you have found a practice near your accommodation, and they inform you that the practice is full, this means that it has reached the number of people they can care for. Sometimes it helps to explain you will only be in the country for 9-12 months, and will then leave again. 

The Fulbright Commission has made an Emergency Action Plan. It contains much information about possible (emergency) situations and how to deal with this. You can find the plan here

The Fulbright Commission the Netherlands will organize a first meeting on  August 2022 in Amsterdam. At this meeting, the practical details around the grant will be discussed, and there will be the opportunity to get to know each other and the Fulbright Executive Director and the program manager. This is a mandatory meeting, so please mark this in your calendar. Travel costs related to this meeting will be reimbursed for public transport second class. You can file a reimbursement form via this link

There will be more mandatory meetings during your time in the Netherlands, see this link

During Your Grant Period

Apart from the first meeting at the end of August, there will be three more mandatory meetings. Please mark these in your calendar at the start of the year. The second meeting in September will be about Dutch culture, politics and history. This will take place in Den Haag, in the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence. At the end of the afternoon, there will be a reception to welcome the new U.S. grantees to the Netherlands, and to welcome back the Dutch grantees. The date will be announced later, but it usually takes place in the last week of September. 

Before the evaluation meetings in February and in May, you will be asked by IIE to fill out an online evaluation form. This will be used as input for the meetings. For each of the mandatory meetings. you will be able to get your travel costs to the meeting reimbursed on the basis of public transport second class. You can file a reimbursement form via this link.

Dates, time and place of mandatory meetings/please keep these dates free

  • 22 September Second Introduction Den Haag, U.S. Ambassador’s residence
  • 2 February 2023 Mid-Year Evaluation & Dinner, place TBD
  • 17 May 2023 End of Year Drinks, place TBD

The first payment of your grant for the month of September will be as soon as possible after your arrival. After that initial payment, every next payment will take place around the 25th of the month. This way, there will be money in your account when you have to pay the rent by the first of the next month. Unless you inform us otherwise, Fulbright will continue to pay out the grant on the account number you provide your program manager with immediately after arrival. If you change banks, please inform the program manager as soon as possible, so that the next payment can be transferred to your new account. 

Your final grant payment will occur one month before your grant period ends. So if your grant ends at the beginning of June, your final payment will be around the 25th of May. 

If you do not remain for the full period of your grant authorization, an appropriate adjustment in the maintenance allowance will be made. Maintenance allowances are calculated in half month intervals. Five to fifteen days is considered one-half month. Sixteen to thirty-one days is considered a full month. No stipend will not be provided for less than five days in the host country. 

For travel by public transport for Fulbright mandatory meetings and for IND appointments, you can claim your travel costs via this linkReimbursements will be reimbursed within 10 working days. 

You will be required to upload proof of travel costs. An OV Chipkaart overview is preferred and you can make this with or without a personal OV-card. Regardless, you will need to make an account on OV-chipkaart.nlYou can also scan a paper ticket, or if you buy a ticket online you can submit the confirmation email as a PDF as long as it lists the necessary details: your name, the cost, travel dates. 

You can an OV-cost overview from the OV Chipkaart website by logging in. 

You are expected to be a full-time master program student or researcher. You can of course take time off during scheduled university or office/lab closures. For personal time, for instance for doctor’s appointments or similar things, we would suggest you schedule these when no lectures are planned (for students) or consult with your direct contact at the lab/office where you research what is normal procedure for this. 

All Personal travel (outside of the Netherlands) unrelated to the grant is to be kept to a minimum to honor the full-time nature of the grants. If you want to use personal travel days to travel outside of the Netherlands, you will need to ask for approval of your Fulbright program manager at least 5 days before traveling. Your terms and conditions state that you can use 14 personal travel days outside of the Netherlands. 

There are a number of Dutch holidays on which schools and universities will be closed. You can find these holidays on this link: https://www.government.nl/documents/questions-and-answers/work/public-holidays-in-the-netherlands. These national holidays do not count towards the 14 personal travel days as mentioned in the terms and conditions. To give an example: universities will be closed on Ascension day on 18 May 2023 and on the 19th, the Friday after. If you are planning to use this to make a trip outside of the Netherlands, Ascension day is a national holiday, but the Friday after is not. So Friday would count as a personal travel day, even if your university is closed. However, if you would use it to explore the Netherlands, which is something the Fulbright Commission would highly recommend and encourage, this Friday would not count as a personal travel day (provided that your school/university is closed on that day). 

The only exception to the maximum of 14 days of personal days outside the Netherlands is the Christmas holiday period: Any days outside of the Netherlands between 24 December 2022 and 8 January 2023 will not count towards your personal travel days. 

In some cases, your program or research project may need you to go abroad for a short period of time. This is in principle allowed, provided it is a mandatory or very essential part of your program/research. If you ask for permission, this will be granted, provided it is a short period (not a whole semester) and mandatory/essential, to be decided by the Fulbright Commission. These days will then also not count towards the 14 days of international travel allotted, and also the Fulbright Health benefits can be amended so that they cover you during this period abroad.

If any changes take place in your personal data, such as a move to a different address, a change in banks, a new phone number, or you start using another email address, please always inform your program manager within 5 days.

Your grant and your residence permit is based on the full-time nature of your studies or your research project. How this works out in terms of schedule will differ for each student/researcher depending on the program and the university.  

If you will be here for research, please consult your principal investigator/lead researcher what are the normal times to be in the office or lab and what is considered full-time. For Master students, we expect you to follow all lectures and program events of your program. Should the full-time nature of your studies or research change, please inform your program manager. This may have consequences for your grant and your residence permit. 

Should you encounter (serious) problems in your studies or your research project, please discuss these with your program manager.
Should a dispute arise between you and any of your colleagues,  you should first try to talk to them to work things out in a calm and open manner. If this does not help, your first point of contact is the university’s program coordinator or your lead researcher. You should follow their lead in trying to resolve the issue. One possibility for instance is a mediation meeting with the persons involved, organized by the program coordinator or your lead researcher. If the dispute cannot be resolved this way, the Fulbright Commission can be contacted for further advice and will decide on follow-up action on a case by case basis. If the dispute is between you and the program coordinator/lead researcher, and having a conversation with them about your concerns doesn’t work, please mention the issue to your Program Manager at the Fulbright Commission. 

If the dispute cannot ultimately be resolved, the Fulbright Commission can take steps to officially terminate the grant. This step must follow official Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board procedures. Official terms of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board regarding Resignation from the Grant (Chap. 437) and Revocation, Termination and Suspension of Grants (Chap. 438) can be found on the following website:

https://eca.state.gov/fulbright/about-fulbright/j-william-fulbright-foreign-scholarship-board-ffsb/ffsb-policies

Fulbright Health Benefits / Dutch Healthcare system/Emergencies

The Fulbright Program provides a secondary health benefit plan (Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges/ ASPE) free of charge. Please be aware that it is a limited health benefit: 

  • ASPE does not provide comprehensive insurance coverage
  • It is not valid outside of the Netherlands
  • It is intended to serve as supplemental coverage 
  • It only covers you during the dates on your grant authorization

However, if you do not have primary insurance, ASPE will act as primary insurance. ASPE is administered by Seven Corners. For details about ASPE, please review the booklet entitled Your ASPE Guide to Health Care Coverage (https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos). Read the guide thoroughly before beginning your grant to familiarize yourself with ASPE procedures, benefits and exclusions, and review the health care provider information on the Seven Corners website.

ASPE does not satisfy the minimum essential health coverage under the “individual shared responsibility” requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It is the grantee’s responsibility to comply with the requirements of the PPACA. For more information and a complete list of exemptions, please visit: 

https://www.healthcare.gov.

The Fulbright Commission will issue your ASPE identification card by email before  the start of your stay. If you have any questions about ASPE please contact: usdosinfo@sevencorners.com

The Fulbright Program provides a secondary health benefit plan (Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges/ ASPE) free of charge. Please be aware that it is a limited health benefit: 

  • ASPE does not provide comprehensive insurance coverage
  • It is not valid outside of the Netherlands
  • It is intended to serve as supplemental coverage 
  • It only covers you during the dates on your grant authorization

However, if you do not have primary insurance, ASPE will act as primary insurance. ASPE is administered by Seven Corners. For details about ASPE, please review the booklet entitled Your ASPE Guide to Health Care Coverage (https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos). Read the guide thoroughly before beginning your grant to familiarize yourself with ASPE procedures, benefits and exclusions, and review the health care provider information on the Seven Corners website.

ASPE does not satisfy the minimum essential health coverage under the “individual shared responsibility” requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It is the grantee’s responsibility to comply with the requirements of the PPACA. For more information and a complete list of exemptions, please visit: 

https://www.healthcare.gov.

The Fulbright Commission will issue your ASPE identification card by email before  the start of your stay. If you have any questions about ASPE please contact: usdosinfo@sevencorners.com

International student insurance: Some Dutch universities also have a specific mandatory insurance for international students. If this is the case, the costs for this insurance is to be paid by the grantee. 

Dutch national insurance: All Dutch nationals (and other nationalities who receive a salary here in the Netherlands or receive Dutch welfare) are legally required by law to insure themselves via a national insurance system, which is not free of charge. This is not required for Fulbright grantees, as you are here temporarily and have the Fulbright Health Benefits. Only if you would start a paid job here in the Netherlands, you would also be required to take out this insurance at your own cost. As your primary goal here is study or research, it is not anticipated that this will be necessary. However, sometimes internships or certain student commissions also come with payment. If this is the case, please contact your program manager.

The Dutch Health care system may differ somewhat from what you are used to in the U.S. For minor complaints, you visit a huisarts, or home doctor (General Practitioner or primary care physician). The system is geared towards letting the body heal itself for minor complaints, and to only prescribe medication sparingly. To see a specialist (apart from dentist or physiotherapist), you need a referral from your huisarts. Therefore it is important to register with a huisarts after your arrival, and not wait until you have a health complaint. 

Good information about the Dutch health care system can be found on a number of links: 

Of course, on all these sites, information is also given about Dutch mandatory health insurance and how to sign up for this. You can disregard this information (also see under other health insurance information)

The national number for emergencies is 112. 112 is the European emergency number you can dial free of charge from fixed and mobile phones everywhere in the EU. It will get you straight through to the emergency services – police, ambulance, and fire brigade. You will be asked your location, what services you require and what the emergency is. 

The Dutch police also has a local number when it is not an emergency: 0900-8844.  

In case of a mental health emergency ASPE provides access to a mental health consultant and referral services hotline.  ASPE Assist is a benefit for all Exchange Participants, including those on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, during their USDOS program.  ASPE Assist is designed to augment the health benefits that are concurrently provided through ASPE.  ASPE Assist is operated by The ANVIL Group, in partnership with Seven Corners.
ASPE Assist Services

  • Mental health advice
  •   Mental health crisis support
  •  Sexual assault response
  •  Violent Crime response
  •  Providing advice to grantees when they feel at risk or vulnerable

ASPE Assist is accessible 24 hours a day and is available to provide support to Exchange Participants, including grantees on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, in urgent and non-urgent situations, including identification and referral of mental health conditions requiring in-person or Telemedicine treatment, and crisis intervention.  The medical staff responding to grantee calls are trained to handle serious situations such as sexual assaults and mental health crises.  They can also provide medical advice.

ASPE Assist Contact Information
Phone: +1-833-963-1269
Worldwide: +44-20-3859-4463
Email: ASPEsupport@anvilgroup.com

More information and resources can be found in the Emergency Action Plan, please read it before your arrival. 

At the End of Your Grant Period

Your lease will either have a fixed period, or you will have to give notice: you can find this information in your lease. Usually giving notice will need to be done one or two months before the date you want to end your lease, and the way in which to do this should also be described in the lease. Fulbright recommends that you ask for a confirmation in writing (by email or otherwise) to confirm that your notice has been received. If you have paid a deposit, please also check what you need to do to have your deposit returned to you. If the utilities are also registered in your name, please also make sure that those are canceled.

Please inform your program manager on which date you will leave the country.

When you leave the Netherlands, you will need to de-register at the municipality again. Officially this is called deregistering from the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen – BRP). Not all municipalities have the same procedure, so please check with the municipality where you are registered how to do so. It is important to not forget this, as you may still be charged for municipal taxes until your deregistration has been processed. An example of how to deregister can be found on this link (for Amsterdam). Most municipalities with an English website will have this information on their website. If not, please contact your local municipality by phone to inquire about the correct procedure. 

When you leave the Netherlands, please return your residence card to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). The address in Zwolle and instructions can be found on this link

Please make sure that you have ended all your subscriptions before you leave the Netherlands, and any direct debit payments you may have installed on your bank account. Examples: SWAP fiets, museum card, OV-chipcard, utilities, phone, TV/internet, library, etc. 

If you do not intend or are able to use your bank account back in the U.S., please transfer the money in the account and close the account down. Your bank should be able to tell you what the procedure for this is. Please make sure you do not expect any more payments into this account (for instance a return of your deposit) before you close the account. 

The end of your residence permit should also be the end of your stay in the Netherlands. As the IND describes it on this link: “You must leave the Netherlands in good time. ‘In good time’ means that you leave the Netherlands before the expiry date of your current residence permit. Therefore, you must ensure that your return flight is on or before the date on which your residence permit expires. 

General Information

The US Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, contains provisions affecting recipients of grants under the Fulbright Program. Please find the information on taxes specifically for Fulbright grants on this link:

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/fulbright-grants

You will not have to pay income tax on your Fulbright grant in the Netherlands. You may have to pay municipal tax, depending on your rental agreement, as an inhabitant of a municipality.

Public transport in the Netherlands works on the basis of the OV-chipcard, a debit sized card on which you can load money to pay for your travel in public transport. At the moment, there are also trials to use a new system, by which you can pay for the bus, tram or train directly with your debit card or an app. It is unclear when this new system will be implemented, so for now, you will find only information on the OV-chipcard below. 

You can find general information about how public transport in the Netherlands works here and here. This is most easily done by using a debit card for public transport, called the OV-Chipcard.  

If you will be using the train frequently, it may be worthwhile to buy a “kortingskaart” or discount card. The information about the various cards available can be found on the website of the NS, the national train system, on this link. Also, the former grantees will be a good source for information about public transport and how to navigate it.

A good English website to plan your public transport travel in the Netherlands is 9292. This also has a great app you can use on your phone. The Dutch railways also has a good travel planner on their website, and is also available as app. 

For a full overview of the Dutch educational system, please see this link. It gives a great overview of the complete educational system in the Netherlands, from kindergarten to PhD. Of course, you will be mainly involved in the higher education part of it as students and researchers. 

 

There are differences in the methods and attitude towards higher education in between the Netherlands and the U.S. U.S. Fulbright grantees in the Netherlands in the past have mainly noted some differences that we would like to mention: 

  1. Emphasis on group work, collaborative effort: in many courses, this is used and teamwork is perhaps more important in Dutch education. 
  2. The grading system is different: it is on a 1-10 scale, where 5,5 is usually considered sufficient, 8 is excellent and 9’s and 10’s are rarely given. 
  3. There is less emphasis, from the Dutch students point of view, on excellent grades. Dutch students sometimes study just enough to pass, and do not always feel the need to excel. This is a generic statement, and of course does not hold true for all Dutch students, but U.S. Fulbrighters have come across it enough to mention it. 

At the moment, costs of living in the Netherlands can be considered to be high. Rents have risen significantly over the past couple of years. Also, after years of low inflation in the EU, this has now started to rise as well. This is expected to continue in the coming year, also because of the war in the Ukraine. 

A good way of getting a sense of what the average cost of living for a student are may be found on the website of the university. Some universities, such as Groningen, give a rough estimate of costs on their website. If your university does not have such an indication, another option would be to have a look at this website, and chose the city you will be living in. Of course, both websites are estimates: much depends on your way of living and your spending habits. In principle, the Fulbright grant should be enough to cover your daily expenses and rent. 

Disclaimer
You are encouraged to talk about your Fulbright experience on social media. If you choose to blog about your experience, please include the following disclaimer somewhere:

This blog represents only my own ideas, observations, and anecdotes; it is not representative of nor attributable to the US Government (USG) or Fulbright Commission. 

For more information about social media conduct and safety, please read this page on the US Fulbright website: Smart Social Media

Instagram Takeover

The Fulbright Commission in the Netherlands has been doing several Instagram takeovers in the past, where Fulbright grantees show what they are doing in the Netherlands. If you are interested in doing a “takeover” of our Instagram to show our audience what it’s like to be a Fulbrighter please get in touch with your Program Manager. 

Fulbright Instagram/Facebook pages of Interest

Official Fulbright Program: https://www.instagram.com/the_fulbright_program/

Fulbright the Netherlands: https://www.instagram.com/fulbrightnl/

Fulbright Latinx: https://www.instagram.com/fulbrightlatinx/

Fulbright Noir:  https://www.instagram.com/fulbrightnoir/

Fulbright Prism: https://www.instagram.com/fulbrightprism/

The official Facebook page for the Fulbright program worldwide, run by the U.S. Department of State: https://www.facebook.com/fulbright/

Dutch Fulbright Facebook page (mainly in Dutch):  

https://www.facebook.com/StudereninAmerika.Fulbright/

TEDxFulbright: https://www.facebook.com/TEDxFulbright/

Fulbright Association: https://www.facebook.com/fulbrightassociation