Is the Netherlands safe for international students? How to avoid being scammed or mugged

Studying somewhere new and modern is always terribly exciting. Still, it pays to be wary of common pitfalls and dangers that come with new territory, and the Netherlands is no exception. With the Netherlands education system being world-famous across the globe, it continues to collect more and more fresh students every year. Unfortunately, a large number of bright-eyed students typically tends to attract various con artists or people looking for trouble. Also, each place has its peculiarities to track. Staying safe during your studies can be done without much effort, but you do need some guidance to do so. Luckily, we’ve collected enough data to be able to guide you along. Read on to find out how to keep your wallet and its contents, on your person at all times.

Tip #1 – Pick the right internship

Unless your professional market is entirely overcrowded, or you’re wholly inexperienced and in your first year of study, try to go for one of the internships in the Netherlands that pays. The law doesn’t dictate that apprenticeships need to be paid. However, there are plenty of opportunities to find a place that will offer at least some remuneration for your efforts. Unless you plan on passing the training internship and committing to working there, make sure the internship gives you some incentive to keep up a good job.

Tip #2 – Go for a good university

You’ve come here to advance your studies, correct? Going to a small, less-known university may hurt your career prospects in the long run, which may mean you’re going to be earning less. Earning less will also make paying back any student loans that much more challenging. Make sure to pick your studies somewhere easily recognizable and fits your speciality well. The top universities in the Netherlands are all practically the right choice, and the tuition continues being affordable. At the same time, the level of learning jumps up considerably.

Tip #3 – Housing scams

If you’re planning on renting somewhere new, beware. It’s not rare that the students going to the universities in Amsterdam fall prey to one of the various types of housing scams since so many people are looking for a place here. There are multiple ways to saddle you with problems and make away with money, from illegal subletting, additional fee scamming or taxing scams. It’s best to have someone guide you along, that knows what they’re doing, or pay very close attention when looking to rent someplace. Remember the golden rule: if it seems too good to be true, it very likely is.

Tip #4 – Avoid pressure

Although very rare, you may stumble upon high-octane situations during your studies. Whether it’s extortion, bullying or even mugging, it’s essential to keep your wits about you. The best way to avoid tense situations is to not get into them in the first place! There’s a lot of peer pressure on students to go out and be wild, but if safety is one of your priorities, calm down a little. Take some time to assess all the situations that might arise and potential problems down the way, and decide for yourself what’s worth what.

Tip #5 – Don’t disclose personal information

Phishing has been on the rise recently. It targets the student finance in the Netherlands, specifically the students who have taken out loans. Fraud companies that will be similar in appearance to actual companies will send you emails requesting personal details. Don’t respond to such emails! Instead, call up your existing student loan service, using a number you’ve used before and talked with an actual human being. Telephone calls aren’t as easy as sending an email, but you could potentially dodge a bullet.

We wish you luck in the future and hope these tips helped.