Dutch Life - FAQ
Welcome to Groningen!
Welcome to Groningen, which is one of the most vibrant and healthiest cities in Europe!
To make your arrival more pleasant and easier we have selected some sites that will provide you with very valuable information about this city.
If you are an international person you can find official information about living in the Netherlands at The International Welcome Center North (IWCN).
We have selected other sites where you can get more useful information about living in Groningen. However, we encourage you to double-check the information of non-official websites as they can contain non-updated information.
- Practical housing information
If you are living in the Netherlands you might be eligible for housing and health benefits.
Open a Dutch bank account
University of Groningen recommendations for opening a bank account (here)
Traveling in the Netherlands by bus, tram, and train? Then you should have your personal OV chipkaart.
- Get your personal OV chipkaart.
Get your own bicycle!
The best way to move around in Groningen is by bike! Did you just get here and need a bike? There are a few options:
- There are plenty of stores selling new or used bikes around the city. You can browse ‘bike shop’ in Google Maps to find them.
- If you want a short term solution or fewer risks involved in buying a bike you can always rent or lease one (e.g. Swapfiets is a popular choice or the OV-fiets)
- You can find good deals on Facebook groups such as ‘bikes in Groningen’, ‘Buy and Sell in Groningen’. However, be aware of scams. Never send money until you see and check the physical product.
- Second-hand bikes that have been collected by police or not picked up from the depot are also sold. It might be more expensive but they have been checked and ready to be driven! (Click here)
Dutch language courses
Would you like to make the best out of your Dutch experience and learn the language? The university makes Dutch courses for PhDs easily accessible, you can also get credits for them!
Moreover, The University of Groningen Language Center offers courses in a range of languages, and also the Forum Groningen offers Dutch courses.
If you already know the language a bit and want to practice speaking, you can check out Language Caffés; not only can you flaunt your language skills but you can also meet new people!
Health insurance (huisarts, dentist, etc.)
When you live in the Netherlands you need to be covered by health insurance. Health insurance is private here, so you can choose the provider you prefer. (More info here and here).
The University has an especial agreement with Menzis.
To be able to get an appointment with a general practitioner (GP) you must find and register to one. How to find a GP?
As a student, you can register to StudentArts.
The same applies to dental care, you must find a dentist through the city such as Studentist Groningen.