Preparation study in Zwolle

Zwolle is an old Hanseatic city situated on the banks of the river IJssel. Its long history of prosperity is shown by the beautiful old churches and houses, parts of the old city wall and an old city gate in the city centre, the historic centre is surrounded by a canal. The building of the Katholieke Pabo Zwolle is situated near to the city centre in a part of the city where a lot of students live. The institute is strongly connected with student life in the city.

When you arrive in Zwolle you will be welcomed by a KPZ student (or a KPZ employee), a so-called welcome guide. This guide will bring you to your student residence and will help you with the first steps in Zwolle. For example do the shopping together with you in the nearest supermarket. One of the things you definitely need is a bike. Cycling is very popular in the Netherlands. Almost every student cycles to college, the city centre, to friends etc.
In your first week here you can buy a secondhand bike and you sell it after the final day.

Costs of living

You need all together € 882,47 each month, this is the amount of money which the Dutch State indicates that you require to live and study here. As an Erasmus student, you do not have to pay fees for registration, classes, examinations and access to library and ICT facilities during your Erasmus studies to your host university. Your student grant or loan from your home country remains in effect during your stay abroad. For participation in excursions and the Project Week you have to pay Katholieke Pabo Zwolle 100 euros. This includes 2 overnight stays in a Stay-Okay hostel in The Hague and a cultural programme in the Randstad. These are fixed parts of the exchange programme.


The International Office will support students when they are looking for accomodation. Please note that it is extremely difficult to find short-term housing in our city. We strongly recommend you to start early with your search for a suitable student room.

More information about living in the Netherlands or possibilities for housing you may find here:


At the website of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) you will find a lot of helpful information, see:
For a stay of over 90 days, you must apply for a residence permit unless you come from a country that belongs to the European Union or the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
It is useful to read the following document: Coming to study in the Netherlands.
In this publication you read about the way to obtain a residence permit, the conditions, the application procedure, rules and rights. If you need a residence permit Katholieke Pabo Zwolle will apply this for you; Katholieke Pabo Zwolle is recognized as sponsor by the IND. The Internationaal office will ask you to send the necessary documents to make the application possible. The costs for the Entry and Residence Procedure(TEV) are € 171,- in 2019.

Registration at the Municipality

If you remain for more than four months for your study in the Netherlands, you must register at the municipality. If your partner also comes to live in the Netherlands, she or he must also register at the town hall. A registration in the municipality is officially called registration in the Basic Registration of Persons (BRP). Previously, this was called the Municipal Administration Persons (GBA).
For registration you need a valid passport or identity card. The Citizens Service Number is a unique personal number for everyone who is registered. You receive it automatically when you enroll in the municipality. The KPZ International Office will make an appointment for the exchange students at the City Hall in one of the first weeks after you have arrived.


Some insurances are mandatory and other insurances are not mandatory but maybe wise.
The rules surrounding the health insurance for foreign students can cause confusion, because they are different for each type of stay. Not every foreign student is obliged to take out health insurance in the Netherlands. Sometimes the insurance you have in your home country will be sufficient. Several companies in the Netherlands offer packages that include insurance for liability and household contents insurance. These packages can be both including and excluding health insurance.

Nuffic, the Dutch Agency for internationalising Education, has examined the insurance packages and conditions of the following two companies:

But of course you may also choose another insurance company. Often people think that it is a legal requirement for international students in the Netherlands to take liability insurance. This is not correct. Yet it is wise for the student to take a liability insurance for individuals (AVP). Premiums are low and the coverage is generally high.

Please read also this leaflet: Leaflet Dutch health insurance international students DEF


Some foreign guests run into problems if they want a Dutch bank account.Foreign students are allowed to open a bank account, without having to specify a citizen service number (BSN). This was agreed in 2006 between the Dutch Banking Association (NVB) and the Ministry of Finance. Bank employees are not always aware of this appointment. Moreover, they do not always accept the letter in which the scheme is explained because it is very old. The Director General Tax thereon in 2009 by letter confirmed that the scheme from 2006 is still in force and that foreign students do not need to have a citizen service number. This is because they are considered non-residents.
What does this mean for foreign students?
As before, students who want to open a bank account have to show two documents: a valid identification card (passport) and an authenticated statement of registration of the host university.


At some point, most students in the Netherlands encounter the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs, commonly known as DUO. This organisation is mostly known for providing students with student finance and the student travel product. Depending on residency status, course registration and age, international students can also get funding from DUO. You can find all information about the requirements and the amounts on DUO’s website for international students: