Congrats – the end of the semester is almost here! And for many international students, it means going back home for a few weeks. But before you pack your bags and leave your uni friends behind, make sure you take these 8 useful student tips into account.
Student tips to remember a few weeks before you leave
1. Return the books
You probably already have many student tips on your checklist. But let's be honest - it’s very likely that in the holiday rush you might forget about the library books you’ve borrowed. Make sure you return the ones you won’t need to avoid overdue fines. At the same time, remember to check the due dates and renew the books you’ll need during the holidays.
2. Earn some money for Christmas gifts
If you have some spare time between university deadlines, think about taking up a small part-time job. Some companies might be looking for additional team members during the holiday season. Thus, it can be your opportunity to earn some money that you could spend on Christmas gifts or other holiday activities back home. Check out our job board for English speaking vacancies!
3. Make sure you have all the formalities in place
Before the holidays, check if you’ve taken care of all the formalities. You don’t want to start the new year with unfinished business. For instance, have you obtained your BSN number, opened a Dutch bank account, sorted your health insurance, and applied for allowances? For the latter, try out our healthcare and housing allowance tools that will help you calculate and apply for the allowances fast and simple.
4. Visit the local Christmas market
Most likely December is the time you’ll spend stressing about the deadlines or daydreaming about coming back home for the holidays. However, don’t forget to enjoy the Christmas mood in the Netherlands too. December is a magical month when all the cities around the country put up decorations and light up their most beautiful spots. Make sure you have some time for a cup of Glühwein in your local Christmas market!
Student tips to remember a few days before you leave
5. Do some cleaning
You definitely don’t want to return from the holidays to find dirty dishes, a stinky fridge or a messy room. Before leaving, make sure you’ve cleaned out your cupboard, fridge, and garbage bins. A week before you leave don’t do too much grocery shopping. Instead, finish all the food that might go bad over the holidays. Moreover, don’t be lazy and tidy your room – your future self will be thankful.
6. Sort out what to do with your pets and plants
Remember that your flatmates are most likely going home for the holidays too. Therefore, you’ll have to find someone else who could look after your plants or pets while you’re gone. For instance, you can try asking around among your neighbors and friends. There’s a chance that students who have come to the Netherlands from far away will choose to stay in the area. Approaching local students can be another option.
7. Pack the essentials
Keep in mind that you’re going to be home only for a while so there’s no need to pack everything you have. And the nice thing is you can wash your clothes at home without thinking about the utility costs. Most importantly, remember to pack your mobile devices, laptop (including chargers) and everything you need to finish up your university tasks. Ultimately, the fewer things you’ll take with you, the more space you’ll have in the luggage to take something back from home.
8. Think about heating and electricity
Finally, just before you leave, make sure everything is·turned off. Check the weather reports and if it’s not going to be freezing, switch off the heating completely. Moreover, make sure all appliances are turned off or unplugged to save electricity. Just before walking out the door, check if all water sources are closed tight and switch off the lights. And if you live in a shared apartment, remind everyone to do the same!
Do you have other student tips on must-do things before the holidays? Connect with us and let us know!