Pre arrival Information:
- Familiarize yourself with the university campus and community through the university website and info provided on this website.
- Learn cycling. Cycling is the most convenient and practical way of moving around in The Netherlands
- Arrange for foreign currency. Make sure that on your arrival here you have enough funds to cover your immediate living expenses and for registration to your classes.( How much money is needed to be brought?)
- Find out all information regarding visa application and apply well in advance to avoid any delays in your arrival.(refer to the visa section for further info)
- Make travel arrangements so as to arrive here well in time for your course programme orientation.
- It would be a good idea to teach your parents at home how to use the computer and chat(incase they don't know) so that you can save on phone bills. Also preferably install programs like Skype or Voip stunt so that they are spared the hassle of doing that once you have left. Also you may consider installing the webcam as then they will be able to see you and you will be able to see them
On Arrival Information:
- The train station is at the basement of the Schiphol airport. You should go to the ticket counter to buy the ticket. You will not be able to buy tickets from the machine as you need an European ATM card to do that. Also the attendant at the counter can print out the route the train will take to Enschede railway station which is the closest station to the university. The trip takes typically 2hrs 12 mins. Make sure that you take the direct train as changing trains with luggage may not be too much fun. Also make sure that the compartment which you get into has Enschede written outside as not all compartments go all the way. The ticket checker comes once the train starts. Make sure that you do not board the train without a ticket as you will be fined if caught. You can check the train schedules at http://www.ns.nl
- From the Enschede railway station, you can take a train taxi or a normal taxi to the university. The train taxi will cost around 5 euros but you can only take one piece of check in luggage and one piece of hand luggage with you. This is like a share taxi. You can buy tickets for the train taxi at Schiphol airport while you are buying the train ticket. If you decide to pay the taxi driver directly, you will have to pay more. The normal taxi allows you to carry as much luggage as you want but it costs around12-14 euros. For the normal taxi you have to pay the taxi driver you cannot buy the ticket for a normal taxi in advance. Both will drop you at your door step. If you do not have much luggage, you can take the bus. That takes only around 1.50 euros. Bus route number 1 takes you to the university. You can buy the tickets from the bus driver while you are boarding the bus. Another option is the schiphol taxi(this is if you arrive at an odd hour and the trains are not working) This is of course a far more expensive option. You can check all the details here http://www.schiphol.nl. The approx cost for one way trip to the university is 48 euros. Also check out this link from the university for more info http://www.utwente.nl/en/practical_information/getting_there/travel/
- If you come on a week day and need to pick up something for a quick meal, you can check out the campus super market, COOP, which stocks basic essentials. It is normally open from 8 to 7 on weekdays and till 5 on sat. There is also a campus restaurant called Mensa, open on all weekdays for lunch and dinner. Eating outside is very expensive so not really an option.
- Collect all the contact information and phone numbers of all the people back home you want to be in touch with.
- Carry along all your official transcripts and certificates from your schools and colleges. Also keep photocopies of your passport, visa and other important documents with you safely.
- Clothing: The weather here gets cold in autumn and winter months. Also it rains a lot here. So it is advisable to have one good jacket which can handle sub zero temp, a light jacket for the autumn months (both preferably water proof), a pair of gloves (though you can buy these once you arrive here as they may be cheaper here), a couple of sweaters, a scarf/muffler, a cap which covers your ears as it feels quite chilly when you cycle in the winter months(monkey cap), woolen socks, shoes for daily use and formal shoes for other occasions. You may also buy some thermal undergarments. They do come in handy. Summer is warm. So you may like to get along T-shirts, shorts etc. For winter months, full sleeved shirts and T-shirts are a good idea. Get enough clothes including undergarments to last you a week as you may not be able to do your laundry more than once a week. It is also a good idea to get some traditional dresses for special occasions like diwali or other Indian gatherings
- Health tips: It is a good idea to have a complete medical examination, including eyes and dental examination before coming here. If you wear glasses, don’t forget to get along a spare pair as glasses are expensive here. Health insurance is mandatory here. Do refer to the section dealing with health insurance to have a better idea. Also bring along some common medicines like paracetamol, antacids, pain killers, some band aids, antiseptic cream, burnol, vicks , anti histaminic like allegra (especially for those who suffer from hay fever)and vitamins if you take them. The above are pretty expensive here. If you suffer from asthma or any other medical condition, it is a good idea to carry your prescriptions and have some reserve of medications so that you don’t need to go hunting for medicines immediately on landing. You will have to undergo a chest x-ray for TB here.
- Food: you get most basic Indian stuff here. But it would be a good idea to get along special masalas like pav bhaaji masala, sambar powder, hing, chana masala etc so that you don’t miss the taste of Indian food. Basic mirchi powder, haldi powder, dhania-jeera powder , tamarind, all dals, atta flour rice etc are available here. So you don’t need to worry about all that.
- Utensils: Get a pressure cooker as that is not available here and it does come handy. You will get a belan for making chapattis…so you can leave it at home…after all you have a lot to fit in in your 20 kgs of weight allowance. Instead get a spare gasket for the pressure cooker and a flat bottom tawa (though even the latter is actually available here)You can also get along some knives, a scissor, nail cutter etc though don’t forget to put all that in the check in luggage.
- You may decide to buy your text books and bring them over as it may be very expensive here. In some cases even sending them from India may be cheaper than buying them here. This applies mostly to the text books that have an Indian student edition. If you want to check out the price of text books here, this link may be useful http://www.amazon.de. You can also order Indian edition books on the net on http://www.firstandsecond.com. So check out all the options.