MA Student Information
Most students at the International Institute of Social Studies have never been to the Netherlands before. Others may only have limited knowledge of the life in this country. We are aware that some of you may feel a bit lost at the beginning of your stay here. In order to help you adapt quickly to life in the Netherlands, at the beginning of each academic year we organize a special introduction programme. Here you will also find some brief information about life as a student at ISS.
Some practical information about life in The Hague
The Netherlands is generally very safe, especially The Hague. You will feel secure when travelling alone or when you are out and about at night. One of ISS main priorities is for our students fell safe during their studies at ISS. We ensure that all information on safety and security while studying at ISS are introduced during the first few weeks at ISS.
ISS is well known for its international environment. Both our students and staff come from all over the world, and our responsibility is to ensure that all cultures and religions are represented. The campus provides a prayer room as well as opportunities to network with people from your own and many other cultures. The Hague also offers houses of worship for all faiths which students can easily visit or join.
ISS offers many activities that contribute to the health and well-being of students. Throughout the year social and cultural activities are organized by our dedicated Welfare Officer. These include a sports day, a Dutch evening, an International Food Fair, excursions, movies, activities in the ISS building and so on. Visit our YouTube page to get an idea on the activities that are held at ISS. .
In addition, ISS also has its own Counselling Team that seeks to contribute to a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for all members of our community.
For more information, please visit the Counselling Team and the Code of Conduct page.
Students have created various clubs and associations through their own network and the university. You will quickly meet other students who share your academic and personal interests. There are also student events both inside and outside ISS, it gives you the opportunity to meet students from different universities in The Hague.
Students are always supported if they want to practice sports. Every Sunday evening from 17:00 - 21:00, ISS has pre-booked the sport complex about 15 minutes away from ISS for you to use. You can play sports such as football, volleyball, badminton, basketball and so on.
Students have easy access to all our high quality facilities at ISS and the Erasmus campus in Rotterdam. The institute has its own restaurant with multicultural cuisine offering a wide choice of dishes. Next to the restaurant you can also find the Butterfly Bar which is open on special occasions and it serves drinks at a low price to students.
Every participant in ISS degree and certificate programmes is a member of ISS student association Scholas. It has several committees which organize academic, social and sporting events for ISS students. The committees are listed below:
- Arts Committee
- Editorial Committee
- Environmental Committee
- Gender and Sexual Diversity Committee
- Housing Committee
- International Relations Committee
- Social Committee
- Sports Committee
- Volunteer Committee
- Teaching and Learning Committee
- Institute Council
The Hague is a great place for international students. The city is vibrant and full of opportunities. Both in the business world as well as in relaxation and leisure. The Hague is also the capital city of the province of South of Holland. It has over 500 thousand inhabitants and is the third largest city of the Netherlands.
The famous Scheveningen beach brings lots of entertainment in various forms. Be it bungee jumping, bowling, movies or theatre acts. There are many great and cosy restaurants from various countries, so there is always something new to try in Scheveningen. Events and festivals are sometimes organized at the beach, especially in the summer. There are also plenty of water sports to try out with your friends.
Public transportation services are affordable and very convenient. There are buses, trams, metros and trains that offer clean and comfortable transportation inside and outside The Hague. The major public transport companies are Conexxion, Veolia and HTM. You can easily plan all your travels through online trip planners that will show different options to reach your destination.
Bicycling is probably the most preferred form of transportation both for Dutch and International residents. It is cheap and very easy to get around with. There are cycle lanes all over the city and often cycling is faster than using public transport.
One of the most commonly known benefits of living in The Hague, is the ease of transportation and connectivity with other major international cities such as Amsterdam (40 min by train), Rotterdam (20 min by train) or Brussels (120 min by train). You can also bring your bike on the train and use it to get around in other cities.
The city is full of culture and attractions whether your interest lies in art, music, shopping, food or history. You will find many restaurants with delicious food from all over the world in the centre. There are also bars that serve great food and typical Dutch snacks. You will most commonly find this at Grote Markt or the Plein which is a town square where people often go for after-work drinks. There are many clubs that contribute to the city’s active nightlife. Thursday is also known as the student night where some bars and clubs have discounts and cheaper drinks for students.
Many international organizations have their seat in The Hague. Judicial branches of the UN such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have been established in the city. You can also find the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Europol, and the Peace Palace which is within walking distance of ISS. The Hague is internationally known as the city of peace and justice and is the UN’s fourth major centre. Students sometimes visit these institutions during class trips, it is certainly an experience you do not want to miss.
Public Transport in The Netherlands is generally excellent.
There are buses, trams, metros and trains that offer clean and comfortable transportation inside and outside the city. The Hague’s public transportation company also operates a night bus. For more information go to:
To pay for travel costs most people use the OV Chipcard. Usually the card must be bought but ISS students receive it free of charge. You can load money on the card and then simply scan the card inside the tram or at stations at the beginning and the end of every trip. This smart card is the size of a bank card and contains an invisible chip.
Of course, if you want to save money, do as the Dutch, get yourself a (second hand) bicycle! Bicycling is the most preferred form of transportation for both Dutch and international residents. It is cheap and very easy to get around with. There are cycle lanes all over the city and often cycling is faster than using public transport services
What is the average amount needed for living expenses?
The calculated costs below show a rough estimate of the costs of an average student at ISS.
Estimated total monthly expenses: €900 per month (including accommodation)
Depending on type of accommodation and personal lifestyle.
Accommodation: €370 - €530 per month
Cost may vary depending on accommodations on or off campus.
Electricity, gas, and water: €0 - €100 per month
Costs are included for on campus accommodation.
Off campus prices vary depending on provider and inclusive or exclusive contracts.
Text books: €0
Reading materials are included in the tuition fee.
Additionally the library provides access to a lot of books, journals and academic literature.
Photocopying: €5 - €10 per month
Students have access to photocopying machines inside ISS.
The cost may vary depending on courses and types of assignments.
Phone costs €10 - €30 per month
Depending on agreement with phone providers. For example, prepaid credit or monthly subscription.
You can also save money by using free wireless internet in the university and WiFi hotspots in the city centre.
Public transport: €10 - €15 per month
Depending on the location of your accommodation.
Second hand bicycles can be found for 20€-50€, it is the most common form of transportation and it is the easiest and cheapest way to get around the Hague.
Groceries: €20 - €30 per week
Students living on campus often share a kitchen and cook together to save money and to socialize.
Eating out: €15 - €20 per meal
Depending on your lifestyle and preferences.
Winter clothing: €50+
Jacket price depends on lifestyle and brand preferences.
Do I need a Health Insurance?
Everyone living in The Netherlands must have a medical insurance which covers medical expenses, legal liability and other items. This insurance includes a liability insurance. It does not, however, cover extra costs related to pregnancy and childbirth, or the costs of dental treatment. Since Dutch dentists are quite expensive, you are advised to visit your own dentist before your travel to the Netherlands.
Illnesses that were contracted before the period covered by the insurance are excluded, as well as costs for childbirth and pregnancy. For Dutch students, the 'Basis verzekering’ is mandatory; for other students, an insurance will be arranged by ISS.
If you already have insurance with European coverage, please inform the Admission Office and bring the policy with you. For other students ISS will arrange an insurance (through AON).
What does the insurance cover?
The AON insurance covers the following:
- Medical care, including that provided by GPs, hospitals, medical specialists and obstetricians
- Hospital stays
- Medical Appliances
- Planned and unforeseen treatments abroad
- Medical transportation (by ambulance or by public transport, taxi or private car)
- Paramedical care (limited physiotherapy/remedial therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy)
The complete coverage of your insurance can be found in the AON Insurance page.
Hopefully you do not need any medical care, but if you do, here is some important information:
The Netherlands has a very good health system, though the way doctors approach treatment in the Netherlands may be very different from what you are accustomed to. For example, do not expect to be prescribed with antibiotics easily.
Below you can find the location and contact details to some clinics in the city.
2511 VJ The Hague
070 - 382 47 77
International Health Centre
Jan van Nassaustraat 125 (in the Rosarium Building)
2596 BS The Hague
070 306 5100 / 070 306 5111
The International Health Centre The Hague has three main areas of practice: General Practitioners, specialists & additional services
2514 GM The Hague
The health insurance only covers emergency dental treatments. Regular check ups are not covered.
2585 AB The Hague