And a month and a half later, I was finally able to open my Dutch account. Spain is not known for having the best administration service in the world, but neither is the Netherlands. In fact, my bad experience with the administration system has led me to the conclusion that the Dutch organization leaves a lot to be desired and we are talking about money issues where the Dutch are experts.
For those of you who are not familiar with the card system in Europe, most central European countries use the Maestro card (Maestro source), making purchases in certain basic places such as the supermarket impossible for cards from outside the country. This situation poses some headaches if you are going to stay for more than five months and want to buy food to eat practically every day. It is also useful to have a Dutch account to travel for very little money, a topic that I will discuss in the next post in July.
The first tip is to take enough cash for a month in case you do not want to pay a commission when withdrawing from the ATM. The second tip is to be patient and go with the prepared documents to the bank office.
For stays longer than one month, it is advisable to open a bank account in one of the Dutch banks such as ING, RABO or Triodos
How to start this bureaucratic process? In principle it is simple, as long as you don't lose your card along the way like what happened to me, nor do they make two accounts by mistake like what also happened to me. First of all, it is advisable to register as a citizen of the town where you are going to be, the University of Applied Sciences informs its students in advance about the need for this procedure and foreign students can request an appointment at the Groningen City Hall via Internet.
Once you receive the letter with your new citizen number or BSN in your mailbox, you can go to any bank office with your ID and the acceptance letter from the destination University to open the desired account.
Is it necessary to register as a citizen? No, the truth is that you can go directly to ING and open the account without the citizen number, but experience advises you to do so as it saves time and unnecessary visits to the bank. Furthermore, for subsequent procedures such as payments or contracts it is essential to have that number and only a visit to the town hall with the precise form completed is necessary.
And little else, after this you can spend and save as you please in your Erasmus destination city in Holland and above all, enjoy one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.