15 important tips for newcomers to Wageningen
When you arrive in a new place for the first time you need a huge amount of
information to find your way around. If you are a freshman at Wageningen
University you might find the information below useful, but with a warning
– this is just a start. There’s much more you need to know to survive
If you study or work hard during the week and spend Saturdays indoors you
might find yourself in a situation with nothing to eat in your fridge. All
shops including supermarkets are closed on Sundays. Do not be the next one
who hopes to get fresh rolls on Sunday morning.
Make sure that you try vla and stroopwafels from your local supermarket.
These are typically Dutch foods you’ve probably never tasted before, and
they are well worth it.
If you want to eat out, remember that most restaurants close by about
22.00, even at weekends.
Twice a week there is a market in the centre of town. You can get fish,
bread, cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables and cut flowers there. If you go
around closing time (13.00 on Wednesdays and 17.00 on Saturdays) you might
pick up a good bargain.
Discounts and special price offers are an important part of Dutch life:
aanbieding (special offer), goedkoop (cheap) and 2 halen 1 betalen (two for
the price of one) are the words to look for. You’ll see these in
supermarkets and other shops.
Wageningen is exceptional in Holland (apart from maybe Amsterdam) as you
can expect most people to speak good English, even in shops.
There are different kinds of telephone cards you can use to call abroad
from the Netherlands. The cheapest ones can be bought in places you might
not always expect. Ask someone who’s been here longer which restaurant or
grocery store has the best phone cards for international calls.
If you decide to go to the cinema be prepared for an intermission at the
most interesting moment of the film. There is usually a fifteen-minute
break, so instead of getting angry use the time to drink something in the
If you are planning to join in activities with Dutch people it’s worth
remembering that they are usually very serious about their tightly planned
daily schedule. This means you need to be exactly on time. Take this tip
especially seriously when it comes to official appointments.
Cycling is a very common means of transport in Holland – there are more
bikes than inhabitants in this country! You have probably already been
advised to buy a bike, and if you do not know how to ride one it is worth
learning quickly. It will make your life a lot easier.
If you decide not to use a bike you have three options: driving a car which
is costly, walking which is a recipe for sore feet and blisters, or using
public transport. If you go for the last option you need to know that Dutch
buses are as punctual as the inhabitants of this country. They nearly
always run on time, so if you oversleep and still hope to catch the right
bus you are a dreamer.
Wageningen does not have its own train station. The closest one is Ede-
Wageningen, but it is sometimes more convenient to take the bus to Arnhem,
depending on your final destination.
Having come to study in Wageningen you will probably want to travel around
in Holland and visit interesting places. As public transport is expensive
it is smart to purchase a yearly train discount card. This will give you
40% discount on all trains in the Netherlands, as long as you do not start
your journey before 9 o’clock in the morning. If you want to save more
money it is worth planning ahead and buying a return ticket at the start of
your journey, as this is usually cheaper than two one-way tickets.
Meet as many people as you can. Wageningen is a very special place where
you have the chance to meet people from all over the globe. Use the
opportunity to get to know about other cultures, customs and traditions.
Any more tips you have yourself? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org