You will find that you can live very easily in the Netherlands without a car. The public transportation network and bike paths extend to every remote corner of the country. Although train and bus fares are not cheap, they are still nowhere near as expensive as buying and maintaining a car. Most students choose to ride the bike to school and for daily life.
No form of transportation is better than the one the Dutch people use themselves: the bicycle. The Dutch consider biking as practical, economical, healthy and environmentally friendly.
Rich, poor, young and old, all get around on bikes. In fact, social status has nothing to do with it. Members of parliament and well-dressed business people go to work on bicycles. You will see mums cycling through traffic with kids in bike seats and shopping bags hanging from the handlebars. And on Sundays, you can see families out for recreational cycling.
A new bicycle costs between € 180 and € 450, but second-hand bikes cost a fraction of that price. Ask a fellow student to suggest a shop, or inquire at the railway station ('fietsenstalling'), or check the ads on the supermarket wall for a good used bike for cheap.
It's best not to spend too much money on a bicycle because it may get stolen. Invest in a heavy steel chain and good lock to keep your bike safe.
The trains run very frequently: four to six times an hour between the main cities. The train carriages are either first or second-class. Tickets are purchased at the station. There you can also inquire about the many reduction cards and special rates, which can mean considerable savings for people who travel regularly or in groups.
For travel information for all public transport in the Netherlands, check out www.9292.nl.
For more information about travel by train, please visit www.ns.nl.