ReX Exchange Checklist
Many thanks to Dan Crawl from the University of Colorado, for putting together this checklist based on his own exchange experiences. We hope you will find this useful in planning your exchange. While it is really aimed toward an American coming to another country (here The Netherlands), it should give you an idea of what is needed for other exchanges.
BEFORE LEAVING THE U.S.
- Valid Passport (expiration date 3 months longer than visit)
- Birth Certificate (if staying longer than 3 months)
- International Driver's License (if planning to rent a car)
- 2 color passport photos (or get them in The Netherlands)
AFTER ARRIVING IN THE NETHERLANDS
- Rental Agreement
- Proof of adequate finances
- Proof of exchange with VU
- Learning Agreement
Housing. This is by far the most important item for anyone planning to spend time in Amsterdam. Accommodations should be made at a minimum 6 months in advance, if not more!
U.S. citizens do not need to get a visa before they leave even if they plan to stay a long time. However, one has to get a residence permit once they are in The Netherlands. To get this, one needs to register with the foreign police within 3 days of arriving. They require the following items: a copy of the rental agreement, proof of financial support, proof of exchange with the university and 2 color passport photos. You don't need all these things when you first visit them; they give you a form to fill out first and then they make an appointment about 1 month later. It's for this appointment that one needs to bring all these items. For proof of financial support, ask someone from ReX to write a letter detailing how much funding ReX was providing for the exchange. They also wanted to see proof of health insurance, but I didn't have any at the time. I was able to get health insurance through the university where I was visiting.
If one is staying longer than 3 months, then you also have to register with the civil registry. They send you a form in the mail once you've registered with the foreign police. They also require a copy of your rental agreement, and your birth certificate.
I opened my bank account here. They don't require you to have a residence permit to open it, just a valid passport. It took about 10 days to get after I mailed in the form. Before getting the account, I was able to use my U.S. bank's ATM card to withdraw money.
Also, if one is planning to rent a car, you also need an International Driver's license. However, I've been told a normal license will suffice if driving someone else's.
The following web page contains roughly the same information as above, but some of it may be out of date:
Finally, this web page contains links to the above 2 pages, plus links to other useful information on exchanges with the VU.