Student Mobility / Travel / What is the student travel product?

What Is The Student Travel Product?

Is it true that students travel for free in the Netherlands? This is a question that we get all the time. The unfortunate answer is that this only applies to some students, and most international students are not included. We’ll walk you through it. Here are all the answers if you’ve ever asked yourself: what is the student travel product?

What is it? 

Simply put: the student travel product allows you to travel for free or with a discount on public transportation, including trains, on specific days. Students can choose whether they want to travel for free during weekdays (Monday 4:00 am to Saturday 4:00 am) or over the weekend (Friday from 12:00pm to Monday 4:00 am). The discount will be valid on the days you don’t have the subscription. Which one is the better option depending on personal preference.  

For example: if someone lives close to their university and is able to bike or walk to class, they may opt for the ‘weekend’ travel product, enabling them travel free of charge on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. On weekdays they travel with a 40% discount on public transportation The opposite could be true for people who have a longer commute to their campus during the week, making the ‘week free’ travel product a better option.  

It’s also good to clarify that the student travel product belongs to the study finance scheme of DUO, the company that executes the educational policies of the government. Therefore, if you qualify for the travel loan, you will also qualify for the basic study grant, a fixed amount of money that students can receive each month.  

Who is eligible? 

Figuring out if you can apply for the student travel product can be confusing, as is often the case with matters of Dutch bureaucracy. Don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you. If you’re Dutch or have a type II, III, IV or V residence permit, then you automatically qualify. 

If you’re younger than 30 and from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you could also get the travel loan, as long as you meet one of these requirements:

  • you’ve been living in the Netherlands for five consecutive years or longer
  • you work at least 32 hours a month next to your studies or have a monthly income of at least 50% of the social security norm (641,92€ for people 21+; 158,47€ for people younger than 21)
  • your non-Dutch parent or partner is not only an EU/EEA/Swiss national but also works – or has worked – at least 32 hours a month or earns – or has earned – at least 50% of the social security norm

If you have a type I residence permit, you may still qualify. Find out for sure using this tool

If you’re not sure if you qualify, you can always give DUO a call or try applying here. Ultimately, whether your free travel plans become a reality lies entirely in their hands. 

What do I do if I’m not eligible? 

Student Mobility Card

The fact of the matter is that not every international student can receive the student travel product. While it would be amazing, it’s simply too good to be true in some cases. Especially if your course is very time-intensive, or want to focus on getting very good grades, balancing your studies with a part-time job may not be possible. 

Good news! If you relate, there’s still a way to save a little when hopping on a train. We’ve come up with a public transportation card specifically made for international students like yourself. Our Student Mobility Card is the perfect option if you’ve recently arrived in the Netherlands and want to travel on trains with a discount. 

The best part? Anyone qualifies! 

Not only do you get 15% discount during weekends and off-peak hours, but you also get a one year ISIC student ID membership with your purchase. That’s a win-win! 

If you’d like more information, you can check out our FAQ about the Student Mobility Card where we’ve outlined all the most asked questions that students have about our travel product. You may also want to read our blog post about mastering public transport in the Netherlands.

If you’ve ever asked yourself, ‘what is the student travel product?’, this blog post should have answered all your questions. Free or discounted, happy travels!

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