Blog and opinion
27 February 2018 • Floris van der Heijde
Life used to be simple at secondary school. Every now and again there was a little homework to do and from time to time some reading too. Perhaps you’d be working on math assignments at home, but that was only because you didn’t do anything useful in class. Except for meddling with your flexible protractor and set square. The only things you used to spend your money on were a packet of Deep Ridged crisps and a can of MegaForce energy drink. You and you’re friends would be standing in the queue at your local Albert Heijn supermarket, each with your solitary can of MegaForce, separated by one of those checkout dividers. Those were the days.
Unfortunately, those days are long gone. As a student, you’re no longer satisfied with a packet of crisps – you want more. You want to go out and have drinks with friends, or even have two packets of crisps. All of that costs money, and not a small amount either.
Tuition fees, books and all of those sandwiches that you buy at the THUAS sandwich shop. This all costs crate loads of euro coins. Evenings out mean drinking beer, and drinking beer means spending money. Luckily, you’re not alone. To help you get through these tough times, there’s everyone’s favourite rich uncle: Uncle Duo, the friendly student financer.
You can turn to Uncle Duo with all of your financial problems. DUO is a student funding organisation that is run by the Dutch government. Until a few years ago, students used to receive money for free. Unfortunately, the government now thinks that students are less important and everyone has to pay DUO back, with interest too. The interest rate is currently set at 0%, so that’s nothing to worry about. It doesn’t matter whether you live at home with your parents or on your own elsewhere. Every student can borrow from €1 to over €1,000. Of course, you can adjust this amount each month. For instance, if you’re planning to go to a cool festival, then you can just borrow an extra €100 that month.
Since I want all of you to be able to take out a mortgage when you graduate, I recommend that you only borrow what you need. Earn a little more money with a part-time job instead of just watching Netflix. Perhaps you can also scrounge a little from your parents. Naturally, if you want to contact DUO directly and for specific questions/information, you can visit the DUO site.
Floris van der Heijde is a second-year Communication student at THUAS. In his blogs he recounts typical student stories. On top of that, he sleeps at weekends (and preferably also during the week) with great compassion.