If Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and speed skating go together in your mind, and you like mobility and open-minded people, then perhaps you were made for studying in the Netherlands.
Extra treats are the internationalised community, hearing English spoken as frequently as Dutch, great museums, and a colourful nightlife. Sure, the rainy weather might be a bit of a downer, but you won’t mind it when you have great company.
What can we say? There are few other study destinations better than the Netherlands. But it’s never a bad idea to give you more specific details, so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Students choose to do their degrees in the Netherlands for a multitude of reasons, starting with the fact that the Dutch are easy-going, as well as English-savvy.
Add to that the laid-back, informal style of teaching, that’s focused on the student’s experience, and there’s no surprise the Netherlands is a top study destination in Europe.
Those who are pickier choose the Netherlands because of its unique culture and its geographical position in the heart of Europe, which makes many neighbouring countries equally accessible.
Students in the Netherlands are encouraged to be very active. Professors are very approachable and avoid too much formalities. Also, the Netherlands has a big international students’ community which is very friendly and open to other newcomers. Dutch students are approachable and can be perfect party buddies.
On top of that, you can always use a bike to go to school, the distances are short, and there’s always some cultural activity going on.
Numerous English-taught programmes and native English-speaking teachers make studying in the Netherlands very appealing to international students. And there’s no other country that can beat the Netherlands at programmes related to Water Resource Management. By now, you already suspect that some of the most popular study options in this country are related to Engineering and Tech.
Here are some key subject areas you can study in the Netherlands:
The Netherlands has ten major cities that attract both students and tourists, and are great urban hubs, starting with its capital, Amsterdam. Dutch cities are often lively, environmental-friendly, and maintain a cultural vibe.
Some of the best student cities that you can choose from are:
With over 10 universities featured in the top 500 international higher education rankings, Netherlands is an exciting country to study in. Dutch universities attract their students with a casual approach to education and top English-taught degrees.
If you don’t know where to start looking for a Dutch university, we have a few international universities we recommend:
The Dutch higher education system is based on the Bologna process. There is an official country website providing information about studying in the Netherlands, and you can visit the educational institutions' websites for more information. Enrolment applications should be submitted via Studielink.nl.
Generally, your starting point should be the website of the educational institution. Here you can find all the information about the content of the programme and also how to enrol. Usually, this will guide you to Studielink for the enrolment application. In Studielink, you should follow the next steps:
Each degree and university have their own application requirements, so pay attention and carefully check the list of documents. For questions about or help with your enrolment, you can contact the student services of your prospective university.
Usually, the documents required are:
Some universities may require extra documents, such as:
Take Preparation Courses: These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.
Try a pre-MBA, pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.
Improve your English through an English-language prep course. If you’re attending a degree programme in the Netherlands, you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures; some schools will require Dutch, while others will require strong English skills. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.
The language certificates you will need to provide, depending on the language in which you wish to study, are:
Sometimes, if you don’t hold a language certificate, you can take a language test at the university and find out if your level is good enough.
This option is only available at some universities, so always check with the institution!
Let's take a closer look at the average tuition and living expenses in the Netherlands:
As part of the EU, the Netherlands practices different tuition fees for EU/EEA students and non-EU/EEA students. Tuition fees for EU students are between 700 and 2,100 EUR/year, while for non-EU students they start at 6,000 and can reach 20,000 EUR/year. Private universities are even more expensive.
Still, you should be mindful that the cost of studies is influenced by the type of degree and by the subject area. For example, Master’s programmes are typically more expensive than Bachelor’s programmes, and can reach even 30,000 EUR/year.
The Netherlands is not the cheapest country in the EU, but the living costs here are not that high either. On average, you need a budget of 800–1,200 EUR/month. Here are some figures that will give you an overall idea about what you can expect in terms of Dutch living costs:
Interesting facts about the Netherlands
Everybody knows that the Netherlands is the country of tulips and windmills. But did you know that Netherlands is not only big on tulips, but on all flower bulbs? About 80% of the world’s flower bulbs come from the Netherlands.
On a more serious note, Netherlands has a very rich cultural history, as it was the home of painters like Hieronymus Bosch, or Jan Steen, but also of the famous sixteen century scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam.
For those of you who still call the Netherlands Holland, you’re in for a surprise: Holland is actually a region of the Netherlands. This means that not all Dutch people come from Holland, but all Hollanders come from the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is also a monarchy since… forever. Interestingly enough, today’s ruling monarch, King Willem-Alexander, is the first male monarch the country has had in 123 years.
Some other interesting facts that might also influence your stay in the Netherlands that you should know about are: