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.
Why study in the Netherlands?
1. Affordable tuition fees
Dutch public universities have very affordable tuition fees if you’re an European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) national. You won’t usually pay more that 2,100 EUR per academic year, with various study programmes often being cheaper than that.
The story is a bit different for non-EU/EEA students, who pay anywhere between 6,000 and 20,000 EUR per year. That’s still much more affordable when compared with tuition fees of over 50,000 EUR per year in the USA.
2. No language barriers
Over 90% of Dutch citizens speak English. Whether you want to visit a famous tourist attraction on your own, ask for directions, or buy something from a shop, you won’t have any headache regarding language barriers.
The popularity of the English language also makes it very easy to socialise and connect with people, to take part in social and cultural events, or simply make friends and go out.
3. Work flexibility after graduation
In this case, work flexibility means two things: one, you can work in any number of fields after graduation and enjoy great salaries and employee benefits; and two, the Netherlands is one of the leading countries where the 4-day work week is a common option in all sectors of the economy.
4. A heaven for cycling enthusiasts
According to governmental statistics, there are over 23 million bikes in the Netherlands, more than the number of actual citizens (around 17 millions). Cycle lanes are literally everywhere, and many students and employees use them to commute on a daily basis.
It represents a great way to reduce air pollution and increase personal health and wellbeing.
5. The Netherlands is safe and enjoyable
The Netherlands is one of the safest and happiest countries in the world. This is hardly surprising when we look at the high standard of living, the educated citizens, and society as a whole.
Which universities to attend in the Netherlands?
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, here’s a few international universities we recommend:
What is it like to study in the Netherlands?
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.
What to study in the Netherlands
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:
- Natural Sciences degrees in the Netherlands
- Computer Science degrees in the Netherlands
- Engineering degrees in the Netherlands
- Social Science degrees in the Netherlands
- Business degrees in the Netherlands
Major cities in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has ten major cities that attract both students and tourists, and are great urban hubs. Dutch cities are often lively, environmental-friendly, and maintain a cultural vibe.
Some of the best student cities that you can choose from are:
- Study in Amsterdam
- Study in Rotterdam
- Study in Utrecht
- Study in Eindhoven
- Study in Nijmegen
- Study in Tilburg
- Study in Leiden
- Study in Groningen
- Study in The Hague
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:
- Create a Studielink account
- Submit an enrolment application in Studielink
- Choose your payment method in Studielink to pay the tuition fee
- After you have submitted an enrolment application, your educational institution will contact you about the required documents which you need to upload before the deadline expires.
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:
- A copy of passport or ID card
- A passport photo
- A personal statement in English
- Copies of secondary school diplomas, certificates and/or grade lists in English, French, German or Dutch
- Transcript of records
- Proof of English/Dutch language proficiency
Some universities may require extra documents, such as:
- CV or resume (including two referees)
- Motivation letter
- Sample of academic written work
Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a Dutch university
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!