The Netherlands, a country in northwestern Europe, is known for a flat landscape of canals, tulip fields, windmills and cycling routes. Amsterdam, the capital, is home to the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and the house where Jewish diarist Anne Frank hid during WWII. Canalside mansions and a trove of works from artists including Rembrandt and Vermeer remain from the city’s 17th-century “Golden Age.”
Reasons to Study in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has the largest range of English language programs in Europe. Almost every university has an English version of any programs taught in Dutch. Lecturers are usually bilingual and can interact with English-speaking students easily. In addition, more than 70% of the Dutch population speaks the English language and this makes international students feel at home while they study in the country. There are lots of courses to choose from and communicating with classmates and teachers isn’t a problem at all.
The programs in the Netherlands are highly regarded at international level. In addition, the costs for school, lodging and ‘life’ are considerably lower than in lots of other European countries. Compared to countries like the U.S and the U.K, the costs of studying in the Netherlands is very low. For example, on average, the tuition fee in the Netherlands amounts to about € 2.000 – for students from the EU and less than € 7.000 for non-EU students (excluding feeding and accommodation costs), while the tuition fee in America is between $26,000 and $50,000 per year.
The way Dutch people teach is different from other countries. It is interactive and the students are taught not just to think for themselves but to work together in groups. You develop skills such as analysis, practical problem solving, working in a team and creative thinking. Studying in the Netherlands helps you learn how to develop your own opinion after having done thorough research and also asked other people’s opinions. In addition, students and teachers are seen as “equals“ as students are encouraged to always approach their teachers, have discussions with them and ask questions. Many students find this a pleasant way of learning. All this makes studying in the Netherlands unique and as an international student, you’d definitely love that, especially if you’re from a culture where teachers are seen as “demigods” whose words are sacred and you aren’t allowed to engage them in discussions during classes, correct them if they’re wrong or even criticize their methods of teaching. Yes, I’m talking about African and Asian schools and teachers!
I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’re reading about how open-minded and “liberal” the Netherlands is. Of course, we live in times when the political climate may be a bit different from what it was a few years ago, but lots of cities in the Netherlands are very open-minded, filled with international students who are definitely enjoying their time in the country and also learning a lot about the Netherlands and her people. Take Amsterdam as an example, it is both a city filled with tourists, international students and people from all backgrounds. It is an open-minded city where I’m fully certain that any student who goes there to study will surely have a great experience. The international students who study in the Netherlands come from 190 different countries. The Dutch are open-minded and quite direct, making it easy to make contact with Dutch people and exchange ideas. This makes international students feel welcome in the Netherlands.
The 2018 Global University rankings show that universities in the Netherlands are among the best in the world. Universities like the Vrije University, University of Amsterdam, Erasmus University and the Delft University of Technology are among the most highly ranked universities in Europe and the world. These universities have some of the best teachers, brightest students and well-funded and highly advanced research facilities. Universities in the Netherlands are therefore well-regarded and this makes them popular among foreign students. If you’re coming here to study, don’t worry, you’re definitely in good hands.
The Netherlands is number 17 on the list of the largest economies in the world. Some of the country’s biggest brands are; Heineken, KLM, Shell, ING, Philips and Unilever. In addition, the Netherlands is a world leader in fields such as agriculture, water management, dyke building, dredging, banking and finance, art & design, logistics and sustainable energy, etc. International students can learn more about these disciplines in the Netherlands than in any other country. Imagine how awesome it would be to do a water management/dyke building course in a country where one-third of it lies below sea level, with the lowest point being 22 feet (6.7 meters) and is constantly battling the seas with her well-built and well-managed dykes.
A look at the map of Europe shows you how centrally located the Netherlands is. This makes it very easy to go partying or sightseeing in countries like Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc. You can take a flight and be in some of the neighboring countries in less than 3 hours. You can also take a train and be in the middle of Paris in less than 5 to 6 hours. In addition to the good location and good transport connections to other countries, you also get discounts on travel as a student. What’s more fun than studying really hard from Monday to Friday and then taking a flight to Ibiza on Friday night, meeting up with friends, partying as hard as you can and taking another quick flight back on Sunday night.
While finding accommodation in the Netherlands (especially in the busy cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam) can be quite a hassle, student housing in the Netherlands is also very cheap. In Amsterdam for example, there are student campuses with cheap houses made out of containers for students. Some of these accommodations are rented out by corporations and the wonderful thing is that it is sometimes possible to get a rent subsidy.
Amsterdam is one of the Netherlands most popular student cities. The open-minded and multicultural city is hob me to more than 100,000 students from different parts of the globe. Amsterdam is known for the many pleasant student associations and there is always one for you. The characteristic, vibrant character of Amsterdam can be found in the many trendy, fun and affordable restaurants and the costliest food & lifestyle spots. Of all the beautiful cities in the Netherlands, Haarlem and Amsterdam remain my favorites, and as a student studying in Amsterdam myself, I’d recommend this inspiring and welcoming city to anyone planning to study in the Netherlands. Studying in Amsterdam for some international students can bring its fair share of culture shock, but the city is a diverse one and no matter where you come from, you’ll always feel at home in Amsterdam. The city has some really cool restaurants with good food, clubs, libraries, and friendly people and of course, prestigious schools to make your study experience one you wouldn’t forget quickly.
So if you’re still looking for a country to study, here are 10 reasons why the Netherlands is your best bet. And for those who are starting this September, I wish you all the best and hope you enjoy the Netherlands.
Universities of Netherland:
Member of the EU and agreeing with the Bologna system, universities in Netherlands favour EU and EEA students when it comes to tuition fees. For this reason, students coming from a non-EU/EEA country can be charged double or sometimes even triple the amount of tuition fee that is charged to EU students.
The common name for these tuition costs will be the statutory fee (for EU/EEA students, or students with special residence permits) and the institutional fee (for non-EU/EEA students).
On average, tuition fees for EU students range at around 2,000 EUR/year, while for non-EU students, tuition fees start from 6,000 EUR/year.
If you are from an EU/EEA country or Suriname and you start studying a Bachelor’s at a public university in the Netherlands in 2018-2019, you will only pay half of the tuition fee in the first year. This means that for the first year of studies your fee will only be 1,030 EUR. A main condition to be eligible is to not have studied in Netherlands before.
The fee discount will also apply to Master’s degrees in Initial Teacher Education, provided that you start a Bachelor’s in Education at a Dutch University in 2018-2019.
Your daily expenses include food, public transport, books, clothes, and leisure activities. Of course, you also need to take into account the costs for housing and insurance. Students living and studying in the Netherlands for one year spend 800 – 1,200 EUR/month.
According to Eurostudent, out of the total monthly study abroad expenses, student spends on average:
Study-related costs paid by students in the Netherlands are relatively high compared to the European average.
Here are the average living costs in major Dutch student cities:
If you have a moderate student income, one-third of it will go towards housing. Renting a room in the Netherlands can cost between 300 – 600 EUR/month.
Here are examples of average accommodation costs based on the type of housing:
29% of students live in student accommodation in the Netherlands. Accommodation costs in the Netherlands are above the international average.
It is important to bear in mind that there are different costs that are included (not always!) in your rent. For example, before you rent a place you have to pay a deposit (usually 1 months’ worth of rent), which you will get back at the end of the tenancy agreement if the place is in the same condition as when you got it.
Students living alone pay around 170 EUR/month for food bills from the supermarkets. Lidl, Aldi and Albert Heijn are some of the cheapest supermarkets. How much you spend, depends on your lifestyle and the city you live in.
You should expect shopping in Amsterdam and Rotterdam to be much more expensive than smaller cities like Groningen or Eindhoven.
If you’re interested in having lunch or dinner out, budget restaurants offer meals for around 10 – 20 EUR.
Average monthly transportation costs for students in the Netherlands average 35 EUR/month. Save a lot on transportation by renting a bike – popular transportation option in the country; prices start from 10 EUR/day.
There are also many inexpensive options of buying a bike second-hand, as this may prove a better investment in the long run.