The Netherlands is one of the most popular destinations for international students, and it ranks the fourth-best place in Europe to study abroad. There are plenty of reasons why it ranks so well – the Netherlands boasts lively student cities, top universities, and fantastic job opportunities for graduates. But why exactly should you study abroad in the Netherlands?
First of all, the Netherlands is a very international country. It has the most proficient English speakers in the world among countries where English is a second language. This means you won’t struggle to live in the country, interact with Dutch students, and find an English-speaking job.
The Netherlands also delivers when it comes to top universities. You don’t have to live in the capital, Amsterdam, either, as there are high-ranked universities throughout the country. Seven of the country’s universities rank in the top 100 universities in the world. This includes Wageningen University, the University of Amsterdam, and Leiden University.
After you’ve graduated, the Netherlands is also full of fantastic job opportunities. Some of the world’s biggest companies are located in the country, including Unilever, ING, Philips, and Heineken. Unemployment is low in the Netherlands, and almost 24% of the population are foreign or ethnic minorities, meaning you’ll be working in a highly diverse workforce. All of these reasons make studying abroad in the Netherlands an attractive choice, no matter what degree you’re looking to study.
things to know before you go to the Netherlands
Before you consider applying to a university in the Netherlands, it’s helpful to know the details of finances and visas.
If you’re coming from the EU to study in the Netherlands, a Dutch university degree will usually cost between €700-€2,500 per year. Students from outside the EU will pay more – likely around €6,000-€15,000 per year for a Bachelors degree, and €8,000-€20,000 per year for a Masters degree. Non-EU nationals will also have to apply for a Dutch study visa, which costs around €180.
In terms of living costs, these will vary depending on which city or town you choose to live in. Large cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague will attract higher living costs than Groningen and Nijmegen, but you’ll also benefit from the livelier environment and more job opportunities. On average, living costs shouldn’t exceed €1,500 per month wherever you live.
Applying to study in the Netherlands
Once you’ve found your perfect university and course, keep in mind the deadline for applying. In the Netherlands, this is usually around May for EU nationals and April for non-EU nationals.
The first step is to carefully read the application instructions for your chosen university, as they may vary across the country. Wherever you want to study, you’ll have to create a Studielink account – this is the system that is used for university applications across the country. After that, Studielink will guide you through the process of applying, including adding your previous education and paying tuition fees if you’re successful.
Working as a student in the Netherlands
Studying abroad anywhere is expensive, and this is just as true in the Netherlands. Non-EU citizens will find their tuition fees are higher, while rent can also be expensive in the big cities.
For this reason, you might consider getting a part-time job while you study. If you’re a citizen of the EU, as long as you can find a part-time job (we’ll get to this), there are no limits on how often you can work. Non-EU citizens are limited to 16 hours per week during the study term, but they can work full-time in June, July, and August. Your employer will have to apply for a work permit for you, which can take five weeks, so make sure you start job-hunting early!
Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities. Even without basic Dutch, you should be able to find a job working at a restaurant, cafe, or shop, but you’ll have more luck if you can speak a little Dutch.
If you do get a part-time job, remember that you’re required to take out public health insurance. Typically, insurance will come to around €120 per month, though it depends on which cover you choose. Thankfully, you can get a subsidy for your insurance (called zorgtoeslag) from the government, which will cover almost all of the cost if you’re in a low-earner bracket.
conclusion About Studies Abroad in the Netherlands
Boasting impressive job opportunities, an international population, and world-renowned universities, it’s no surprise that students from around the world are looking to study abroad in the Netherlands. With all of this, you can also forgive the weather for being a little rainy, right?
When it comes to choosing your perfect university in the Netherlands, EDU Opinions can help. Find thousands of verified student reviews on our website, which cover internationally, student life, career prospects, and more.