The Netherlands is, according to rankings (I know, rankings have limited value, but when the Netherlands ranks high I like them…), one of the best countries for foreign students to study. This applies to both academic level and cost of studying and living. This fact is however hardly known outside the Netherlands.
The world will look very, very different in 2040, just one generation from now, and it is our (Dutch) challenge to remain connected and adapt ourselves. In the top 10 of biggest economies there will only be a few Western countries, the other places will be taken by countries like China, Nigeria, Brazil and India. And the question “what do people think about the Netherland?” should be replaced by the question “do people still realize there is a country called the Netherlands?”
Reason to despair? Of course not, we have a lot to offer, but we have to find effective ways how to make this known. Because if we do not, we will lose out and so do the foreign students, something we cannot afford in this internationally competitive world. For this reason The Netherlands Education Support Office (NESO) will start in Turkey this summer, both in Istanbul and Ankara.
The Netherlands: known for its football, milk cows and student life
‘I didn’t knew anything about Holland, except that they play football there, that Heineken tastes really good and they have the best milk cows,’ A foreign student told studyinholland.nl. He was selected to design, build and race a car powered by solar energy while doing a MSc in Mechanical Engineering at Delft University of Technology. ‘Student life is great here, most of my friends are Dutch and they are really great.’
Annually the Netherlands hosts almost 100.000 international students. More than 1,500 study programs are taught in English; 14 research institutes, 39 universities of applied sciences and 14 other institutions are offering courses for international students. After the UK the Netherlands is the country with the highest proficiency in English. After the UK it offers the highest number of English language courses.
The perfect combination of study and side-activities
A little while ago ‘The Guardian’ published an article named ‘Six ways the Dutch are nailing student life’. The British author praised the way the Dutch are living and experiencing their student life. She liked the fact that students take part in activities in their city (such as sporting and volunteering) and that there is enough time to combine academic reading, completing assignments and travelling.
Easy-going and strong
This relatively relax approach of studying pays off. In the ‘World University Rankings’, an annual top 200 of the best universities all around the world, Dutch universities occupy the fourth place. “The Netherlands has a very strong system of higher education, with eleven universities in the top 200,” Phil Baty of ‘Times Higher Education Magazine’ states.
Studying in the Netherlands – What’s the added value?
The teaching climate in the Netherlands is interactive, focuses on teamwork and respects the opinion of individuals. The Netherlands is a pioneering, creative and multi-cultural country; in areas of expertise such as Water Management, Art and Design and Sustainable Energy, Dutch education is among the world leaders. Studying in the Netherlands means developing an open mind and increasing your international orientation.
As an EU student the annual tuitions fee is round 1,700 euro, depending on the institution. If you are from outside the EU, the tuition fee will be higher, more in line with other EU countries. The cost of living in the Netherlands is relatively low and students often get discount in restaurants, in sport clubs, etc.
And…… you will definitely not spend a lot of money on transportation, since bicycling doesn’t cost a thing!