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Universities in Netherlands and study in Netherlands - International Student Country Guide

Find universities in Netherlands and study in Netherlands, our guide for international students to study abroad. Want to study in an entrepreneurial, pioneering country? The Netherlands is a small country with plenty to offer. Home to Nobel Prize winners, legendary artists and scientific discoveries, the Netherlands is a great place to further your education.Study a degree in the Netherlands
Not only is the country extremely welcoming and multicultural, it is also one of the cheaper destinations in Europe in which to study – so it’s no surprise more than 45,000 international students choose to study a degree in the Netherlands each year.

How can you study a degree in the Netherlands?

The Dutch higher education system allows you to choose between two main types of education, depending on what you want to study. You can choose between:

  • Research-orientated degrees offered by research universities
  • Higher professional education offered by universities of applied sciences
A third option for international students is to study at dedicated institutes of international education, who design and provide education solely for international students in the Netherlands.
The top universities in Netherlands include:

Undergraduate degrees in the Netherlands generally take between 3-4 years to complete depending on the degree and subject studied. It may be possible to convert some study into a Masters qualification by taking a fifth year of education.

Tuition fees

Fees to study a degree in the Netherlands for the 2013/14 year are €1,835 per year of study, although this only applies to EU students. Non-EU students can expect to pay significantly more.

Immigration and visas

Most international students will need a study permit to study on an undergraduate course in the Netherlands and others may need to apply for temporary residence.

EU students are able to come and study in the Netherlands providing you are studying at an approved institution for more than three months and have sufficient income to support yourself. Non-EU students will need to apply for a visa dependent on their nationality.

You will generally need to show the following, regardless of your nationality:
  • You have a confirmed place on a course at a recognised education institution
  • You are not already in the country on a tourist or business visa
  • You have paid all relevant visa fees

Accommodation and living costs

Students in the Netherlands generally live privately and not on campus, unlike many other countries in the world. Your chosen university may be able to arrange a room in a shared house for you, which is much easier to sort out than finding a room privately.

Accommodation costs in the Netherlands depend on which institution and city you’ve chosen to study your undergraduate degree in. As a guide, you should expect to pay somewhere between €300 - €600 per month, depending on whether bills are included in your rent.

Some good sites to look for student accommodation in the Netherlands include:

Living costs: The cost of living in the Netherlands is comparable to many other European countries. However, many places offer students discounts on food, clothing and entertainment. It’s important to remember that most students in the Netherlands live in private accommodation and not university halls, which can increase your costs.  
Rent: Most international students in the Netherlands will opt to live in private accommodation, as university lodgings are limited. Expect to pay between €300-600 per month for a room in a shared house.

For Parents

How safe is the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is an extremely tolerant and multi-cultural country, which is well used to welcoming international students from around the world. The main risk students face in the Netherlands is petty crime, such as pickpockets and minor theft.
Despite this, students should always take precautions to make sure they stay safe. They should take care to:

  • Avoid walking alone at night
  • Always carry a charged phone
  • Avoid potentially quiet/ dark shortcuts
  • Avoid carrying a lot of cash
  • Let friends know where they are going
  • Always keep a close eye on personal belongings whilst out
  • Never accept things from strangers – whether this is a lift home or a drink
EU students are able to access the Dutch public health system providing they have a European Health Insurance Card. However, it is vital that you take out dedicated study abroad insurance cover.
Staying in touch
Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:

  • Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection
  • Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date
  • Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill

What to do next

If you really want to study abroad but are not sure about where, check our country guides. Otherwise if you would like more information about studying the Netherlands, sign up for our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with you shortly.