Lifestyle, Student Life March 06, 2020
The new hotspot for international students: Why you should consider studying in the Netherlands

The new hotspot for international students: Why you should consider studying in the Netherlands

Are you planning on studying abroad after summer, but you’re still trying to figure out where? We get that it is hard to choose when there are so many options. But no worries, we will make your decision just a bit easier for you. Over the past few years, the Netherlands has become an actual hotspot for exchange students, and cities like Amsterdam are booming for the international community!

So, if you haven’t already, you should definitely consider studying in the Netherlands, and here are a few reasons why.

Very international-friendly

The Netherlands is known for its great international environment, especially in the big cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen and Eindhoven. Over the last few years, the Netherlands has seen a massive increase in the number of immigrants and expats, especially from other European countries, Asia and the US.

Firstly, the Netherlands can be seen as very international-friendly as 95% of the Dutch population speaks English. Not everyone is fluent but as a non-Dutch speaker, you will easily get around without knowing the native language. Also, in cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam you are more likely to hear English around you than Dutch. With a population that’s almost 50% foreign, Amsterdam is one of the most international cities in Europe.

When looking at the number of international students living in the Netherlands, this has also been rapidly increasing in the past two to three years. The University of Leiden states that there are almost 100.000 international students in the Netherlands. According to Nuffic, they made up 20.4% of all enrolled students in Dutch Universities and schools in the academic year of 2018-2019. This number continues to increase, as the Netherlands is gaining popularity amongst foreign students. But why?

Universities are mostly English-taught!

With students from 180 different countries, Dutch universities are very international-friendly and provide many English-taught courses. More than 2,100 to be precise! Dutch universities offer the most English study programs in the whole Europe (excluding the U.K.). Not just the language, but also the content of the courses is international-friendly. Dutch universities and colleges encourage their students to be open-minded towards other nationalities and cultures and learn to think globally as well as locally.

High value for low(er) costs.

You will receive true value for your money when you study in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is ranked in the world’s top schools for higher education. For example, the University of Technology in Delft and the University of Amsterdam are ranked #52 and #57 in the top 100 best universities worldwide. Furthermore, the Erasmus University in Rotterdam was ranked among the top 10 best business schools in Europe.

Compared to the UK and the US, the Netherlands is a relatively cheap country with regards to tuition fees. For EEA students and students from Switzerland or Surinam, Dutch university fees cost around €2,000 per academic year. For non-EEA students, these fees vary between €6,000 and €15,000 per academic year. Further, living costs are comparatively cheap. Most students live in shared student houses or apartments, where the average monthly rent can vary between €300 and €1000 euros depending on the city and location.

Considering these high rankings and low tuition fees, it is clear that studying in the Netherlands will be beneficial for both the quality of your education, as well as your bank account!

High-quality internship or exchange

Are you a student looking for an exchange or internship abroad? Then you can definitely consider the Netherlands as one of your options! The Netherlands has become a very popular destination for exchange students and those looking for a (graduate) internship. According to Nuffic, there were almost 15,000 students that came to the Netherlands for either their exchange or internship in the academic year of 2016-2017. There are many great organisations like AIESEC and the Erasmus program that help exchange students by organising their exchange program or by finding the right place for an internship.

These organisations also serve as communities where international students can get to know other international students. Weekly or monthly events are organised where students can build their social connections. Also, these organisations help the students by integrating into the Dutch culture by providing classes and events regarding integration.

(International) career opportunities in the Netherlands

It can’t be denied. Living in the Netherlands is great. According to OECD, the Netherlands ranks high when it comes to work-life balance, happiness and well-being. Furthermore, it is in the top 10 of best countries to live in, also for non-Dutchies. So who wouldn’t want to start their career in the Netherlands after graduating?

It provides an international environment for students as well as for recent graduates and young professionals. More and more multinationals are operating in the Dutch market and Dutch companies are shifting to English-communication and aiming to reach international audiences, too. As previously stated, the number of expats in the Netherlands is growing fast, and cities will only become more international in the future.

Where to find a job as an international?

Staying in the Netherlands after you finish your studies is also definitely an option! Especially when you are an EEA/EU student this shouldn’t be a problem at all. Finding an internship, traineeship or job is made quite easy for people in the Netherlands, including the internationals. Thanks to career websites like, students and young professionals are helped during the process of starting their career off right.

A lot of companies and job positions in the Netherlands have drifted away from the requirement of the Dutch language and shifted to English as their main language of operation. Actually, many companies currently look for employees that don’t speak Dutch, but rather another European language like Spanish to complete their team. As companies are becoming more international, they do not only switch to operating in English but also in other markets like the German, French or Spanish markets. So, being an international student or young professional in the Netherlands is very beneficial!

Are you convinced?

We get it. It is quite difficult to decide where you are going to spend the next few years of your life. Especially if you’re still young and a little bit clueless. However, now you know that you won’t have to worry about having a great time if you choose to study in the Netherlands!

Although the country is small in size, the Netherlands has so much to offer in terms of academic, career and student-life opportunities and helping you develop into the best version of yourself!

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