When you’re considering study abroad locations, you’ve probably thought about the Netherlands as a viable place to pursue your education; you may have noticed that it’s a popular spot for international studies, and that Netherlands has started to stand out in terms of higher education opportunities.
So, what are the plus-sides, and what are the downsides of studying in the Netherlands?
The 4 Pros of Studying in the Netherlands
1. The Dutch are bilingual wizards
You may be shocked to find that more than three quarters of the population in the Netherlands claim to be proficient in English. It’s true! This is also a great advantage if you are a foreigner and don’t speak any Dutch. The fact that English is everywhere will makes life outside of the university campus quite easy. Of course, learning a language is wonderful and you’re advised to at least learn a few basic Dutch words so you can fit in better.
However, you won’t have to struggle with the language barrier in the beginning and you can easily interact in English with people everywhere: at the university, supermarkets, and government buildings.
And, of course, the language of instruction, especially for Master and PhD programmes, is mostly English.
2. Your career will get the coveted Netherlands boost
Dutch universities are known to be among the best universities in the world, competing with other famous UK and U.S. universities. You could say Netherlands is one of the top non-English speaking countries where you can study abroad, get quality education and find loads of degrees taught in English.
It goes without saying that graduating from a university in the Netherlands will provide you numerous advantages for your future career. You will not only be able to find a job in the Netherlands (especially in English-speaking companies), but your qualification will be recognised and valued all over the world.
So, take advantage of this opportunity, and see how it can serve you best in the future.
3. You have plenty of scholarships to choose from
Both public and private universities in the Netherlands charge tuition fees for Bachelor, Master and PhD programmes. Here are some important things to know about tution fees in the Netherlands
- EU students benefit the advantage of being charged smaller fees compared to non-EU students.
- The average tuition for a Bachelor’s degree ranges between 2,000 and 6,000 EUR year, whereas the costs for a Master’s programme start from 8,000 and can lead up to 20,000 EUR/year.
- Holland Scholarships for non-EEA students – award is up to 5,000 EUR/year
- Netherlands Fellowship Programmes – for students coming from developing countries
- Other scholarship opportunities – provided by Dutch universities, associations and companies
Some universities (mostly the technology and engineering related ones) work in collaboration with private companies, and these companies also award scholarships.
One tip: Your GPA is hugely important for getting scholarships. The higher your grade is compared to other applicants, the higher your chance of getting a scholarship. Of course, it also depends on the academic year, other applicants, the department, etc.
4. Get two Master degrees for the price of one!
According to a state regulation, if you pay the statutory tuition fees for your first enrolment (in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree), if you decide to enrol to a second degree at the same time, you will be exempted from paying any tuition for your second programmes. This applies if you enrol at the same university or a different one, as long as they are both public universities.
Additionally, within most Dutch universities, you can choose as many elective courses as you want and you don’t have to pay an additional fee.
The 4 Cons of Studying in the Netherlands
1. Time to grow up. Fast!
If you come from a country where the education system is more traditional, (i.e. the professors give you a schedule and tell you what and when to do, courses are more practical and project-based), you may feel lost here in the Netherlands, since the faculty have a different attitude towards students and education.
As a student, you have to take responsibility, be active during class and feel free to share your ideas and opinions.
You should definitely develop a strategic plan long before the project deadlines, do a thorough research and present your ideas clearly and concisely. In one word, you will become an independent learner.