Why study a Bachelor or Master in Netherlands

Find all the study programs in Netherlands

  • About
  • Study
  • Living
  • Universities
  • Student Visa
  • How to Apply
  • Scholarship

About Netherlands

You may not have heard about the Netherlands, but for sure you know about Amsterdam. The Netherlands is a country in the European Union but it also has three municipalities in the Caribbean: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba. This is in addition to the mainland in Europe. 


Many international students turn to Dutch universities in the Netherlands to pursue their international study journey there and study in netherlands. They have great universities with a diverse global community that is welcoming to foreigners. Dutch is the word used to refer to anything relating to the Netherlands. Another fun fact is that the Netherlands is one of the only countries that currently still have a royal monarchy.


If you’re interested to learn more about the land of the Stroopwafels, Gouda Cheese and windmills and why you should choose it as your study destination, let’s get going! 



The first official language in the Netherlands is Dutch, while English was recently announced to be the second official language in the country. 


Because the Netherlands is in Europe, it uses the euro as its primary form of currency. They started using the euro as the official currency in 2002, although they had previously used it in traveller’s checks and electronically in the year 1999. 

Geographical information

The Netherlands is an artificially created land located in Northwest Europe. Half of the country was at or below sea level and was reclaimed. The country is mainly made up of lowland, farming lands, dunes and beaches. 


When it comes to religion, 20 per cent of the Dutch people are Catholic Christians while 15 per cent are Protestant Christian. Beyond this, five per cent of the population are Muslim, while another six per cent are religious minorities. However, as time has gone on, the desire to pertain to a religious group has decreased among the Dutch people, with more and more people identifying as having no religion. 


Political stance

The economy of the Netherlands is considered the 17th most significant worldwide, with its primary industries being agriculture, oil and natural gas. The political system in play is a parliamentary representative democracy with a constitutional monarchy and a unitary state that is entirely decentralized. They describe themselves as being in a consociational state. 


People worldwide know the Netherlands as the land of windmills, canals and tulips.  These are among the most popular tourist attractions in the country. Jordaan and Amsterdam’s Canals are known as an integral part of Amsterdam’s infrastructure, with many tourists coming to the city to cycle next to the waterways and make loads of memories. Another popular tourist attraction is the Keukenhof, one of the most stunning places to visit with gardens of tulips. This flower is the most popular one in the Netherlands and there’s no better place to feast on the beauty of them in abundance there. 


There are many delicious foods that the Netherlands is known for. For example, Stroopwafels are made of two layers of baked dough and then sealed together with sticky caramel syrup. Gouda cheese is another well-known cheese that is eaten all over the world but that originated in the city of Gouda in the Netherlands. This cheese is aged from 4 weeks to more than a year. Another popular food in the Netherlands is a puffy type of pancake known as poffertjes. These are tiny pancakes made with yeast and flour. A traditional Dutch breakfast food or a yummy snack, it is topped with butter, powdered sugar, and sticky syrup. 

Study in Netherlands

There are many reasons why international students choose to study in the Netherlands, from the cultural diversity of international students to the many English degree courses. It also doesn’t hurt that the Netherlands is a beautiful country with many scenic attractions and natural
Wonders. Read on to find out why you should study in the Netherlands, and how much it would cost you to do so.

Why should you study in the Netherlands?

With great degrees and even greater universities, many students from around the globe choose the Netherlands as their study abroad destination. Here are some reasons why you should choose to study in the land of the tulips and windmills. 


Welcoming to international cultures 

A significant reason why international students should come study in the Netherlands is the fact that the Dutch people are welcoming to people of different cultures, coming from anywhere in the globe to join the cosmopolitan culture. The country is also home to many international students from over 150 countries worldwide. These students flock to the Netherlands to enjoy the great climate, beautiful canals and beaches and excellent quality of education.

English degree programs 

Another reason to study in the Netherlands is the many degree programs taught in English. The country offers more than 2,000 bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees in the English language, with affordable tuition costs. Another fun fact is that 95 per cent of the locals speak English so that means you’ll find it easy to get around. 

Modern teaching methods 

Dutch universities use modern teaching methods that are innovative to help students learn in the most advanced ways possible. Professors and programs use brand new state-of-the-art techniques to teach the courses, emphasizing practical education and application of theory, not just memorizing facts.  

Learning Teamwork skills

Learning invaluable skills like teamwork is another reason students may turn to the Netherlands to study there. Courses in Dutch universities are created to teach skills that are crucial to careers, such as excellent teamwork skills. Faculty focuses on encouraging students to work in groups and teams to engage with their teammates and learn to work effectively as part of a group. This also teaches them effective communication and conflict resolution skills, which they will surely need in their careers after graduation.  


Great degree programs 

The unique degree programs that are internationally recognized and known for being of high value are another reason why you should study in the Netherlands. Receiving a degree diploma in the field of your passion from one of the well-known universities there can give you fantastic value nationally and at the international level, which means your CV will get the boost you need to set you out from the crowd and find some really great jobs after you finish your studies. 


How much does it cost?

If you are an EU or EEA student, you will pay €2,168 per year as tuition fees at public Dutch universities. If you are from outside of the EU, you can expect to pay from 6,000 to 15,000 euros a year for undergraduate degrees and from 8,000 to 20,000 euros annually for postgraduate degrees.


Suppose you are intending to attend a private university. In that case, you can expect to pay way higher fees that start at 30,000 euros per annual year, but each school sets their own tuition fees, so you should check the website of the university you are interested in to find out exactly how much you’ll need to pay. 


Living in Netherlands

When living in the Netherlands, you can expect to pay anywhere between 500 euros and 1,500 euros per month for the costs of living. These will include accommodation, plane tickets back and forth, food and other living expenses. However, being a student means you will also receive a good discount on restaurants, tourist attractions and nightclubs if you show your student card. 


Costs of living will also differ based on the Dutch city you are living in. For example, if you live in Amsterdam, you will pay an average of 1,250 euros per month, while in Enschede, you’ll pay an average of 800 euros per month. Students living in Eindhoven will pay an average of 1,000 euros per month while those in Delft can expect to pay an average of 900 euros per month. Finally, those living in Rotterdam pay an average of 1,000 euros when it comes to costs of living. 



Everything is more expensive in the bigger cities when it comes to accommodation. In the smaller towns, the cost of living is lower but you’ll have less urbanization and fewer people around you. On average, accommodation costs students from 300 to 700 euros a month, depending on your choice of accommodation. Read on to learn about the different types of lodging you can choose from when studying in the Netherlands. 

Shared house

Most students who go to study in the Netherlands choose to live in shared houses. These may also be called student houses. They are privately owned apartments that are rented and split between students, typically between 3 and 6 students. Costs of utilities are also divided between those living there. The houses usually have house rules, with each person having their private room and sharing a common area with a kitchen and bathroom and sitting area. This accommodation option is great for socializing and building friendships that last a lifetime. 


You can expect to pay from 400 to 700 euros a month based on how big the apartment is, where its located and the type of services you receive along with staying there. 


You can also choose to rent your own studio apartment, though you’ll pay rent from 500 to 1,000 euros so they’re a bit more pricey than shared apartments. 

Student apartment

There are also options for living called student apartments, which are similar to shared houses but host more people, up to 12 tenants, and can be a bit cheaper than them. They offer students a private room and shared facilities with the rest of the tenants. You can expect to pay from 300 to 500 euros a month for this kind of accommodation.  

University dorms

Another popular option for students among first-year students is the university dorms. Most universities there offer student dorm rooms on campus or at one of their housing organizations. This accommodation option costs the same as private student shared apartments but offers students more opportunities to mingle with international students and expand their social circles. This type of accommodation typically costs students between 350 and 600 euros per month.

Other costs of living

When it comes to other costs of living, you can expect to pay from 50 to 100 euros per month for study books and from 40 to 100 euros per month for public transportation. Groceries cost international students an average of 150 euros per month. You can also expect to pay around 115 euros for utilities per month and an additional 40 euros for internet every month. 

Universities in Netherlands

There are many good universities in the Netherlands that are known all over the world for their awesome degree programs taught by knowledgeable professors. Students come from all over the globe to study at world-class institutions. Read on to learn more about the degrees available in the Netherlands and the best universities there. 

Degrees available

In the Netherlands, there are two types of universities that offer degrees for higher education. These universities are research universities (universiteiten) and universities of professional tertiary education (hogescholen). You can choose to pursue degrees at these universities like Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees (called the Doctorandus – Drs. in the Netherlands) and PhD degrees. 


Research universities have degree programs that are more general in nature. These are more theoretical courses. In the Dutch educational system, the name given to a research-oriented education like this is Wetenschappelijk onderwijs, abbreviated to WO. 


On the other hand, professional schools of tertiary education (hogescholen) give more practical courses that prepare students for a particular career that they want to pursue. In dutch, these are called Hoger Beroepsonderwijs, abbreviated as HBO degrees.


Top-ranked universities

The Netherlands has some of the best-ranked universities in the world. International students love studying at these universities that are known for their excellent levels of education, teaching and research. From the Delft University of Technology to the Eindhoven University of Technology, here are some of the top-ranked universities in the country. 

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Location: Delft 


The Delft University of Technology was established in 1842, making it the oldest and biggest public university in the Netherlands. 23,000 students attend the university, studying subjects such as engineering, computer science, maths, applied science and technology management. 


Eindhoven University of Technology

Location: Eindhoven 


The Eindhoven University of Technology is the second-best university in the Netherlands. It also holds the rank of the 99th highest quality of education in the world, which is quite a great accomplishment. 


The best subjects there include subjects in the fields of technology and engineering, with one of the best being the architecture degree. If you’re interested in studying architecture, you should really look into this university as it’s truly one of the top. 


University of Amsterdam

Location: Amsterdam


The University of Amsterdam is the third best university in the Netherlands, with 32,000 students attending it. It is ranked number 15 among the best universities in Europe and 57th in the world. The university offers an array of courses taught in English at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels so no matter what the subject you want to study is,  you’ll find it there.


Leiden University

Location: Leiden


Leiden University is considered the oldest institution in The Netherlands and holds the number 122 rank worldwide, sharing it with Utrecht University. Over 26,000 students attend the university, acquiring bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees. 

Utrecht University

Location: Utrecht 


Utrecht University is ranked number 5 in the Netherlands and shares the 122nd spot in the world with Leiden University. The university has over 30,000 students attending it, studying different subjects and disciplines. 

Student Visa - Netherlands

To study in the Netherlands, you’ll need to get a study visa, which they also call a residence permit. This is required for anyone who isn’t an EU citizen to be able to study in the Netherlands. 


However, unlike other countries, it’s the responsibility of the university itself to apply for your study visa. You pay a fee of 175 euros at time of admission for them to be able to apply on your behalf. The application process takes from 60 to 90 days through the Immigration Department. The final decision is passed on to the university, who then tells you the result. 


Types of Student Visas

There are several types of student visas available for international students who want to study in the Netherlands. The Schengen visa is enough if your study course in the Netherlands is up to 9p days long.


If it’s longer, you’ll need to apply for the MVV (Entry Visa) or VRV (Residency Permit) visa. The MVV remains valid for 90 days, after which you continue with a VRV, or residency permit. You apply for it once you are done with the MVV. 


Student Visa Requirements


Requirements to apply for a student visa in the Netherlands are: 

  • An Acceptance letter from the university
  • Proof of sufficient funds to be able to support yourself (at least 900 euros per month of study)
  • Dutch or English language proficiency proof, in certificate form with the required scores (TOEFL: score of at least 550 (paper-based) or 213 (internet based), IELTS: score of at least 6.)
  • Good previous academic performance (a score of higher than 55 percent) and certificates or diplomas to prove it
  • Documents all translated into Dutch, French, German, or English
  • Health insurance if you are a Non EU member citizen and a valid EHIC if you are an EU citizen.


How to obtain it 

Students who want to obtain a study visa for the Netherlands can get one from their nearest embassy almost immediately. The MVV must be collected with a passport valid for at least six months in advance. It remains valid for 90 days from the date of pick-up from the embassy. International students can use this MVV which is used as a temporary residence permit to enter the Netherlands and start studying there. 


How to apply - Netherlands

For most study programs, you’ll need to register on the Studielink tool, offered by the ministry of higher education. It’s the official portal to apply through to most universities in the Netherlands. Be sure to check with your university whether you need to apply through Studielink or use a different means to apply. Read on to learn more about the application process and the requirements for applying to a Dutch university. 

Numerus fixus degrees

In the Dutch higher education systems, some programs are called numerus fixus programs. This means that theres a fixed number or capacity or students that can join the degree program. The university sets a cap for the number of students to limit places. You can apply at most for 2 of these programs per year and you may not be allowed to apply if you have applied before and not been selected. The institution sets the rules around application and selection for these programs. 


Language requirements 

If you are applying for an English degree, you’ll need to have proof of your proficiency in the English language. Accepted certificates are the TOEFL iBT, IELTS Academic, PTE Academic and C1 Advanced. 

Required university application documents

Required documents for university application include: 

  • A copy of passport or Identification card 
  • Passport-style picture
  • Personal statement letter in the English language around 500 to 800 words, answering why you want to study in the university and what you plan to do after graduation.
  • Previously obtained diplomas and transcripts in English, French, German or Dutch 
  • Proof of English or Dutch language proficiency, depending on the language of the degree
  • Proof of application fee payment, ranging from 50 to 100 euros 


Some universities will also ask for your CV or resume, some letters of recommendation or referral or samples of your previous work. There may be other requirements specific to your university and degree program application so make sure to check them so that you have all your documents in check. If you are handing in documents that aren’t English, French, German or Dutch, you’ll need to accompany them with an official translation, certified and approved by the Dutch government. 


Application deadlines

When it comes to submitting your application, you should check the deadlines to make sure you don’t miss any. The deadlines are mid-January for numerus fixus programs and 1st of May for all other programs. However, you should also check the deadlines relating to your study program and university as they may differ from these general guidelines. 

Scholarship in Netherlands

The Dutch government offers international students scholarships of 16 billion euros. Most students also apply for a form of government assistance called Studiefinanciering but they must fulfill some criteria to do so: 


  • They must be between 18 and 30 years of age
  • They must be working a certain number of weekly hours, or their partner must be working them.


If they qualify for the Studiefinanciering, the government will pay for tuition fees, as well as housing rent, health insurance costs and transportation expenses. This is a great option for students at Dutch universities who are unable to afford some expenses while studying. 


Exchange programs may also offer you the chance to get financial assistance from your home country, through tax benefits for your parents. 


However, there are also other options for scholarships that international students should look into and apply to, if they are eligible to do so: 

  • Holland Scholarships pay for up to €5,000 of funding for Masters’s students from outside the EU.
  • The Middle East and North Africa Scholarship Programme (MSP) offer scholarships for master’s students from 10 countries. 
  • Sino-Dutch Scholarship offers Chinese students with a stipend of up to €16,113 to fund their studies.
  • NN Future Matters Scholarship offers scholarships to students from countries like Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and Turkey. They offer them the amount of €5,000 to study postgraduate studies in Finance, Risk Management or Economics. 
  • Orange Tulip Scholarship Programmes offers students coming from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam scholarships to fund their master’s programs in the Netherlands.