Study in Netherlands


Your student experience in the Netherlands is bound to be quite enriching. It is indeed a small country in comparison to so many others. However, it has made a significant impact on the world in several ways. This is why several international companies have their headquarters in the Netherlands.

You will always feel welcome here. Almost four million people from amongst a total populace of almost 17 million are foreigners. This multi-ethnicity has been in evidence for hundreds of years. Locals and foreigners find it easy to gain employment here.

The Dutch go out of their way to be friendly and receptive. They converse comfortably in English with people from overseas. The Netherlands ranks third in the world for English (as a second language) proficiency. This proficiency helps the Dutch to satisfy their curiosity about alien cultures.

The official languages of the Netherlands are Dutch and Frisian. However, the former is more popular than the latter. Other known languages include English, German, Dutch Low Saxon, French, Gronings and Limburgish. Urban dwellers pick up languages more easily, since they encounter diverse cultures oftener than rural dwellers do.

The Netherlands has one of the highest population densities in the world. Over 17 million people reside in just about 41,500 square kilometers of area. This works out to about 500 individuals occupying one square kilometer of area. Yet, not a single city boasts of even one million inhabitants!

Admittedly, the population spread over a limited area is wise. According to OECD's Better Life Index, the Netherlands ranks the globe's fourth best nation in certain areas. The employment ratio is high. Families generally enjoy a good work-life balance.

Although households are generally well off, the Dutch frown upon ostentatious lifestyles. The Dutch believe in an egalitarian society and normal behavior. Surprisingly, their national anthem focuses on anti-eccentricity! Despite complex social norms being restrictive, global surveys declare Dutch children to be the happiest in the world.

The Dutch are able to remain stress-free, due to their heavy concentration on physical activities. A vast majority go in for weekend sports that keep them fit and healthy. Many even go in for daily, weekly or monthly non-sports physical activities. They are the most active of all EU nations.

Dutch art and designs may stun your sensibilities! The patterns are often humorous, minimalist or quirky in nature. However, there is no denying that they are definitely attention grabbing. The Netherlands has almost 1,000 museums displaying unique Dutch culture in diverse forms.

Like everyone else, the Dutch love to celebrate special occasions. One is the Feast of Sinterklaas on December 5 every year. Well-behaved, small children receive beautifully wrapped, surprise gifts. The givers also pen poems hinting at the presents inside.

April 27 is King's Day, that is, the king's birthday. Wearing orange-colored clothes, people organize jumble sales, free markets, etc. The king's family visits two rural areas, which organize programs displaying local folklore. The night prior to King's Day is a musical night, wherein talented musicians perform across the country.

The friendly Dutch welcome students from across the globe with open hearts. This is evident from the trouble they take to acquire expertise in the English language. Universities in the Netherlands offer over 2,000 programs, which use English as a medium of instruction. Of course, each university functions in alignment with its own rules and regulations.

They cover a broad range of disciplines at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. There are diploma, certificate and doctoral (PhD) courses on offer too. All universities have one thing in common. They require you to take an IELTS, TOEFL or English language test, if your native language is not English.

A sportive international player keen to excel in all areas, Holland strives to remain a knowledge-rich and culture-rich place. All 13 universities award great value to research related to science and technology. Some colleges even offer courses on applied sciences, granting equal importance to theory and practice.

The Netherlands adhere to the best study traditions in the world. Therefore, your degrees are accepted everywhere across the globe. Many local and international companies offer internship positions to students, after they complete their studies. You may use them to launch your professional network worldwide.

The Dutch will respect you only if you work hard and qualify for the high-quality study programs. It would be good to sign up for an introductory course, in order to learn the basics of the Dutch language. You will gain many friends because of your interest in their language. Additionally, your stay in an alien country will prove to be highly comfortable.

What is so admirable about the educational system in the Netherlands?

The educational authorities ensure that they design every program to perfection. The aim is to meet all the global standards of high-quality education. They also ensure that requisite facilities for each course are in place. The Netherlands Government is well aware of the what, when, why and how associated with every task.

The Dutch educational system is one of the oldest systems of learning and knowledge in the world. Surprisingly, all-round education has been in existence here, since the 16 th century. The focus of teaching is mainly on teamwork. After all, sportive players are always willing to learn from one another.

Even in a group, students may express personal viewpoints, feelings and opinions without inhibition. It does not matter who you are or where you are from. The Dutch are very open- minded and tolerant in attitude. You will enjoy functioning in this kind of an interactive environment.

The majority of your coursework focuses on group, and not on individual assignments. There is less emphasis on theory and more on practice. Over time, your academic skills and innovative talents will develop splendidly. This is because of sharing of ideas, cooperative functioning and personal experiences.

The Dutch educational system is highly problem-based learning in nature. You will learn to analyze and resolve practical issues easily. You will also develop a unique professional identity. This is an achievement indeed, when surrounded by students from over 150 diverse nations!

The majority are from EU nations. Regardless, you are bound to feel as if you have stepped onto a world map. Grab the chance to explore alien minds and ideas. You may never be able to participate in such global interactions again.

If you wish to, you may link up with a choice international student association. You will not miss home too much or feel homesick. You must get used to all kinds of individuals and their mindsets. After all, interviewers assess you in a creative manner, whenever you apply for a program or scholarship.

Holland's universities love to foster dependable relationships between students and professors. This is necessary, for every classroom is a conglomeration of diverse cultures and backgrounds. However, a student group generally comprises of 15 to 30 members only. Therefore, a professor finds it easier to conduct seminars and tutorials.

Your attitude will acquire an open-mindedness, international orientation and global perspective never seen before. You will even be inclined to see the ‘whole' rather than just the ‘bits'. This will help you gain expertise in your field of study. Finally, you will also learn to confront life's challenges without flinching.

The University of Amsterdam stands 57 th in the QS World University Rankings. It occupies the 15 th place in Europe. It came into being in 1632. The establishment offers a large range of master's degrees in English.

The Delft University of Technology is the largest and oldest technical university in Holland. Established in 1842, it ranks 62 globally. Students of architecture adore this establishment! The statue of Prometheus (Greek mythology) is a prominent attraction at TU Delft.

Leiden University stands at 102 in world rankings. William 1 (Prince of Orange) set it up in 1575. The university links up with over 40 research institutes. It is proudly associated with several global leaders and Nobel Prize winners.

Set up in 1636, Utrecht University comes a close second to Leiden University. It ranks 104 in the world. The institution is proud of its 13 Spinoza Prize laureates. It is equally proud of its 12 Nobel Prize laureates.

The University of Groningen gets 113 th ranking in the world. It came into being in 1614. The establishment takes credit for several ‘firsts'. The first President of the European Central Bank, the first Dutch astronaut, etc, graduated from here.

The Eindhoven University of Technology ranks 121 in the global rankings. The architecture, technical and engineering disciplines are the highlights of this institution. It publishes close to 3,000 scientific articles each year. It also yields 40 patents and 150 PhD awards each year.

Every university in the Netherlands offers excellent educational facilities. However, each institution sets its own admission requirements. Its official website lists the programs available and requisites for admission to each one. Alternatively, you may contact the international office of each establishment to gain answers to your queries.
At the outset, you will need to be in possession of relevant certificates for each course. For entry into a bachelor's program, you will need documents displaying your performance in high school examinations. If you are interested in acquiring a master's degree, you will need to have a bachelor's degree or equivalent degree diploma in hand. If you are a post-graduate with a suitable degree/diploma, you will be able to apply for doctoral studies.
Sometimes, an organization may request help from EP-Nuffic for evaluating your diploma, if you own that instead of a degree. EP-Nuffic refers to National Academic Recognition Information Center for Holland (NARIC). EP-Nuffic will have to submit an evaluation in writing. Alternatively, the university may consult the website offering information on foreign education systems.
Your chosen establishment ranks your certificates, in alignment with your grade point average. A score of eight or above ensures that you will be automatically registered into the program of your choice. Otherwise, you will have to participate in other tests to gain entry. After all this, if you still fail to gain admission, you may prepare better and re-apply the following year.
How good do they expect your command over the medium of instruction, that is, English, to be?
Well, your TOEFL score must be 213 (computer based), 79-80 (Internet based) or 550 (paper based). IELTS score must be around 6 or higher. GMAT/GRE scores must range between 7 and 7.5 for a foreign diploma. Several establishments expect your command over the language to be equivalent to B1/B2, similar to the European Language Passport scale.
If Dutch is to be your medium of instruction, you will have to demonstrate your mastery over the language. Towards this end, you will have to show the results obtained in certain tests. These tests include Certificate of Dutch as a foreign language, Dutch as a second language (NT2), PTHO or PAT. Your establishment will let you know what it requires.
Finally, you will have to obtain a residence permit to stay in the country for the duration of your studies. This is essential for non-EU/EEA students and non-Swiss students.

As an international student, you will need to apply for a valid visa. Your host establishment will help you in initiating the process. However, it would be good to begin the process early, instead of leaving it to the last couple of weeks or so. You need to gather all the relevant documents.
If your native country does not belong to the EU (European Union) or EEA (European Economic Area), you will have to apply for a student visa. The process is quite simple. You will need to submit certain documents to the authorities of Immigration & Naturalization Service (IND). They include

  • Your completed application form
  • Academic transcripts
  • Valid passport
  • Two photographs (specified size)
  • Birth certificate
  • Confirmation letter from the university where you will be studying
  • Receipts acquired for paying requisite fees.
  • In case, you are from China, you will need a NUFFIC certificate.

You will also have to provide sufficient proof of your financial status. Are you capable of supporting yourself for the length of your stay? Give an affirmative answer via your scholarship letter and your bank statement. Show receipts of the transfer of some/all of your funds.
Your host institution will apply for an MVV on your behalf. This refers to a Provincial Residence Permit, for entry into Holland. However, MVV suffices only for six months. Your course is bound to stretch anywhere between one and four years.
Your host establishment, therefore, will apply for a VVR, which is a Residence Permit. There is a condition attached to the possession of VVR. Your credit scores will have to remain at 50% throughout your years of study. Do work hard!
Finally, you will need health insurance. If you are from Switzerland or from a non-EU/EEA nation, you may use your EU Health Insurance Card. In case, you desire to work part-time too, go in for Dutch basic healthcare insurance plans.

Your host university will have to apply for a Residence Permit on your behalf. The authorities will have to initiate the process within five days of your arrival in Holland. Do keep track of what is happening in this regard. Check with the establishment regularly.Your Residence Permit's continuous validity is dependent upon your study credits. Ensure that you retain the scores at 50% and above every year. Sometimes, sudden illness or other issues prove to be hindrances. Therefore, request your student counselor for help and advice.
This individual will help you figure out if the university can exclude you from this rule of 50% credits or not. Your reasons must be valid, if they are to excuse you for your non- performance. Do not hesitate to approach the counselor. Otherwise, the university will decide to send you home.
A student counselor works closely with the university and the international office. If this person decides that the institution may grant you an extension, you are safe. You cannot apply for the extension of your Residence Permit by yourself. Only the host establishment can do this, after the international office grants permission.
The host organization will charge for any service that it undertakes on your behalf. However, the expenses vary from establishment to establishment. Check the costs beforehand. In case, you are from an EU/EEA nation, you will not require an MVV or VVR.
You may go in for part-time work during your stay in Holland. However, the hours are limited, just about ten hours or so each week. You may work full time during June, July and August. Your employer will have to apply for a work permit on your behalf, if you are from a non-EEA/EU nation.
You will receive your wages only by showing a citizen service number or Burger Service Number. The local municipality will issue you this number. As a wage earner, you will have to pay your taxes. Sometimes, even your scholarship becomes eligible for taxation.