2014-10-29 11:57:09

International students can expect good quality teaching and a pleasant lifestyle if they choose to study in the Netherlands.

Studying in the Netherlands can be a great way to learn some Dutch, get to know the country and the people in it, and have the time of your life. Dutch universities get top marks for their academics and their open, interactive ways of teaching. The number of courses available in English makes the Netherlands a hot spot for international students eager to try life abroad.

If you’re thinking of getting your undergraduate or graduate degree in the Netherlands, here are some things you’ll need to know

Length of study

A bachelor’s degree takes about three years to obtain, a master’s one to two years, and a PhD takes four years. Not all institutions offer all degrees.  

University choice

There are eighteen research universities, forty universities of applied sciences, and four international education programs. Research universities are seen as the “traditional” universities, and they offer bachelors, master’s, and PhD degrees, and they offer research-oriented programs in the humanities and sciences. Universities of applied sciences (or hogescholen) offer programs based on the practical application of the arts and sciences – i.e. courses in business and management (as opposed to psychology), or design and art – with an emphasis on placing students in internships for real-world experience. You can get either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. Institutes for international education offer advanced training on specific international topics, with a focus on developing nations.


In the Netherlands you do not apply to a university so much as a study programme. Do you want a bachelor’s or a master’s degree? In what field? When you have decided upon these factors, then you can select a school.  

In order to apply you must first register at Studielink, which will then provide login information and passwords for the university program application. Each institution may have its own application process and deadlines – while these are generally found on the Studielink website, it is always a good idea to check with the institution’s webpages


Financing your education is always a matter of concern. Annual tuition fees in the Netherlands start at around €2000 for EU nationals; for non-EU nationals, the tuition and fees range from  €6000-€20,000 per year. These amounts do not factor in the cost of living and housing, which are generally not provided by the university; students typically spend between €800-1000 per month.  

There are, happily, numerous scholarships available that you can apply to. These applications must be completed in addition to the application for the study programme. There are also some financing options available through the Dutch government, though these might not apply to international students.

 Useful links:

Study Finder - Find a course of study
Association of Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands
4 International Colleges and Universities – List of universities and colleges in the Netherlands

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