Higher education in the Netherlands focuses on giving students the chance to not only study and theorize, but to apply what they’ve learned in internships at many of its growing companies. The cities also cater well to college students with lots of easy transportation options, numerous student groups, and plentiful student discounts.With a masters in the Netherlands in hand, you’ll make yourself highly competitive for your career pursuits. Just about every country in the world recognizes the value of an education from a Dutch university.
8 Things to know About Earning Your Masters in the Netherlands
1. There are many renowned universities
Dutch universities set high standards for themselves and focus on a student centered teaching philosophy with an emphasis on innovation and creativity. You’ll find world class teachers, bright students from around the world, and advanced research institutes.
About 95% of the programs are in English, which is awesome for studying a masters in the Netherlands for international students. A handful of Dutch universities even compete with top US and UK universities!
The top 5 universities in the Netherlands according to global league tables: Utrecht University, Wageningen University and Research, University of Amsterdam, Leiden University, and Erasmus University Rotterdam.
2. Tuition may be a bit more affordable
Regarding the cost of earning a masters in the Netherlands, many universities award loans, grants, and scholarships for meeting certain qualifications. The tuition fees vary greatly based on the program and other qualifications, and you may be able to get a work permit to work part time.
Only a handful of Dutch Universities are part of FAFSA and if they are, it indicates that the federal government has given it a stamp of approval as a top tier university. For example, Utrecht University is part of FAFSA and accepts US Federal Loans, as well as Canadian Student Loans. University students usually spend around $1,000-$1,200 a month total for their living costs, which includes accommodation.
3. Programs are high-quality and renowned
The three main types of universities include research universities, universities of applied science, and institutes for international education. The degree programs usually run from September and through the end of June.
You’ll find degree programs in just about AN-Y-THING from finance and medicine, to international relations and philosophy, to engineering and architecture. The renowned Utrecht University offers over 150 master’s programs!
Most programs run from 1-2 years, but some run longer to 3 or 4 years depending on the type of program. You really can’t go wrong in whatever you study when you earn your masters degree abroad in the Netherlands!
4. Start the visa process early
First, you’ll need to apply for a Dutch university and receive an acceptance letter. In the Netherlands, universities have to apply for student visas, which means you only have to supply the required documents, helping to make this process super easy. And if you have an American or Canadian passport, you don’t need an entry visa at all Otherwise, you’ll receive the entry sticker on your passport from a Dutch consulate or embassy in the US.
Also, Dutch universities help you with your resident permit (VVR) application, which grants you permission to live there. The university will help you complete the visa process after you’ve arrived, and you’ll receive the residence permit (ID card). You’ll also need to submit a fee, other identifying information, and proof of sufficient funds for living expenses.
5. You’ll easily find affordable flights (from the US)
The cost of flying to the Netherlands depends on the time of year and departing location, but in most cases, you won’t have to dish out thousands of dollars from big cities. One way flights from NYC to Amsterdam are only around $200! The highest price runs about $600 from other major airports, but the average price usually lowballs around $300. Once you arrive in Amsterdam, you’ll find that many fast trains go out to other cities in the Netherlands, like Utrecht, if you have a bit farther to go yet.
The best part of earning a masters in the Netherlands for international students are countries like Germany, the UK, and France.
6. You’ll most likely share a flat or house with other students
The majority of international students in the Netherlands stay in a shared flat or house with other roommates. If you stay with other Dutch students, you’ll immerse yourself in the culture more; or, stay with international students to relish in gaining worldly perspectives. Either way, you’re likely to make lifelong friends.
Dutch universities don’t own student housing and many students don’t live on campus, so be sure to look for a place in advance (like 6+ months) to register for a viewing first. It can be quite competitive to find a place to live before receiving an education in the Netherlands for international students.
You can take advantage of housing platforms, social media, and rental agencies. Some student housing corporations can help you get short term housing in the meantime.
7. Having good manners and honesty will take you far
In the Netherlands, people are a little more reserved and straightforward with honest feedback than in America. They value an individual’s opinion but have a fondness for team spirit and cozy social situations—they call this gezelligheid.
They are highly open minded and tolerant of cultural differences, but you should still learn some Dutch and maintain your p’s and q’s. Try not to take it personally when a Dutch person tells you off; Dutch culture can come off as rude to the uninitiated. Once you spend some more time with them though, you will see it is their love of direct, honest, and open communication that has earned them this questionable reputation.
8.The Netherlands uses a ten-point system for grades
Higher education in the Netherlands structures their grading on a ten point system running from 1 as very poor to 10 as outstanding. The final grade depends on the program’s weight on modules, placements, projects, and other components.
They also believe in more open environments and encourage and promote more casual relationships between students and instructors professors don’t usually lay out a detailed schedule or plan for you to complete assignments, so it’s recommended to chip away at assignments long before they’re due to meet deadlines.