Studying in the Netherlands has never been more popular than now. If you’re an international student, you probably live in or near Amsterdam, Delft, Eindhoven, Leiden or Utrecht. Of course, you could be studying in Groningen, Almelo or Maastricht, too. Either way: this list is for you.
You probably already know the facilities are quite good, the college tuition fee is 10x less than in the U.S. and the U.K. and student life in Holland is very nice. Especially if you’re outgoing and creative. But why exactly are so many students flying to this small and flat country, actually? Find out the real top 10 reasons to study in the Netherlands in this article now!
1 Amazing night life
Paradiso. De Melkweg (literally translated: ‘the Milkyway’). Escape. Roest. And the many, many small café’s, bars, clubs. And to think that this is just Amsterdam alone. There’s something for everyone. If you don’t like one place, or it doesn’t meet your needs in terms of crowd, ambiance or drinks – just walk a few metres and you’ll find a better fitting place. Guaranteed.
And there’s nothing else like a stroll through the city center after the sun goes down (or before it comes up), with friends and family. Alongside the canals, in the characteristic streets of Leiden, Maastricht or one of the other student cities. The night is young forever. Maybe after a nice dinner or to celebrate something. Anything!
2 Incredible benefits and discounts for students
No more than 100 euro’s for a full year of fitness, ball sports, swimming, tennis and martial arts. Discounts on (cult) movies, food, theatres, museums..The list is endless.
Check out this website to stay up to date with all discounts and offers for students. Also take a look at Knaek, the app for students who want to be able to pay their rent most of the time.
3 Upcoming entrepreneurship and creative possibilities
As the universities are starting to figure out that there’s more to life than raising the college fee and skimming courses, minors entrepreneurships are sprouting out the earth. Starting a business in the Netherlands for a students can be ideal. Convert your Java, writing or teaching skills into an online business for example. And get rich while studying and never report to a boss again. And it’s as easy as one call and one visit to the Dutch chamber of commerce (de Kamer van Koophandel).
Get inspired, stay up to date and before you know you’re the next big entrepeneur from these low lands!
If you have a love for any of the arts though, spoken word, film rapping (check out Studio West for example), poetry, painting , writing or anything that looks like it – you will find there’s a school, an academy or workshop for each of these creative occupations. Be smart, and participate in as much of these activities as you can. You can only grow and learn from it – and it will definitely leave you with an endless stream of incredible experiences. True story.
4 Enough work for students!
There’s always work for students in the Netherlands, because there’s always work here. Maybe not the work you would like, but still – there’s something for everyone.
Now especially it’s easier than ever to get a job. If your CV is on point, your application skills sharp enough (how to sell yourself to any Dutch employer exactly will VERY SOON be explained in this blog) you can have multiple interviews within a day.
Not only that, but as student numbers are ever increasing, so are student recruitment agencies. Just check out Young Capital, ASA, Studenten XL and many other firms that are more than eager to put you work and pay you weekly. It won’t get more work hard, play hard than this!
5 Develop sports on an athlete level
With scholarships and special programmes for (international) student athletes at most universities, studying in the Netherlands as a top performer is very attractive.
If you’re not (yet) professional or semi-professional, you can hone your skills and build your body and mind for next to nothing. Check out these incredible offers at VU University’s Sport Center Uilenstede.
6 The freedom to create an amazing schedule
Depending on your study schedule, you can hang out, train like a beast and study on one day. As facilities and ways to make money are abundant in a city like Amsterdam, you can have an extremely productive day every single day. You just have to take time to find out how, when and where.
Even if you’re living in a smaller city, it’s possible to create an amazing schedule – although it may be just a little harder. But hey, maybe you’re okay with some more green and rest, living a little farther away from the stress of the big(ger) city? It’s not like we’re living in the U.S. or something. You can have it all and contain your sanity when you’re at home, in a quiet(er) place like Hoofddorp, Purmerend, Oss or Badhoevedorp, and still be in the city within no more than 30 minutes. If you have to.
7 International community
You can go as international as you want to. Use as app like Meetup, follow the right Facebook groups, and you’ll be networking like Mike Zuckerberg 3.0 before your next paper is due. Obviously, you can meet people from all over the world here – with a common goal: to develop oneself and start an incredible life soon. You can benefit from a little bit of networking during your studies in the Netherlands for the rest of your life.
Visit the Grote Suriname Tentoonstelling (Surinam was one the most important colonies of the Netherlands), the many museums and regular demonstrations on the Dam square and the Malieveld. And see for yourself that the Netherlands always has been a country built on exotic influences. You’re never out of place here!
8 Food, food, food!
Classy Italian, halal fried chicken (it’s a real thing), Greek, Indonesian, kapsalon – they’ve got it all, and that at every corner of the street.
For just a couple of euro’s you can have yourself a meal for two. During movie night with your friends, while studying, or while binge-watching the latest season of Black Mirror (because you’re crazy like that). Don’t get fat though, as that’s as easy as getting laid in the center of Amsterdam (and any other big student city) with all that food around.
9 Get rich as a student
Live smart and light (cheaply) with a budget on Aldi, a used bike and with a side hustle or parttime job. They won’t tell you, but most Dutch students that do work save amounts up to 60,000 euro’s before finding a real job. Yes, they might live with their parents or in a small room – but it’s mainly their frugality and financial skills that help them achieve this. Every supermarket now offers budget brands and you can find incredible deals on sites like Groupon.
You can save hundreds of euro’s by living on a budget, work on the side and hang out/eat at home with friends and family. Organise movie nights, game weekends, go on budget vacations with lots of people. Drive and rent an AirBnB. You’ll thank yourself later. Trust us. 😉
10 See Europe (and the rest of the world) for next to nothing
Maybe the last one is the best in this list of top 10 reasons to study in the Netherlands. Ever heard of Interrail? Discover the whole of Europe for no more than 200. By train, which is, arguably, the best way of exploring Europe as a student. Form a group with friend and fellow students. Buy one of the amazing tickets and see the whole of Europe within a month.
If you’re more the road trip type, count yourself lucky: you can get to Paris, Barcelona and other major cities in Europe within less than a day. All borders are open if you have a EU visa or residence permit. You can hop on the ferry to Africa, Malta or even the UK, too.
Even if you go by plane, you’ll find you can take a plane from almost anywhere in the Netherlands now. The most budget-friendly airports are Eindhoven Airport and Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam). Do you like traveling and are you planning to study in NL? Make sure you go for a studies in one of these cities.