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It can be confusing which country to choose for your studies abroad. You will need to learn a lot about each of the possible countries and the educational systems before making a decision.That’s why PingmeStudyAbroad, the leading Europe study visa consultants has set up a useful guide about the top study abroad destinations


Study in Netherlands

Netherlands, a country located in northwestern Europe, also known as Holland. “Netherlands” means low-lying country; the name Holland (from Houtland, or “Wooded Land”) was originally given to one of the medieval cores of what later became the modern state and is still used for 2 of its 12 provinces (Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland). A parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch, the kingdom includes its former colonies in the Lesser Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten. The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government The Hague.

All about studying in the Netherlands | Top Universities, Winter & Summer Intake, IELTS



Lots of English-taught programs

The Netherlands has the largest range of English language programs in Europe. Almost every university has an English version of any programs taught in Dutch. Lecturers are usually bilingual and can interact with English-speaking students easily. In addition, more than 70% of the Dutch population speak the English language and this makes international students feel at home while they study in the country. There are lots of courses to choose from and communicating with classmates and teachers isn’t a problem at all.

An Open-Minded Society

The Dutch carry on their daily lives with a “live and let live” attitude that can be seen in the diversity of their surroundings. Tolerance has become an integral building block in Dutch society.

In effect, multinational restaurants, gay bars, brothels, and coffee shops live in peaceful coexistence in the same neighborhoods in cities across the Netherlands. As an international student, this may seem strange at first, but you will quickly see that instead of producing crime, the Dutch’s liberal legalization policies have created a safe space for people to live out their lives.

Studying abroad in the Netherlands will, therefore, grant international students the opportunity to open their own minds to the lifestyle choices of people around the world.

Innovative teaching methods

The Dutch educational system is of high quality and Dutch universities are acknowledged worldwide for their well-designed, modern courses and facilities. The teaching style focuses on teamwork, which makes it easy for international students in the Netherlands to meet Dutch people as well as other international students.

Dutch universities place a strong emphasis on good personal relations between professors and students. Most tutorials and seminars take place in small groups of around 15-30 students. Most of your coursework will consist of group work, developing not only your academic skills but also your ability to work together as part of a team. Dutch universities include many practical elements in their degree courses. There is a high emphasis on relevant practical experiences, and universities have a lot of partnerships with Dutch companies, as well as international ones.

As well as general universities, there are also universities of applied sciences, which provide more specialized studies. For those who prefer to gain insights into practical issues, a university of applied sciences might be more attractive. These focus more on practical experiences and less on theoretical and research matters.

Affordable living expenses

Compared with other western European locations, the cost of living in the Netherlands is relatively low. You will need between €800 and €1,000 per month. To fund this, you can combine part-time jobs and study finance.

Language-Savvy People

Did you know, Dutch is the closest language to English? As English’s closest relative on the Germanic language tree, Dutch is much easier to learn for an English speaker than say Italian or French. Both languages borrow vocabulary from the other and the grammar is similar in many ways.

But, if learning a language is not your goal, no worries. The Dutch speak English at one of the highest non-native proficiencies in the world. You will also find a multitude of options when it comes to studying a program in English.

That being said, as savvy language learners, many Dutch people also speak a third or fourth language! Because of the Netherlands’ close proximity to Belgium, France, and Germany, many Dutch people also learn French or German. So, don’t be shy, and test out your language skills!

Affordable study costs

Studying in the Netherlands is not that expensive, compared with other English-speaking countries such as the UK or US. Dutch higher education is subsidized by the government and tuition fees are relatively low. With the country’s renowned standard of education and comparatively low cost of living, studying in the Netherlands will give you true value for money. Annual tuition fees for a degree program or course at a Dutch higher education institution start at approximately €1,900 for EU students and €6,000 for non-EU students, depending on the institution.

Further, if you decide to have a job alongside your studies, you can also declare these expenses, and get some money back from taxes. How cool is that? In addition, many Dutch universities offer grants and scholarships that can reduce or fully cover the tuition fees of study programs.

Internationally recognized degrees

The Netherlands has also been recognized as a knowledge center with rich study traditions and well-known universities. Scientific research at Dutch universities is very highly valued at both the national and international level. Education in the Netherlands meets all international standards and is well-reputed worldwide. A diploma from a Dutch university provides an opportunity to start one’s own business and can be very useful in terms of having a successful career in any country of the world.

The most recognized universities in the Netherlands include the University of Amsterdam, Leiden University and Utrecht University.

The world leader in technical courses

The Netherlands is number 17 on the list of the largest economies in the world. Some of the country’s biggest brands are; Heineken, KLM, Shell, ING, Philips and Unilever. In addition, the Netherlands is a world leader in fields such as agriculture, water management, dyke building, dredging, banking and finance, art & design, logistics and sustainable energy, etc. International students can learn more about these disciplines in the Netherlands than in any other country. Imagine how awesome it would be to do a water management/dyke building course in a country where one-third of it lies below sea level, with the lowest point being 22 feet (6.7 meters) and is constantly battling the seas with her well-built and well-managed dykes.

Competitive Economy

After making it to graduation, most students have one major goal in mind—finding a job. It’s important, especially if you are living and studying abroad, to think about your employment opportunities after finishing your studies.

After experiencing life in the Netherlands, many students can’t help but want to stay forever, so they make it their mission to find employment after their studies. Luckily, with one of Europe’s most competitive economies, finding a job is not only possible, it’s likely!

Once primarily an agricultural nation, the Netherlands is now a modern-day tech and startup hub. The Dutch government also promotes innovation and new talent by offering visas to foreigners with marketable skills, making the Dutch workforce one of the most diverse.

Healthy and Active Lifestyle

The Dutch rank among the healthiest in the world.

Certainly, this is due in small part to the extensive cycling culture throughout the country. However, the Dutch also value sports and other forms of physical activity. As an international student in the Netherlands, you will have ample opportunities to join other students in groups or teams to play sports or just exercise.

The physical activity and social aspect combined make for a great mental space to take on the challenges of studying and living abroad.

  1. There are 20 national parks in the Netherlands, as well as hundreds of woods and lakes.
  2. Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities in the Netherlands and home to at least 200 different nationalities.
  3. With over 4.2 million international visitors, Amsterdam is now Europe’s 5th-busiest tourist destination.
  4. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange Hendrik D-de Keyser is the world’s oldest stock exchange.
  5. The famous tulip garden Keukenhof is the largest flower garden in the world. Read about my visit to Keukenhof.
  6. There are approximately 1000 museums in the Netherlands, 42 of them situated in Amsterdam.

Higher education in the Netherlands is offered at 2 types of institutions: research universities and universities of applied sciences. Research universities include general universities, universities specialising in engineering and agriculture, and the Open University. Universities of applied sciences include general institutions as well as institutions specialising in a specific field such as agriculture, fine and performing arts or teacher training. Whereas research universities are primarily responsible for offering research-oriented programmes, universities of applied sciences are primarily responsible for offering programmes of higher professional education, which prepare students for specific 2/4 professions. These tend to be more practice oriented than programmes offered by research universities. In this binary, 3-cycle system, bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees are awarded. Short cycle higher education leading to the associate’s degree is offered by universities of applied sciences. Degree programmes and periods of study are quantified in terms of the ECTS credit system.

The focus of degree programmes determines both the number of credits required to complete the programme and the degree which is awarded. A research-oriented bachelor’s programme requires the completion of 180 credits (3 years) and graduates obtain the degree Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Law (BA/BSc/LLB), depending on the discipline. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree awarded in the applied arts and sciences requires 240 credits (4 years), to complete. The majority of students obtain a BA/BSc/or LLB degree, but those graduating from programmes in business administration, social work, education and music may obtain a BBA/BSW/BEd or BM, respectively. An increasing number of universities of applied sciences are offering 3-year bachelor’s degree programmes for students with a vwo diploma. These programmes are both intensive and challenging, enabling students to complete a bachelor’s programme in the applied arts and sciences after completion of 180 credits. An associate’s degree (Ad) in the applied arts and sciences requires 120 credits (2 years). The Ad can be taken either as a terminal degree, after which graduates can seek employment, or students who complete the 2-year programme can continue studying for a bachelor’s degree in the applied arts and sciences.

A research-oriented master’s programme requires the completion of 60, 90 or 120 credits (1, 1.5 or 2 years). In engineering, agriculture, and mathematics and the natural sciences, 120 credits are always required. Graduates obtain a Master of Arts, Master of Science, or Master of Laws (MA/MSc/LLM). A master’s degree awarded in the applied arts and sciences requires the completion of 60 to 120 credits. The majority of students obtain an MA/MSc/or LLM degree, but those graduating from programmes in business administration, social work, education and music may obtain an MBA/MSW/MEd or MM, respectively. The 3rd cycle of higher education, leading to a PhD or to a Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng), is offered only by research universities. The major requirement for the PhD, which is offered by all research universities, is the completion of a dissertation based on original research that is publicly defended. In addition to PhD programmes, the 3 engineering universities offer technological design programmes consisting of advanced study and a personal design assignment in a number of engineering fields. The technical design programme requires 2 years of study to complete and graduates obtain the degree of Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng). The training of medical specialists is the responsibility of the professional group in an organisational setting at a university hospital.

Check out some of the most popular courses in the Netherlands

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Natural science
  • Social science

In order to be accepted for a Bachelor’s programme in The Netherlands, you must have one of the following degrees:

  • A Standard XII high school diploma is usually sufficient, but in some cases the diploma may need to be evaluated by authorised organisations such as Nuffic to make sure. In these cases, the Dutch institution will send your diploma to be assessed.
  • Standard XII diplomas Intermediate Examination Certificate or Higher Secondary School Certificate with results A – E in five subjects are accepted for admission at Dutch universities of applied sciences.
  • A Standard XII All India Senior School Certificate with results A (A1, A2) of B (B1) in 5 subjects and a Standard XII Indian School Certificate with average results as 75 % give access to research universities in Holland. Some of them may also require an extra year of study to ensure the level of education that the student possesses is enough to be admitted into a specific Bachelor’s level study programme.
  • Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Commerce equivalent. A Bachelor of Arts or Science awarded in India is usually the equivalent of 2 years of a Bachelor’s programme at a Dutch research university. This may mean that students are required to do an extra year of education to reach the same level of study as in The Netherlands before they can be accepted into a Bachelor’s programme.
    A Bachelor of Commerce degree awarded in India is comparable to 3 years of study completed at a university of applied sciences in Holland in an economic field of study. This should be a sufficient level of study in order to be admitted into a Bachelor’s programme.

In order to be accepted for a Master’s programme in The Netherlands, you must have one of the following degrees:

  • Honours Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Commerce equivalent. A Bachelor of Arts or Science degree awarded with Honours in India at a leading institution is equivalent to 3 years at a research university in The Netherlands. If the degree is awarded from another institution, it equates to 2 years. This degree is more easily comparable to a Dutch university degree than the General Bachelor’s degree and may grant direct access to Master’s programmes, depending on the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) classification of the institution and the results obtained.

A Bachelor of Commerce degree awarded with Honours is comparable to a Bachelor’s degree awarded at a university of applied sciences in an economic field of study in Holland.

Language criteria

Students that apply from non-native English speaking countries must also prove their proficiency in English by passing a TOEFL or IELTS test. These tests are held fairly frequently at many institutions worldwide and can be registered for throughout the year. The results from your test must be recent in order to be valid (generally within the past 2-3 years).

  • A copy of passport or ID card
  • A passport picture
  • A personal statement in English (should contain around 500-800 words answering questions such as: Why and what would you like to study at the university? What are your plans after graduation?)
  • Copies of obtained secondary school diplomas, certificates and/or grade lists (uploaded diplomas and/or grade lists which are not in English, French, German or Dutch need to be accompanied by an official English translation)
  • Transcript of records
  • Proof of English/Dutch language proficiency
  • Proof of payment of application fee (50 EUR)

Some universities may require additional documents, such as:

  • CV or resume (including two referees)
  • Motivation letter
  • Sample of academic written work


Tuition for non-EU/EEA students in public universities

For all the other international students, tuition fees are higher. You can expect to pay anywhere between:

  • 6,000 – 15,000 EUR/year for a Bachelor’s degree
  • 8,000 – 20,000 EUR/year for a Master’s degree

Tuition fees in private universities

If you enrol in a Dutch private university, you will usually need a larger budget. For some study programmes, you can expect to pay as much as 30,000 EUR/year. Medicine and Business are some of the most expensive courses.


Your monthly expenses will include accommodation, food, transport, books, clothes, and leisure activities. To cover these expenses, you’ll need between 800 – 1,200 EUR/month.Renting a room in the Netherlands can cost between 300 – 600 EUR/month. Student houses are more affordable, and some universities even offer on-campus accommodation. Your university may help you find a room if you contact them after you’re admitted. Another option is to rent a single flat or share a larger apartment, but prices are higher.

For students planning to stay in the Netherlands for a period of more than 90 days, the university/ institute is their ‘Recognized Sponsor’. Under the TEV (Entry and Residence Permit) Procedure, the visa for the student would be applied by the recognized sponsor.

  • Duly filled and signed visa application form (MVVform).
  • Duly filled and signed Antecedent Certificate.
  • Duly filled and signed Declaration TB Test Form.
  • ValidPassport.
  • Two colour photographs (35-45mm) of the applicant with white background.
  • Offer letter of the Institution duly signed and stamped by an authorized person of the Institution. Letter needs to be in English/Dutch for Visa.
  • Prearranged accommodation proof.
  • Bank Statement indicating that the student possesses sufficient means of subsistence for the duration of the intended stay of approximately €10,800(Rs.8, 64,000).
  • Duly filled and signed letter from Sponsor (if the funds are shown other than of the student’s account).
  • ID Proof of Sponsors.
  • Income tax returns of sponsor’s for the last two assessment years.

The University will process the visa application (MVV) by applying for the same in the Netherlands on behalf of the students. For that university will request you to submit your Documents such as:

  • Valid Passport
  • Confirmation of Admission
  • Financial Evidence
  • Health Insurance( Covering First 3 Month stay in Netherlands)
  • Other supporting Documents as requested by the University
  • ITR (student/Parent/Sponsor).
  • Pay your Application Fee( 353 Euro )

Follow the instructions provided by the University and complete the forms provided by the University along with the necessary documents.

Make an appointment online through Vfs Global Pvt Ltd. to submit your Passport and Biometrics. Applicants from Kerala can apply for Biometrics in Bangalore.

You will have to attend the visa interview.

You need to track your Application status with the reference number to know the status of your submitted application.

If the visa is approved, MVV will be attached to your application which is valid for 3 months.

The Netherlands has been a very popular international study destination of late with its unique opportunities provided to the international students’ body. One such feature is the search or orientation year. This facility enables you to apply for a residence permit for this entire search year or the orientation year which is quite naturally valid for 1 year. As per the new regulation effective from 2016, an extended period of 3 years is available to apply for their job search year. The eligibility criteria are discussed below:

  • If you have completed Bachelor’s/ Master’s degree programs from a Dutch higher education institution,
  •  If you have completed a postgraduate course of minimum 12-month duration in the Netherlands
  • If you are a PhD graduate from a Dutch University

Sufficient Means of Support: you are required to provide proof that you are able to aid your stay financially with sufficiency. This proof is mandatory as per the norms of the immigration service of the Netherlands. In the course of staying back, if you are already appointed with a job, your visa needs to get changed to a relevant work permit.

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