Study in the Netherlands: What are my options?
The Netherlands, like many countries in Europe, is home to many top quality centres of third level education, with a select few standing out from the Dutch high standard in general. In this article, we present to you a short description of Tilburg University, University of Amsterdam, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, and Delft University of Technology. Every university, of course, has its own strengths, and consequently, its own weaknesses. Here is what students – arguably one of the best sources of information about university education and particularly so for prospective students – using EDUopinions have had to say about these four Dutch institutes. We hope this article will help you decide if you will like to study in the Netherlands.
All four universities offer scholarships and grant for both national and international students, making them a great choice even if they exceed your budget at first.
If you want to study in the Netherlands then our dedicated Netherlands page has all the information you need – from student accommodation to student visas.
Tilburg University seems like a real community, almost a home away from home if its student’s comments on EDUopinions are anything to go by. Students describe the university campus as relatively small, which allows the warm sense of community at Tilburg University to flourish. On the downside to the smaller campus size, many students have commented on the overcrowding at the university as it struggles to physically accommodate its growing numbers of students.
There are however many other positive points about Tilburg University to note. Among these pluses include the teaching at the university and how up to date and practical it is, the international, diverse, and multicultural environment on campus, and following on from that, how great an institute it is in which to study abroad (in part due to the excellent integration programmes), it is easily reached by public transport, and in general, the ‘great atmosphere’ felt there by attending students.
Naturally enough, there are also downsides to Tilburg University, as you will find in some students’ EDUopinions comments. A selection of the most commonly mentioned comprise of the Blackboard system and how difficult it is to use, the library being too small to cope with the number of students attending the college, the administration not being up to scratch, lack of variety of food available in the cafeteria, and the city of Tilburg not being very exciting (although this element definitely depends on every individual and what they are looking for in their college experience).
It is paramount to mention, though, that many of these downsides to Tilburg University are contradicted by other commenters, who believe the library has ‘lots of quiet places to study,’ that there is ‘nice food’ available on campus, and that the administration at the college is good.
Tilburg University boasts an impressive array of schools and institutes, namely; the School of Economics and Management, the Law School, the School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, the School of Humanities, the School of Catholic Theology, and University College Tilburg (catering for Liberal Arts). There are also many research groups to be found at the university. It seems students wishing to attend this institute could expect a solid education for the most part in the areas of the Arts and Business and Law, in a quiet Dutch city. Every university offers its own specific characteristics, which why it is absolutely necessary to do your research when making decisions university-wise.
Check their scholarships here!
University of Amsterdam
UvA’s first and most obvious advantage is, of course, its location. Students rave about life in a beautiful, international city like the ‘Dam – where, as one student tells us, the university is located in the ‘eastern centre’ of the city. Not far behind this element is the practical teaching carried out at the university, enabling students to be prepared for their careers after they graduate, by going beyond theoretical knowledge in the classroom.
Further praise by students includes the ability to study a masters at UvA where they will facilitate you working at the same time, if you wish to do so, the high quality of legal education at the institute, and the wide range of study choices on offer – be it choosing subjects from a specific course (under or postgraduate), or from the seven faculties at the university (Humanities, Social & Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Science, Law, Medicine, and Dentistry).
There are just two areas in which UvA students believe the institute could improve, namely that the organisation there can be ‘a bit slow,’ and the bachelor of Economics is, according to one student in particular, of ‘lesser quality’ than the master’s programme.
While not a negative, a point to note about UvA is that the studies are challenging and your workload will constantly be demanding, meaning a lot of studies is needed if students wish to stay afloat, and what is more, succeed here at the University of Amsterdam.
Take a look at their scholarships here!
Erasmus University of Rotterdam
‘Tough but good’ appears to be the general consensus on EDUopinions about the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (EUR). Multiple EUR students have left EDUopinions comments about the intensity of the study and workload at the university, however this aspect is balanced out by comments on the great preparation students believe they receive from EUR for their post-university careers, also aided by the great teachers, who students also find endearing and willing to help on a personal level.
EUR students also praise the beauty of the campus, the study facilities available, the internationality of the university, the number of extracurricular activities on offer at EUR, and the welcoming atmosphere in general one can feel at the college.
There are only a few negatives about EUR which appear more than once in its EDUopinions comment section – the difficulty of exams is lamented, along with questions appearing on exam papers that students believe they have not been sufficiently prepared for, students believe the grading of exams at this university to be subjective, and finally, there are also comments on EDUopinions about the campus being too crowded with too high a number of students attending EUR. There are also lone comments on both the housing for international students being overpriced and the organisational skills of the college not being very good. These comments, though, it must be noted, are not in agreement with any other ones about the Erasmus University of Rotterdam.
One last point about EUR is its location being the wonderful and vibrant city of Rotterdam, which is also close to Amsterdam. This factor, whether a positive or a negative for different students, must absolutely be taken into account when considering for study the Erasmus University of Rotterdam.
Find the scholarships they offer here!
Delft University of Technology – TU Delft
There are very mixed reviews left by students about TU Delft in the Netherlands. Some attendees state how they dislike the Dutch culture of being direct and straightforward, while others admire the culture and atmosphere at the university, and some even compliment the friendliness and willingness to help they experienced from the TU Delft community at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Nearly all of the comments left about this university, however, tell us about the amazing and well-deserved reputation TU Delft holds as a centre of technological excellence – both educationally and research-wise. The workload, unsurprisingly, is massive and with the privilege of attending such an institute comes the substantial responsibility of putting in the hours of study so as to maintain your place there. TU Delft seems to expect a lot from its students, perhaps most importantly the ability to be self-driven and be mature enough to direct your own studies. The state of the art resources and materials available on campus in many areas such as science, technology, and engineering are likely to ease the burden of the workload, though!
Delft, like many Dutch towns and cities, is extremely picturesque – and for those concerned by not being in a bigger city like Rotterdam or Amsterdam, for example, these cities are not far away from Delft by train and you could easily take a trip to them for a day if you wanted to. One student also states on EDUopinions that the parties within the student community at TU Delft are great, so there is no fear of missing out on a social life either (once you have your studies done). Students also mention the student clubs at the university – either to do with the subjects of study there, or sports, music, arts, or dancing.
Scholarships to help you study at TU Delft!
We at EDUopinions hope you have found this article useful in deciding on a Dutch university to attend. It is important to acknowledge the type of person you are, and what you are interested in, before making the decision on which university to attend, and the brief outlines provided here should give you an idea of the type of place each institute is.
If you are currently or have in the past been a third level student, please do not hesitate to leave a comment on www.eduopinions.com about your experience – your words may provide critical information to someone somewhere! And as always, do please let us know in the comments below if this Dutch article proves helpful to you, or to someone you know!