If you have made the decision to study abroad but having to choose a new place to call home is stressing you out, we got you. Students tend to look for a multicultural and fairly big place but they also want to feel welcomed. Amsterdam serves as the capital of the Netherlands but has a small-city feel to it and is one of the top destinations for students who wish to study abroad. Here on EDUopinions today you will discover why.
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First off, Amsterdam’s Universities offer a wide range of Bachelor and Master degrees in English, which means that anyone is welcome to study in the Netherlands and pursue their careers. That said, a lot of international students decide to stay in Amsterdam after graduation and start working immediately.
Many say that Amsterdam is a tiny city and they might be true but the number of events that are held daily, and especially on weekends, make us think quite the opposite. This place literally offers something for everybody. It hosts exhibitions, festivals, some of the biggest brands to shop at. When the sun is out, people even organize picnics at some of the parks, the most famous being the Vondelpark.
Amsterdam is an international and multicultural city, which makes it easier for expats to move there and do not suffer the same culture shock they might experience in other places. Restaurants and bars normally have menus translated into English and you can find English TV channels quite easily.
Everyone should feel welcome in Amsterdam given the fact that Dutch people, for the most part, have a higher open-minded attitude than others. For example, the city itself supports LGBT rights, is multi-lingual and is home to many different cultures.
Now that I mentioned all the good things about the city, I should probably point out some of the places that you cannot miss while in Amsterdam. Since you will probably hop on a bike to explore this wonderful city, I suggest you get lost in the arty Jordaan as people refer to it as one of the most charming neighbourhoods. If you get hungry, the most common Dutch street food is herring, which you can buy from a herring cart. It is fish served with pickles and onions. Next on the list is Bloemenmarkt and its colourful tulips! And if you are into arts, one of the most famous museums that you should not miss is probably Van Gogh’s.
It is not a secret that living in the capital of the Netherlands is expensive and that the housing market is booming as more and more people want to move there. As Brexit is on the mouth of everybody, many companies are considering to relocate to Amsterdam, making it less affordable for local and international students to live there. Because the demand for apartments is higher than the supply, many are talked into renting a flat outside the city centre. Commuting is possible although is not recommended because public transportation is expensive. Dutch students have free access to trains and busses but for EU students that is possible only if they work a certain amount of hours per month.
Many foreign students look for a job when they move abroad so that they can support themselves. Finding a job in Amsterdam is not entirely impossible although it is very hard to do if you do not speak Dutch. The fact that many locals are fluent in English does not erase the fact that Dutch is still a requirement for many local companies.
As you can see, there are a lot of pros but also a few cons. My suggestion is that if you start your research in advance and give yourself enough time to find an apartment and a job, you should definitely consider making this wonderful city your new home.