If you have been accepted to a university in the Netherlands as a foreign student then you are eligible for Dutch residency for the duration of your stay in the country, along with the added option to apply for a one year visa prior to study start to prepare, and one year after graduation to look for work.
Depending on your nationality you may be given a provisional residence permit to allow you to stay in the country for more than 3 months, however, your university will be able to apply for these permits for you.
In order to be accepted for a visa, you must have been accepted by your university of choice and be able to provide confirmation of identity in a required language (English, Dutch, French or German). There is a fee of €311 to process an application for a visa, although you may also have to pay to legalise any documents you have from your home country to make them transferable to the Dutch university.
The Netherlands was one of the first places in Europe to offer degree level programmes taught entirely in English, which makes it a popular destination for international students.
When applying to Dutch universities there are a couple of options available to you as an international student. You can use Numerus Fixus which is a degree course lottery for if you want to study but you don’t know what, or you can apply directly to the university for the programme you wish to study.
Many universities have an online eligibility test that you can take, especially for a higher level study like a Masters or PhD. There is also the option to use Studielink which allows you to apply for up to 4 courses at a time and is more specific than Numerus Fixus.
If you are an EU national or a resident in Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein or Suriname you may be eligible for a 50% reduction in your tuition fee, making it €1,030 p/year instead of the standard €2,060 which applies to other students.
If you are part of a private university then you will pay a much higher tuition fee that is set by the establishment, depending on your programme of choice and level of study.
EU nationals are also eligible for a tuition fee student loan from the Dutch government. There are limited options for student support financially unless you work 56 hours a month in a registered job, in which case you can apply for support towards living costs. This may also be applicable if you have a parent that works 56 hours a month, are married or have a partner from the EU who works 56 hours per month.
If you want to study Business, read this article: The 5 Best Business Schools in the Netherlands.
Unlike most universities in Europe, the Netherlands doesn’t have a tradition of having cheaper, on-campus halls of residence for their students which means that students need to find a room in the private sector, although there are certain universities who do have accommodation support and services to help you find a place to live.
There are plenty of private student accommodation companies in the Netherlands to choose from to find your student accommodation but speed is of the essence, meaning you need to start looking for accommodation as soon as you have been accepted.
It costs around €400 to €600 per month for most areas in the Netherlands, although certain areas may be more expensive.
The Netherlands is a country that is made up of several regions, each with its own regional dialect which is a version of Frisian and Saxon, making up the main Dutch language that is spoken widely.
Along with Dutch, English is spoken by more than 80% of the population with German (70%) and French (29%) also widely spoken in border regions of the country. This largely diverse and multicultural nature of society in the Netherlands means that you will likely find an accommodating society in the country where you study.
A largely non-religious nation, the Netherlands has a culture of separating church and state which means that you are unlikely to encounter it in day to day student life unless you actively seek it out.
One of the most popular sons of the Netherlands is Vincent Van Gogh, the post-impressionist painter from the nineteenth century who is a household name throughout the world.
The cuisine in the Netherlands is largely regional and is heavily influenced by neighbouring countries like Germany and Belgium, meaning the cuisine is very similar to the kind you find throughout Germanic Europe.
Working hours in the Netherlands are similar to other areas in northern Europe, with the standard office hours being between 08.30am and 05.30pm Monday to Friday, with retail establishments, usually open a little longer.