Study Abroad at Webster Leiden

Doreen Rwigamba

Seven Reasons to Study Abroad in the Netherlands

1. It’s international.

Would you like to make friends with people from all across Europe and beyond? You definitely can while studying in the Netherlands. According to a report from the Dutch Ministry of Education and Sciences, the total number of international students in the country was an estimated 74,894 during the 2015 - 2016 academic year. They account for about 10.7% of the Netherlands’ total student population.

2.  “Je spreekt geen Nederlands? Geen probleem!”

This phrase means “you don’t speak Dutch? No problem!” It’s one that you’ll often hear in the Netherlands. In 2016, the country was rated first in the world for English proficiency as a second language, according to the English Proficiency Index (EPI) published by Education First, a global language training organization.

3. Many of its universities offer classes and programs entirely in English

Since the Dutch have pretty much mastered the English language, it’s no surprise that many of their universities have begun offering collegiate programs entirely in English. Over 2,000 courses are available in English, covering everything from engineering to psychology. Finding a program that’s right for you and that will help you earn a bachelor’s, master’s and/or PhD degree is easier in the Netherlands than in many other European nations.

4. It can serve as a gateway to a fantastic career overseas

A degree from a Dutch university can help lead to a rewarding employment opportunity in the Netherlands or elsewhere in Europe. Many programs offer project-based learning programs that help students develop real world skills that will prove to be valuable assets in their future careers. By focusing on projects and team-based activities instead of just textbook learning and exams, they help students embrace the challenges that await them in 21st century workplaces around the world.

5. It’s affordable

In comparison to other European destinations like the United Kingdom, the Netherlands is an affordable place to earn a degree. The cost of living is significantly lower in “university towns” like Leiden, especially in comparison to what you’ll find in London or Paris. The NS, the country’s national train company, also offers heavily discounted tickets for students via its OV-Chipkaart program. In addition to the many student discounts offered by restaurants, theaters and other businesses, living without a car isn’t just an option, it’s practically a way of life. It’s much easier to get around on a train or a bicycle.

6. Speaking of bicycles, it’s pretty much the world capital of bike culture

Rush hour in many Dutch cities is truly unique. Instead of irritating gridlock, thousands of commuters zip to and from work or school on their bicycles, rain or shine. Many major streets have clearly designated and even protected bike lanes to help keep cyclists safe. Visitors from America and elsewhere are often surprised to discover gigantic garages at Dutch train stations that are devoted entirely to bicycles instead of automobiles.

7. Simply put, it’s one of the most exciting countries in Europe.

Tourists from around the world flock to Amsterdam for its astonishing array of eclectic museums, gorgeous parks and infamous Red Light District, but there’s more to the Netherlands than just these. Its coastline is a big draw for visitors from all across Europe. Rotterdam has earned a reputation for its cutting-edge and unusual architecture. Other cities like Den Haag, Utrecht, Leiden, Groningen and Maastricht are filled with great cafes, taverns, museums and much more. The Netherlands is also home to the Efteling, one of Europe’s largest and most beloved theme parks, and nature reserves like Hoge Veluwe 

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