The Netherlands offers international students a unique educational experience, with its ability to combine a first-class European educational system and a population of which 95% speak English, the Netherlands can offer international students the learning experience its students require as well as a well-rounded social life. Before applying to the Netherlands some information that may prove helpful is as follows:

Dutch education system

Dutch higher learning institutions are typically divided into:

Research Universities

Dutch research universities are largely providing research-oriented curricula in an academic environment.  Most courses at research universities begin their premier year with elementary units i.e. propedeuse. The propedeuse offers students with an overall outline to the selected avenue and places the groundwork for the following course continuation. As the course continues, students obtain more liberty to select their subjects. The final stage is the thesis based on student’s own research.

Applied Science Universities

Applied science universities (Hogeschools) are considered more practical than research universities. Most courses require a foundation phase, and like research universities are finalized with individual projects or thesis. The vital constituent of these programs is the internship phase, whereby students expand their practical experience in their field of study.

Student Visa

As studying in the Netherlands requires you to stay in the Netherlands for a period exceeding that of three months, you are required to apply for a provisional residence permit (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf”, shortly known as “MVV”) (unless you are an EU, Australian, Canadian, Japanese, Monaco, New Zealand, the US, and Swiss citizen). MVV itself only allows you entry to the Netherlands, however you later need to apply for a residence permit once you are in the Netherlands. Depending on your country of origin an MVV requires a period of 3 to 6 months to be issued, as such starting your application as early as possible is advisable.

Housing and living costs

Housing offerings vary from one Dutch city to another. If your university of choice was unable to offer you student accommodation, or if you have missed your deadline, fret not. There is an array of websites that offer rooms, studios and apartments for international students coming to study in the Netherlands. These websites include:,, etc…

Living costs in the Netherlands vary from one city to another, however students are likely to spend an average of 800 to 1000 euros to study in the Netherlands. One third of that will go towards accommodation, another third on meals and the rest are spread towards travel, books and leisure etc…

University fees and scholarships

For international students studying in the Netherlands university fees may range from 6000 to 15,000 euros for a bachelor’s degree depending on the study program as well as university. Applied science universities tend to be cheaper than their research counterparts. A master’s degree in the Netherlands ranges from 8000 to 20,000 euros, MBAs range from 13,000 to 16,000 euros.

Depending on the level of talent and academic achievement you exhibit you may be eligible to receive one of the many scholarships offered by the Dutch government to international students. These scholarships include: The Netherlands fellowship programs (NFP), Civil Society Leadership awards, and Holland scholarship.