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Are you thinking about studying abroad? The Netherlands could be a good fit for you!

From the colorful flowerfields to the gritty streets of Amsterdam, the Netherlands is a diverse country with a lot to offer. It boosts a great number of historical cities and cultural activities, as well as amazing beaches and forests that can be enjoyed in both summer and winter. The Netherlands can truly offer you whatever you might be looking for in your new place of study.



The Netherlands is known for its internationally-focused higher education, the quality of which is recognized throughout the world. In fact, the Netherlands offers a wide range of English educational programs compared to other countries Europe, with approximately 2000 programs to choose from.

The Netherlands offers two types of higher educational institutions – Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences, named HBO in Dutch. University-level education focuses on academics and research, where an HBO program tends to be more focused on practical skills. Both schools offer Bachelors and Masters degrees, but PhD’s and postdoctoral research can only be undertaken at universities.  

Dutch schools start their academic year in September and finish at the end of June of the following year. Most applications will start in January, with application deadlines set in March or April. A Dutch academic years will consist of two semesters, with a two-week break over Christmas and New Years.

Just like most European schools, Dutch academic programs measure their study load in ECTS – European Credit Transfer and Accumulations System.  This system measures the time an average student needs to achieve the objectives of the program, including lectures, assignments, clinical rotations, indepedent study and exams. The ECTS are awarded after the completion of the program, an can be used to compare or evaluate different universities. 1 ECTS equals 28 study hours.

Tuition fees will depend on the program you’re taking. Most Dutch students receive support from the government, and there are a few grants and scholarship programs for international students as well, such as the Erasmus + program we use here at SOMT University of Physiotherapy. For more information, check studyinholland.nl


Dutch society is diverse and inclusive. Approximately 90% of Dutch society has a good grasp of the English language, making it easy to communicate and find your way wherever you are. You’ll find the Dutch are easy to interact with, albeit a bit direct and honest.

The Netherlands is one of the safest places in the world, ranking 16th of European countries on the 2021 Global Peace index. It is also one of the happiest, with happiness levels barely changing between 2005 and 2020. The Dutch make sure to even out their work-life balance, and The Netherlands does well when looking at well-being, social connections, environmental quality, personal security and health status when looking at the OECD Better Life Index.

Public transportation is widely available in the Netherlands, with trains and buses going every few minutes. A car is therefore not necessary for international students. For short distances the Dutch use their bikes, which is supported throughout the land by clear bike lanes and special parking, way signs and traffic lights.

The Netherlands has a rich history, with many historical sites and museums you can visit. In fact, Amsterdam has the highest density of museums in the world. The Dutch also love their cafés and restaurants, especially when you can sit outside in the sunshine and quitely look at anyone passing by. The Netherlands also performs well when looking at music festivals, from rock and pop to hip-hop and EDM.

For those who enjoy the outdoors, The Netherlands has a wide range of nature to be explored. Being entirely surrounded by the North Sea, you are never far away from a beach or a body of water. The Wadden Islands to the north of the Netherlands are unique in their flora and fauna, and are the perfect place for a weekend hiking trip. Furthermore, there are 20 national parks to visit with a wide variety of activities for visitors. From boating through the wetlands to mountainbiking in the dunes, the Netherlands has a lot to offer to those who like staying active.

Gateway to Europe

Positioned in the north-west of Europe, the Netherlands functions as a gateway to Europe. Whether you’d like to explore Europe by plane, train, car, boat or bike, the Netherlands is a good place to start. Paris is approximately 3 hours away by train, with London and Berlin being just 6 hours away. The Netherlands has access to multiple airports, allowing for easy flights across the European continent. And as the Netherlands is part of the European Union, you do not have to reapply for a visa when visiting other EU countries. An interesting travel perk!