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  • Writer's pictureJacob Tong

Why the Netherlands?

Why Choose the Netherlands?

The Netherlands stands out as a popular destination for European students seeking to study abroad. During my eight-year stay in Germany, I engaged in numerous conversations with German students who praised their academic experiences in the Netherlands. While I didn't personally pursue studies there, I recognize the Netherlands as an excellent option for higher education. In my research and podcast production, I've uncovered compelling reasons to consider attending college in the Netherlands.

 



Language:

It might surprise you to learn that universities in a non-English speaking country predominantly offer their programs in English. This is precisely the case in the Netherlands. Take, for instance, the University of Maastricht, where out of 25 undergraduate programs, only 5 are conducted in Dutch. While many American students contemplating studying abroad often focus solely on English-speaking countries, the Netherlands, renowned for its outstanding higher education system, emerges as the top choice for me outside the US. If I were in your shoes, I would certainly include Dutch universities on my list of applications.

 

Tuition Costs:

Compared to German universities, tuition fees in the Netherlands are considerably higher. International students from outside the European Union may face annual fees ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 Euros, depending on the program. However, for students from the US, this expense could amount to only a quarter of their domestic tuition, particularly considering that most undergraduate programs in the Netherlands span just three years. Considering the value for money, I would prioritize Dutch universities over many US colleges.

 

International Experience:

My visits to various Dutch universities, including the University of Maastricht, Leiden University, and the University of Amsterdam, have left me with a profound impression of their international character. Simply strolling through the neighborhoods surrounding these institutions, one can hear conversations in countless languages. By studying at universities like the University of Maastricht, where 51% of students hail from abroad, one can fully immerse themselves in a culturally diverse international community—a rarity in many universities worldwide.


Infrastructure and Innovation:

Compared to German universities, those in the Netherlands not only appear more modern but also employ more innovative teaching methods. From what I've heard and observed firsthand, Dutch universities prioritize small-scale and problem-based teaching approaches. Unlike many German counterparts, public universities in the Netherlands predominantly offer courses in seminar formats rather than lectures. Consequently, professors are more accessible and willing to support students on a daily basis. With a focus on problem-based teaching, students are encouraged to solve problems and acquire knowledge independently within group settings. This approach proves highly advantageous for future professional endeavors, as it prepares students to tackle technical challenges autonomously or collaboratively within their teams.

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