Why you should study abroad in… The Netherlands

Canal in Middelburg, The Netherlands

Canal in Middelburg, The Netherlands

I recently read an article in the Weekend section of the Telegraph, so thought I would sum up some of the main points for you. I am currently studying at University College Roosevelt in The Netherlands and loving it!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Middelburg harbour

Middelburg harbour

There are so many universities and courses to choose from, that it can become one of the biggest decisions that you are likely to make. One more option has recently popped into the arena though, and this seemingly has rather a lot of benefits. Helena Pozniak, a freelance journalist, advises that you can ‘broaden cultural horizons while remaining within an hour or two’s flying time of the UK’. According to The Daily telegraph, the number of UK students going to The Netherlands doubled last year, and currently just over 1,000 British students are currently studying there (compared with 20,000 German students). Most undergraduates can benefit from roughly 200 English-taught degrees in The Netherlands, and it usually costs around £1,500 a year.

The most popular Dutch universities for English students are:

  1. Maastricht University (298 British students were studying there last year) – known for law.
  2. University of Amsterdam
  3. Leiden University
  4. Utrecht University
  5. University of Groningen – known for degrees with an international aspect, e.g. law and business.
  6. Delft University of Technology – known for it’s aeronautical engineering programmes.

Mark Huntington, founder of a careers advisory service A Star Future and studyinholland.co.uk, recommends that if you’re an Oxbridge-level student, then go to Oxbridge, but if you’re looking at Russell Group Universities then ‘a reputable Dutch university is a good alternative’. 12 Dutch Universities are featured in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and Leiden was ranked the highest at 64.

A degree from any EU university holds the same credit across the world, though Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, believes that ’employers might see studying abroad as a big plus’ with ‘independent living, a broadening of horizons, a global mindset, and maybe good language skills’. The entry requirements also tend to be much lower than British universities, and in Delft I believe you only need 3 Cs at A-level.

Another option in Holland is the smaller University Colleges, which are very popular with international students. The whole University College is entirely in English, including all of the courses. These University Colleges are linked to larger research universities, so for example – University College Utrecht and University College Roosevelt (in Middelburg) is linked to Utrecht University.

University College Roosevelt, Middelburg

University College Roosevelt, Middelburg

To study in The Netherlands it will cost you around £4,500 for the 4 years, as compared with £27,000 for the British equivalent. Although you cannot get a UK student loan, students can borrow the full amount of money from the Dutch government. You must begin to pay this back after 2 years of graduation, and it must be completed within 15 years. EU students can also apply for a rent allowance (for me (I’m studying at University College Roosevelt) rent costs €380, and I get €62 of rent allowance each month). We can also get a travel card (OV-Chipkaart) which gives us free travel either in the week days or weekend, and a discount. Students who work at least 32 hours a week for 12 months a year (includes holiday work) can qualify for a grant which gives you at least £227 a month.

So spread the word for this extra option, and if you’re still not convinced, here are 100 reasons to study abroad!

 

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8 responses to “Why you should study abroad in… The Netherlands

  1. I’m considering UCR and would like to know how easy it was to settle in? Are the people friendly? Is the teaching good?

    • Hi, sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner.

      I love UCR and found it very easy to settle in. There is an Introduction Week (IntRAweek) at the beginning of each semester where you get put into teams and have to compete for medals and do lots of activities. It’s fun and you really get to know people in your team. There are also floor/house elders depending on where you live which help you to settle in and bring people together. As the classes are so small (max. 25 students) you really get to know other people quickly.

      I’ve found everyone is friendly and welcoming – even the teachers actually know your name and want to know what you’ve been up to.

      I’ve been very impressed with the teaching. I’m currently doing a semester abroad in Australia at a regular university with big lecture halls and miss UCR’s close-knit community. At UCR I feel as if the teachers really care about you, and if you have a problem you can always go and get help…

      I could honestly ramble on about this all day. Do you have any other questions? I’m happy to email you or whatever if you prefer.

      • Hello. I have also applied to UCR. Reading what you have written relieves me of some apprehension.
        But, I want to know if the students there do communicate in English because there is a large percentage of Dutch Students. The curriculum is absolutely perfect but there are other things to consider so I wanted to know more.

      • Hi, sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner. Don’t tend to go on here anymore! Yes, it is compulsory to speak in English. Of course, when there are a lot of Dutch students in the class then they’ll tend to speak in Dutch, but if the teacher were to notice they’d say something. There’s quite a campaign to get everyone to speak English so no-one feels left out.

        Do you have any other questions?

  2. Thank you, its good to know. I’m going to the open day on 26th of november. I dont mean to encroach but you wouldnt happen to know what kind of a level grades they accept? The information on the website is a bit vague, you can emaill me at berthatov@hotmail.co.uk if you’d prefer. Thanks

  3. Hi – I know you said that you’re not so active on the site anymore, but I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m considering applying to UCR, and I was wondering what you felt about the accommodation and sharing with so many other students? I read on the site that you might share with 16-17 others, and although I’ve always enjoyed sharing accommodation with people I was wondering how you found it to share with so many?

    I really like what you’ve said about the university so far in the comments above, but this was one of the details I wasn’t so sure about.
    Thank you!

  4. Hi!
    I was just wondering how you felt about the accommodation at UCR. I’m thinking of applying, and so far I love what I’ve heard about it, but I’d like to get a student’s opinion on accommodation and that side of it. I read on the site that you often share with 16-17 other students; did you find that an okay experience? Was it relatively easy sharing with so many others or would you recommend opting for sharing with less?

    Thank you so much!

  5. Hi!
    I was just wondering how you felt about the accommodation at UCR. I’m thinking of applying, and so far I love what I’ve heard about it, but I’d like to get a student’s opinion on accommodation and that side of it. I read on the site that you often share with 16-17 other students; did you find that an okay experience? Was it relatively easy sharing with so many others or would you recommend opting for sharing with less?

    Thank you so much!

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