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Study Abroad

Study in the Netherlands: Everything You Need to Know

If you are interested in the Netherlands, in this blog we will show you all the aspects of studying in the Netherlands. Stay tuned for more information on living in the Netherlands.

CORE educational concept at SRH Haarlem University of Applied Science

Studying abroad is a dream for many, and one destination that stands out for its remarkable offerings in higher education is the Netherlands. With a blend of high-quality education, exceptional location and transportation, and a diverse, welcoming atmosphere, the Netherlands has earned its place as a top choice for international students. 

Why choose the Netherlands

High-quality education

The Netherlands is renowned for its top-tier educational institutions. The country consistently ranks high in global education rankings, ensuring that students receive a world-class education. Dutch universities are known for their rigorous academic standards and innovative teaching methods, making them a hub for academic excellence.

Diverse English-taught programs

One of the most compelling reasons to choose the Netherlands is the abundance of English-taught programs. This accessibility ensures that international students can comfortably pursue their studies without language barriers. Whether you’re interested in science, arts, business, or technology, there are diverse programs available in English, accommodating a wide range of interests.

Theoretical vs Applied universities in the Netherlands

Theoretical Universities

Theoretical universities in the Netherlands are often referred to as “Research Universities.” They are renowned for their academic rigor and commitment to research and theory. These institutions focus on providing a strong theoretical foundation in various disciplines, ranging from sciences and arts to social sciences and humanities. The primary objective of theoretical universities is to foster critical thinking, research skills, and academic excellence. These are the more typical universities that you might imagine, with huge lecture halls of 300 people and one professor. 

Applied Universities

Applied universities in the Netherlands are known as “Universities of Applied Sciences” or “Hogescholen.” These institutions offer programs with a strong practical orientation. The curriculum at applied universities is designed to prepare students for real-world applications of their knowledge. This approach emphasizes hands-on experience, internships, and projects, ensuring that graduates are well-equipped to enter the job market.

How are they different?

The main differences between theoretical and applied universities in the Netherlands lie in their educational philosophies and objectives. The key distinctions include:

1. Focus on Theory vs. Practical Application:

  • Theoretical universities emphasize theoretical knowledge and research. Applied universities prioritize practical skills and real-world applications.

2. Academic vs. Professional Orientation:

  • Theoretical universities are academically oriented and prepare students for research and academic careers.
  • Applied universities have a professional orientation and prepare students for careers in various industries.

3. Internships and Practical Experience:

  • Theoretical universities offer fewer opportunities for internships and practical experience.
  • Applied universities incorporate internships and practical projects into their programs, allowing students to gain hands-on experience.

4. Bachelor’s and Master’s Programs:

  • Theoretical universities typically offer Bachelor’s and Master’s programs.
  • Applied universities offer a range of Bachelor’s programs, but Master’s programs are often limited. But there are still some really good ones out there.

What are the application deadlines in the Netherlands?

Generally, the application window for Bachelor’s programs often closes on May 1st for non-EU/EEA students and later, on June 1st for EU/EEA students.

For Master’s programs, deadlines vary but are commonly between December and February for non-EU/EEA students and later, around April or May, for EU/EEA students.

However, it’s essential to check the specific deadlines for each university and program, as they may differ.

For example, as a private university, SRH Haarlem Campus University of Applied Sciences has different deadlines. 

They offer the possibility to start in September or February. 

The application deadline for the February intake will be:

November 30th, for Non-EU/EAA citizens

January 31st,  for EU/EAA citizens.

The application deadline for the September intake will be:

June 30th, for Non-EU/EAA citizens and
August 31st, for EU/EAA citizens.

Being proactive and adhering to these deadlines ensures that prospective students have a smooth and successful application process, increasing their chances of securing a spot in their desired academic program.

Funding and Scholarships

When considering higher education in the Netherlands, understanding various scholarships and funding options is essential. Here is a handy list of the possibilities, and further down we have included a more detailed article about it. 

1. Holland Scholarship

Offered by: Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. 
Eligibility: Open to non-European Union (EU) and non-European Economic Area (EEA) students.
Details: The Holland Scholarship provides financial support of €5,000 towards tuition fees for the first year of study.

2. Erasmus+ Scholarship

Offered by: European Union
Eligibility: Available to students from EU and partner countries.
Details: The Erasmus+ program supports both short-term and long-term study periods in the Netherlands, covering tuition fees, travel costs, and living expenses.

3. Orange Tulip Scholarship

Offered by: Nuffic, the Dutch organization for internationalization in education.
Eligibility: Targeted students from certain countries.
Details: The Orange Tulip Scholarship offers various scholarships provided by Dutch higher education institutions, covering partial or full tuition fees.

4. Netherlands fellowship programmes

Offered by: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Eligibility: Aimed at professionals in specific countries.
Details: The NFP supports professionals in various fields by offering scholarships for short courses, Master’s, and PhD programs.

5. DUO Financing

Offered by: Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (DUO – Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs).
Eligibility: Generally available to students enrolled in accredited higher education programs.
Details: DUO offers various financial support services, including study financing for Dutch students and loans for international students. This support encompasses loans for tuition fees and living expenses, as well as public transportation cards.

Students can also look into grants and funds provided by organizations like the Fulbright Commission, NWO, and private institutions.

Please check the following two blogs for more detailed information. 

We have some more information on financial benefits that you can apply for as a student in the Netherlands

Central European Location

Situated in the heart of Europe, the Netherlands offers easy access to various European countries. It serves as a gateway to explore the continent and experience diverse cultures, traditions, and histories. From the Netherlands, you can conveniently travel to neighboring countries like Belgium, Germany, France, and more, enriching your study experience with an array of European influences.

Efficient Public Transport

The Netherlands boasts an incredibly efficient public transportation system. Trains, trams, buses, and bikes are popular means of getting around. The country’s compact size means that no destination is too far away, and the extensive network ensures that you can explore cities, countryside, and picturesque landscapes with ease.

If you are curious about more details and need help with arriving in the Netherlands, make sure to check out Student Mobility, a very helpful resource and service! 

Is the Netherlands safe?

Navigating the housing market in the Netherlands, particularly for students, requires careful consideration and planning.

With a high demand for student accommodation, finding an apartment can be competitive, especially in popular university cities. Students should start their search well in advance, often months before the academic term begins.

Many universities offer assistance in securing housing, and providing resources and recommendations for student-friendly neighborhoods. For example, SRH Haarlem Campus offers student accommodation right next to the campus, 2 minutes away from the university building, and can be an ideal solution for your first year. 

Additionally, there are online platforms where students can explore rental listings and connect with potential roommates. We have picked out several platforms that you can trust and made a list of our page – student housing.

While the process may present some challenges, the Dutch housing market is diverse, offering various options from shared accommodations to independent studios. 

The Netherlands: A top international study destination

Multicultural environment

The Netherlands has gained a reputation for being one of the most international places to study. With a diverse student population, you’ll find a mix of cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. This multicultural environment not only enriches your academic experience but also fosters personal growth and global awareness.

English Environment

One significant advantage of studying in the Netherlands is the widespread English proficiency. Whether you’re interacting with locals or navigating daily life, you’ll find that English is commonly spoken and understood. This makes your transition into the Dutch way of life smooth and enjoyable.


Choosing the Netherlands for your higher education is a decision that promises academic excellence, a central European location with excellent transportation options, and a welcoming, international atmosphere. Whether you’re pursuing your undergraduate or postgraduate studies, the Netherlands offers a world of opportunities to grow, learn, and explore.

If you’re ready to embark on a rewarding educational journey, consider the Netherlands as your destination of choice. Experience top-quality education, vibrant culture, and an enriching student life in one of Europe’s most welcoming nations. Your adventure awaits in the heart of the Netherlands.