Study in Netherlands

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The state-funded Dutch universities have been classified into two categories –

  1. Universities of applied sciences
  2. Research universities

There is a total of 41 applied sciences universities and 14 research universities in the country. As the name suggests, the research universities have research-driven programs; on the other hand, students who aspire to study in a professional field find courses in the universities that are applied sciences. Private universities and colleges are also found in big numbers in Netherland, but state-funded universities are the first preference.

Just like in India, Dutch education follows what’s known as a three-cycle system.

  • First cycle – Bachelors
  • Second cycle – Master’s
  • Third cycle – PhD

Before 2002, it used to follow a different structure, but then the government made some significant changes to improve the system and also attract international students.

In the Netherlands, the academic starts in September and ends in May/June the following year. Some exceptions are depending on the program.

Popular Student Destinations

These are a few of the best universities in the country that every student wants to get in (in no order)–

  • University of Amsterdam
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Utrecht University
  • Leiden University

Talking about the cities, other than Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Groningen, and Leiden are popular among the students.

The number of Indian students has been steadily increasing in the Netherlands. The pre-pandemic number suggests that there were over 5000 Indian students in the country. Due to rare and interesting Space and Aviation teaching, Engineering, Business Studies, Art, History, Tourism, and Hotel Management are the popular courses Indian students pursue in the Netherlands.

Safety in the Netherlands

It is considered one of the safe countries in Europe. The rates of crimeNetherlandisvery low in numbers. Public places like buses, trains, trams, and busy streets are constantly under surveillance. This means the safety measures are strict, and this is the reason why Netherland is orderly.

Pro Tip – When you travel, you must keep the contact details of your country’s embassy with you. So that if you run into an unfortunate situation, they can have your back.


The temperature in Netherlandremains mild all through the year. The summers are cooler than in other countries, from 17°C to 20°C. And the winters are not too harsh either. The county is not very big, so there is no variation in temperature.


An international student is in for a blast because the Netherlands is an exciting country. Just like other Europeans, the people over there love fine art, food, drinks, and most importantly, Football. Students from India will experience a major culture shock in the beginning.

The students from India must be prepared for a huge cultural difference because the Dutch people are extremely liberal. It is legal to consume soft drugs in Netherland. Other than that, they respect gay rights, and the people are uncompromising on the subject.

Indians living in the Netherlands

According to the pre-pandemic data,123,000 Indian immigrants were living in the country. Other than Amsterdam most Indians live in cities like Rotterdam,Zoetermeer, Utrecht, Almere.


This depends on where you have decided to stay in your college years.

Renting an apartment – If you have decided to rent, looking out for options near to the university will be a good start. The prices are different in different areas. So at the end of the day, it will depend on you what you want to go with.

Tip – Before renting a place, we recommend you read the rights and responsibilities. This will make you prepare for adverse situations.

University-managed – If you want to go to a university hostel, the cost would be very different than going for private space. The university hostel also comes with options, whether you want catering included or not. The price will fall into a different category.


Most of the colleges give you handbooks. It has all the information you might need; make sure you read it.

For international students, orientation is mandatory. It takes up the first week of the program. You will be introduced to the services, classes, as well as universities.


Netherland has a diverse culture. Make sure you do not miss a single event because they are important for your holistic experience of the country. Alongside the regular extracurricular activities like sports, do get involved in drama, music, and other country-related things. They will give you a closer and deeper look into the country’s culture.

There will be tours to concerts and theatres, art galleries, historical centers, and much more. Make full use of the time, but without compromising with your studies.

How to get Admission to Dutch Universities?

The minimum requirement to study in the country is lesser than in many other countries. It is 55%. This is one of many reasons which makes Netherland a good place for students to redeem themselves and have defined their career. For diploma courses and other Foundation programs, the requirement is lower – 50%. You must be over the age of 18 years to be eligible to study in Netherland.

The students must not confuse the lower requirement of the Dutch universities with lower standards. On the contrary, Dutch education is of high quality. The universities have renowned professors and ultramodern academic amenities.

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The following documents also need to be submitted:
You need to take care of the following documents –

  • 10th, 12th, UG mark sheet.
  • Two academic reference letters from recent teachers or professors (the more, the better).
  • LOR from the employer (if you have worked).
  • SOP
  • Resume
  • Essays (depends on the university)
  • Score of GMAT / GRE / IELTS / TOEFL
  • Portfolio
  • Relevant certificates (if any)
  • Proof of funds

Note – Get photocopies of the documents, which must be English translated and also certified by a notary or any certified educational institution.

Admission process: Dutch universities allow you to apply in two ways:

    1. Some universities accept the application via Studielink, which is an exclusive system just for enrolment. Some of the universities that accept applications via this method are Hague University, Inholland University, NHTV Breda University, and many more.
    2. The other way, the more general way, to accept the application is through the website. Universities like Leiden University, Hanze UAS use their online module apps to accept admissions.

To make your account of Studielink is rather simple. All you need to do is just provide your basic information, submit the pdf file of your documents and pay a small fee. The website is pretty self-explanatory; you will get the gist once to visit.

Just like universities in other countries, Dutch universities also charge a small amount of money as application fees. There is no standard rate for it; different universities charge different rates. You must check with the particular university that you apply to.

LOR: The purpose of the letter is to let the college know the qualities of the students from an authentic source.
LOR is written by a third party mentioning the students’ qualities, capabilities, striking characteristics. It could be your manager, employer, teacher, or professor who writes it for you.

SOP: Make sure that it is written in the first person and mentions all the right reasons that why you want to apply for that college. It should be a right balance that reflects how is your personality very objectively. SOP is how to introduce yourself to the admission office of the university. The SOP should also mention why you right fit for them and why you should be accepted to the college. Keep the SOP casual, but at the same time, do not make it look like you are boasting or you do not care enough.
Top 10 Universities in Netherlands

Top 10 Scholarships in Netherlands

Intake seasons

Like most countries, Dutch universities have two intake seasons, but unlike other countries, no season is bigger or prevalent than the other. One of the seasons starts in Fall, in September, and the other season starts in the Spring, in February.

When you decide which university you want to go to, visit their official website or the Studielink to know the full details.


SAT, GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS are compulsory if you wish to get into any of the colleges. These tests have different formats, a band of the result. All of the tests.
different in their way; most colleges just need one of the results of either of the test. It is safe to say that it depends on the student who tests they want to take.

Repetition of exams: The test of IELTS can be taken as many times as the student wants, but on the other hand, TOEFL has a cap on the times it can be taken and retaken. The rules of PTE are the same as the IELTS, as there is no cap on the number of times it can be taken.

Note – One rule that applies to each of the tests is that you will have to wait for the test to apply for a retest.

Fee: The standard fee for all these exams is between 13000-14000 INR.

Time to apply: The college and university have rules about which test they accept. At times, they also give you an option; in that case, the result of the test you want to submit depends on you. Preparing for these tests takes somewhere between two to four months.

Is IELTS enough to study in Netherland? The answer is no, here is the list of exams required for different courses.

General exams

GMAT – This exam is taken by the MBA aspirant or the students who want to study management or business courses in the United States of America. This test evaluates English, reason skills, and also math.

GRE – This test is taken by the students who want to pursue MS or MA. In recent times, business schools have started to accept the score of this test.

SAT – SAT is taken by the school students who want to go abroad to do their undergrad. This tests the literacy as well as general writing skill of the students. Problem-solving skills are also a significant part of the test.

The university you will be applying to will mention which exam results will apply to the course of your choice. But if they give a choice to go for either of these, then the choice depends on you.

Repetition and Fee: GMAT does have any cap on the retests, but it cannot be more than five times a year. Thirty days gap must be taken before the retests. GMAT retest price is 1800 INR, GRE is INR 14,965, and LSAT is INR 3,800.

Average Scores: The accepted GMAT scores are 547, 155 for Verbal, 167 for Quantitative, and 5.0 for writing in GRE. 162 is the accepted score for the LSAT.

Cost of living

The cost of living will vary depending on where you stay. If it is a university hostel, the price will be on a little lower side; it will also include catering. But if you live in a privately own place, the price will change based on locality. If it is closer to the university, how posh it is, and several other factors. Other than rent, this is what consists of the cost of living. Read the list –

  • Accommodation rent ( on campus or off campus )
  • Rent
  • Food and grocery
  • Basic utilities like internet, gas, water, and electricity
  • Phone bills
  • Reference books
  • Air tickets

Other elements which could change the cost of living would be:

  • Dining out
  • Eat out
  • Travelling
  • Renting a car
  • Cable TV
School expenses

The school expenses depend upon the university you have chosen and the city where the university is located. The average tuition cost of Dutch universities falls somewhere from€8,000 to €16,000 a year. There are a lot of factors that affect the fees. But the fees are usually lesser for the EU residents, and it is on the higher side for the international students.

Even though the scholarships are not as much as other countries and the financial help is restricted, Netherland education is more affordable than other countries.

Living expenses

The living expenses are subjective; it depends on what kind of life you want to lead in the country. But the inevitable expenses combine to the amount of €800 and €1,100 per month.

Health insurance

You get to choose from three types of insurance cover:

  • – Dutch public healthcare insurance
  • – EU Health Insurance Card
  • – Private insurance

There might be different requirements for insurance by the university; please check with the administration before buying any of the insurance.


Fee waivers are given to an international student based on need and also merit. The students with a good track record, including in academics as well as extracurricular activities, are preferred above the rest for financial assistance and scholarship award.

If you are eyeing that scholarship, you must make sure that you have all your documents sorted, as that is the first step. Adding to that, the presentation of the application makes a world of difference.

Documents required:
  • Mark sheet, degree, or any other academic record.
  • Updated CV
  • Cover page, also known as the letter of intent
  • A letter of intent, which acts as a cover page
  • LOR
  • IELTS or TOEFL score

Here are a few scholarships that Indian students can take advantage of:

Netherlands/EU Government-Sponsored Scholarships

  • Holland Scholarships – This is given to the international students; to be precise, only the students who are not from the EU will get this scholarship. There is no preference in terms of the universities; any of the 48 Dutch universities are cut. They provide the amount of € 5,000 in the first year of the studies.
  • Netherlands Fellowship Program – This is a specialty program that encourages the education and training of working professionals. Funded by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Netherland, this program provided fellowship for the Ph.D., Master, as well as short courses. Not just in the Netherland, but you can avail this scholarship in 51 selected countries.
  • Erasmus Mundus Scholarships in the Netherlands – This is an absolute delight for the students seeking a scholarship for Masters or Ph.D. programs. Exclusively available for international students, this program by the European Commission bears the complete university expense.

Student Eligibility criteria: The first thing is to be aware of whether you are eligible to apply for the loan or not. The general eligibility criteria that are followed by all the banks are:

  • You should be an Indian national
  • You must have a strong academic record
  • You must be seeking admission to a professional, technical, or another course of study. Most banks maintain that the selected course should be job oriented.
  • You must have secured admission to a foreign university/institution
  • You must be above the age of 18 years, or else your parents can avail of the loan

Eligibility, of course, : You may not get a loan on every course. Here are the kinds of courses that qualify for the education loan.
For Graduation: Job oriented professional or technical courses offered by reputed universities
For Post-Graduation: MCA, MBA, MS or even diplomas
These courses could be from foreign universities or institutes approved by the state and central government
Loan amount: If your total fee is Rs.10 lakh, the bank may offer to give a loan of 80% of the amount, and you will have to put in the balance 20%. This is called the margin amount. The maximum loan amount for studies abroad is generally around Rs.20 lakh by the bank. If your tuition fees amount is Rs.30 lakh, you’ll have to manage the rest of the funds by yourself. Some banks charge a processing fee, while others don’t. It may be a fixed amount or a percentage of the total loan amount. So if the bank charges you one percent as a processing fee, that will be an additional cost you’ll have to cover.

Documentation required: You will have to provide the acceptance letter sent by the university reflecting that you have been selected for the course and the schedule of fees. You will also need to show the last qualifying examination mark sheet to show your academic record.

All banks have different requirements for documentation, so you need to confirm with the bank first.

Repayment: Repayment starts only after the course period. If the student gets employed within one year after completion of the course, the repayment should start immediately after the expiry of one month from the date of employment.

If you do not secure a job within a year of completing the course, then repayment starts irrespective of whether or not you are employed. The loan is generally to be repaid in 5-7 years after commencement of repayment. If the student is not able to complete the course within the scheduled time extension for completion of the course, he may be permitted for a maximum period of two years. Generally, you will get up to a maximum number of 10 years to repay the loan.

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Work Permit

As a student, you can only work 10 hours a week. Though during the month of summers, you will be allowed to work full time. International students are also eligible to work in the university itself. There are different options like IT support, career center, tutoring, helping specially-abled students, and more.

Visa for Spouse

If you have a spouse or a kid, they might be allowed to come with you, but it is not as easy as it sounds. There are certain conditions you will have to adhere to. You will have to show that you are financially stable enough to take care of them, provide them with a safe place to stay and nourishment. Spouse visa cases are dealt with individually, making it a little tricky because you won’t know what to expect.

Checklist before Departure

Pre-departure list

  • Flight tickets
  • Mandatory insurance, both health and travel
  • Accommodation
  • Traveller’s cheque
  • Paperwork from the educational institution

Make sure you have copies of the following documents –

  1. Airline tickets
  2. Passport
  3. Letter of Acceptance by the educational institution
  4. Travel insurance certificate
  5. Medical and immunization records
  6. Academic history and university transcripts
  7. Prescriptions for any medication you are carrying
  8. Key addresses and phone numbers
  9. A bank statement showing proof of funds
  10. Traveller’s cheques – if applicable
Once You Land

You are likely to miss your home, like all students who come from a different country. It hits the hardest in the first couple of weeks. You need to be patient for two weeks or so. The feeling will sink in, you will soak the environment, and soon you will start enjoying the new place.

Do anything but do not lock yourself in the room; it will only make things worse. If the feeling does not go away in two weeks, you could ask for a counselor for homesickness. The expert on this matter says that long phone calls make it harder for the students. They feel more homesick after the call ends than before starting it. Try and limit the call to once a week.

Your first few weeks in Netherland

The first few days are the busiest for every international student. They get to learn about the campus, make friends, and attend classes. Take your time, is what we suggest, absorb everything going on around you. Make sure to time out of your busy schedule and learn about the university.

  • Get used to the campus’ whereabouts. What’s where – like your classes, where to get your meals and other important things.
  • Do not make the mistake of not joining the International Student Club.
  • There are many workshops and alternate learning resources available for students from other countries, attend.
  • Get your IDs. The ID will act as your passport when you are on campus.
  • Make full use of the student service that is offered to you – there will be gyms, a library, and a recreational center.
  • Learn how to cook. Because when you crave Indian food, you will find out that it is very expensive. If you to satisfy your Indian food craving, you need to be able to cook it for yourself.
Learning to cook:

At the end of the day, after trying the new dishes exploring the food – you might still crave some good old Indian food. You might order it a couple of times, but if you want to be able to enjoy Indian food regularly, you will have to learn to cook it. Because everywhere in Europe, Indian food is expensive. The spices and ingredients are not very hard to get, stock them up for a few weeks, learn to cook, and you will be sorted.

Travel: Netherland is the most bicycle-friendly country in the entire world. It is the preferred mode of transport, and the majority of people use it. One of the many reasons behind this is the high car insurance and maintenance. Be it markets or workplaces; people use cycles to commute. To make this possible, people prefer to live near their workplace. Other than cycles, trains, and buses are also very popular in Netherland.

Post Studies Options

Placement in Netherland is nothing like placements in India. Unlike India, there is no campus placement in Netherland. Indian student is generally accustomed to the idea of campus placement. The students have to find a job on their own, though the colleges do help the students with the preparation that’s about it. Most universities offer internships or traineeships, which helps in understanding the work culture and gain some real work experience.

Work visa

Netherland has this cool rule in which they offer the international student an additional 12 month period to test the waters of the Dutch job market. This is open to all the students graduating from the country. After this period, known as orientation year, ends, then you will be free to apply for a highly skilled migrant visa.

Going abroad to study is a dream of every Indian student. But only a few fortunate students who have the gift of intelligence and grit to work hard make it to foreign universities. Despite having both of these two qualities, some students fail to fulfill their dream. One of the biggest reasons is the complicated process of shortlisting the university, filling in the important details, submitting the right documents, doing the paperwork, writing essays and SOPs, and many other formalities.

That’s where OneWindows come in. We have seen thousands of students to their dream universities. You could be the next.

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