3 universities in the Netherlands for international students

Posted 18 November 2021
An international student sat in Holland International Study Centre's shared space.

Holland is a popular choice for international students looking to study abroad. The country is home to some of the best universities in the world and Dutch degrees are recognised and respected globally. Many degree courses in the Netherlands are taught in English and attract students from many different countries. Getting your degree in the Netherlands also tends to be less expensive than in the rest of Europe or North America. Read on to learn about four universities in the Netherlands that are perfect for international students.

How can I study in the Netherlands as an international student?

If you want to study for an undergraduate degree in the Netherlands and would benefit from a supportive start to your time here, you can study the International Foundation Year first. The International Foundation Year at the Holland International Study Centre will prepare you for your chosen undergraduate degree programme at one of our four partner universities in the Netherlands. You’ll spend three terms studying at the Holland International Study Centre in Amsterdam, working on the English proficiency and academic grades you’ll need for university. Depending on your interests, you can choose from two foundation subject routes: Business, Economics and Social Sciences, and Science, Engineering and Computing. Each route teaches core academic modules, careers advice, study skills, and subject-specific modules. Once you’ve successfully completed your foundation year, you can progress to full-time study on your chosen degree course.

3 universities in the Netherlands that are great for international students

Hanze University of Applied Sciences

Hanze University of Applied Sciences is north Holland’s largest university of applied sciences. It is ranked in the top 200 in Europe for Teaching (Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Rankings 2018) and dedicated staff will help you prepare for success in your future career. The teaching at Hanze focuses on practical experience and career-focused assignments. Lecturers teach using their own professional international business experience, and the University has a network of international partners. Hanze’s hands-on method prepares you for a career and equips you with practical skills that will give you a head start among other graduates.

Degrees you can choose to progress to at Hanze University of Applied Sciences
  • BBA International Business
  • BA Sport Studies

Tilburg University

Tilburg University is a world top 250 university (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022) and is based in the south of the Netherlands. With one of the best business schools in the world, Tilburg University is ranked 37th in the world for Business and Economics (Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2022).

Tilburg city is home to 200,000 residents and 28,000 students. Tilburg is a small city compared to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and offers a calmer learning environment as well as a lower cost of living.

While studying your degree programme, you’ll acquire analytical thinking and will will have many opportunities to build you professional networks. Economic Business Weeks Tilburg is a large on-campus recruitment event, and will allow you to connect with companies such as L’Oréal, KPMG, Deloitte, ING Bank and ExxonMobil. You might also consider studying abroad for a semester at a choice of partner university locations, such as France, Canada, or Australia.

Degrees to choose from at Tilburg University:
  • BSc Econometrics and Operations Research
  • BSc Economics
  • BSc Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation
  • BSc Global Management of Social Issues
  • BSc Human Resource Studies: People Management
  • BSc International Business Administration
  • BSc International Sociology

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Founded in 1880, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam) is a world-leading research university offering a wide range of subjects. It promotes new ideas, freedom of expression and welcomes everyone – around 3,000 international students are on campus.
VU Amsterdam regularly ranks among the globe’s best and is placed 115th in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022.

The University is located in Zuidas, one of the Netherlands’ flourishing business districts. This environment offers plenty of opportunities for building a network and gaining valuable work experience. Zuidas is home to more than 800 companies, including Google, Mitsubishi, Niko and Boeing. On the University’s campus you will find careers advisors, workshops and events, to help you plan for your future.

Degrees to choose from at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • BSc International Business Administration
  • BSc Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)
  • BSc Business Analytics

How much does it cost to study abroad in the Netherlands?

Dutch university fees for international students studying undergraduate programmes are between €6,000 and €15,000, and between €8,000 and €20,000 for postgraduate programmes. The total fee costs are far lower than either the UK or the US.

You’ll also need to factor in living costs while you study – accommodation and general expenses are around €800–1,100 per month. However, you’ll find many student discounts available in restaurants, bars, museums, and cinemas.

Start your study abroad journey with Holland International Study Centre

Based in Amsterdam, Holland International Study Centre offers pathways to degrees taught in English at Dutch universities. The International Foundation Year takes place over three terms and depending on your interests and degree plans, you can choose between Business, Economics and Social Sciences, and Science, Engineering and Computing pathways. Studying a pathway at Holland International Study Centre allows you to settle into the Dutch culture and education system with full support from our dedicated staff. You’ll have a personal tutor, peer-to-peer support and social activities and events with the student committee. To start your Dutch study adventure, apply to Holland International Study Centre today.

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.