Should I study abroad in Europe?

Three students on an Amsterdam bridge.

Every year, millions of students choose to study abroad. According to the European Commission, over 1.3 million students decided to study in the European Union in 2018. Read more to find out whether you should join them on their unique journey to a new European country.

Why study in Europe?

World class education

By studying in Europe you will experience one of the world’s best education systems, one that is likely to be very different to the one you are used to. In Europe, you will find many of the world’s top universities, where you can gain globally recognised degrees. To ensure the quality and reputation of these institutions is upheld, European universities will often have:

  • excellent teaching staff
  • cutting-edge facilities
  • large libraries
  • brilliant pastoral care.

Dutch institutions are also particularly well known. University-level education has existed here from as early as the 16th century and many Dutch universities are ranked in the world top 100 (Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2021).

Study in Europe in English

European universities will often offer degree programmes in English alongside their native language. This means students learning in Europe can increase their English language levels while experiencing a new country’s unique culture.

At Holland International Study Centre, courses are delivered in English and, upon progression to our partner universities, you can continue to learn in English.

Alongside studying in English, you will be able to use the English language in your day-to-day life. The EF English Proficiency Index recently ranked the Dutch as the most proficient English speakers in the world outside of the main English-speaking nations, so you will be able to communicate with locals in English easily.

Learn new languages

If you study in Europe, you will also have the opportunity to learn the first language of the country you choose to study in, as well as using English for your studies. Having knowledge of, potentially, three different languages is a valuable skill to have in our increasingly multicultural world.

Cultural experiences

Europe has an extensive history that spans thousands of years. From Ancient Greece to the recent medical breakthroughs, Europe has seen some of the most exciting developments in history. By living and studying in Europe, you will be able to learn about the continent’s history first-hand. Europe is also famous for its unique cuisine, art, and sport, all of which you can experience by studying here.

Travel opportunities

Exploring Europe is an exciting idea, because the countries that make up the continent are so varied. The culture, architecture and history are all very different from one nation to the next. With many international airports available, as well as rail networks, travelling around Europe has never been easier.

The Netherlands is a great location to study if you want a European adventure alongside your studies. It has excellent rail and bus links that mean you can travel across the country and explore the continent with ease. In just three hours you could be in Paris or Berlin, and with the Schengen visa you can travel freely throughout the EU.

Lots of people in front of the famous "I Amsterdam" sign.

Boost your career

There are lots of career benefits from studying abroad, especially in Europe:

  • You will be able to communicate and network with many more people and increase the number of countries you can live and work in.
  • Moving to another country, and thriving in a new situation, shows employers that you’re willing to leave your comfort zone and take on new challenges.
  • By studying in English you are telling employers that you have the skill and patience required to learn another language.
  • After graduating from a Dutch university, you are welcome to work here after you graduate. In the Netherlands, there are large companies that are looking for talented, multicultural graduates.
  • Skills that employers value, such as time management, adaptability, and independence are all developed by studying abroad.

Research opportunities

Europe is generally a liberal and progressive research environment. Studying and researching in a new country can be an eye-opening experience for people at the start of their career as there will be new perspectives being shared with researchers.

Completing a research project at a respected European university can also open career opportunities in Europe and around the world.

A high standard of living

Choosing to study in Europe means you’re likely to have a very high standard of living while you study here. European healthcare and transport links among the best in the world. As a student you will also have access to a range of discounts that will decrease the price of eating out, clothes, and digital subscription services.


In the UK or North America, degree-level courses can be expensive. However, university programmes in Europe, and in particular the Netherlands, are a fraction of the cost which makes studying here an appealing choice.

If you hold an EU passport, you need to only pay home fees when you study in the Netherlands, which makes your education much more affordable.

New friends

Studying with classmates is a great way to make new friends. When you study abroad, your classmates will be from different backgrounds, and you will be able to learn from them and broaden your horizons. Your new friends will teach you about their culture and give you a newfound perspective.

There are so many activities in Europe and having friends to share these new experiences with will make them even more fun. They could be your travel buddy, or new teammate on the football field.

Study abroad opportunities in the Netherlands

Holland International Study Centre

If you are interested in studying in Europe, the Netherlands is a great option for you. Holland International Study Centre, based in Amsterdam, is the perfect way to progress to one of three world-class universities:

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • The University is ranked 116th in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021.
  • VU Amsterdam has excellent industry links, and is based in one of Holland’s fastest growing business districts.
  • With its campus in Amsterdam, you will live and study in a city renowned for its art, history and culture.

Tilburg University

  • Tilburg is highly regarded for its business programmes, being ranked 37th in the world for Business and Economics (Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2021).
  • All degrees here offer the option for a semester abroad at one of 250 partner universities.
  • At Tilburg you will find a welcoming campus, made up of an international community with more than 100 nations represented.

Hanze University of Applied Sciences

  • At Hanze UAS, you’ll learn from lecturers that have industry knowledge and gain valuable real-life insights into your chosen field
  • Hanze UAS is ranked 13th worldwide in the U-Multirank (2020) category 'graduate companies', which ranks universities based on the number of companies founded by their alumni.
  • The University is based in the vibrant student city of Groningen, and so you will experience the excitement of a city without the expense of the Netherlands’ bigger cities.

You can find out more about our university partners here.

Choose your future

At Holland International Study Centre, we offer an International Foundation Year. The programme will fully prepare you for the first year of undergraduate studies at one of our partner universities.

This foundation course is designed for international students that don’t quite meet the academic or English language levels for direct entry to university, and need some more support.

We offer one International Foundation Year route:

  • Business, Economics and Social Sciences

On this route, you will take modules focusing on academic and study skills, topics specific to your chosen subject as well as classes to develop your CV and boost your employability.

Upon successful completion of the International Foundation Year and achievement of the required grades, you will be able to progress to your chosen undergraduate degree. Across our four university partners, there are a very wide range of degrees available in the business and science industries.

If you are interested in studying abroad in Europe, you can apply to Holland International Study Centre here.