The Netherlands know how to skillfully combine modernity and tradition. To this day, the parliamentary monarchy is one of the leading trading nations in Europe. And it’s not just about tulips and Gouda. Innovative and international research projects also testify to the future orientation of the wealthy nation. Contemporary architecture and hip districts with small cafés complement the cityscape today, alongside traditional palaces and castles. The Netherlands also has the largest number of museums per square kilometer in the world.
A semester abroad in the Netherlands is the ideal opportunity to discover the country and its many facets. A clearly structured university landscape and highly specialized study programs offer plenty of choice. This is ideal to supplement your studies at your home university or to get to know new topics. Students are usually only a short bike ride away from unique natural areas. Whether it’s a trip to the city, hiking in the dunes or surfing in Wijk aan Zee – during a semester abroad in the Netherlands there are numerous leisure opportunities besides studying.
Reasons for a semester abroad in the Netherlands
The universities in our neighboring country have a lot to offer. A modern equipment, practicality and small groups are of course many Dutch educational institutions. Students will find numerous courses here to help them choose the right university and course for their semester abroad. Many degree programs also include courses in English, attracting students from all over the world. This creates an open and international atmosphere on the Dutch campus.
There are many other reasons to study in the Netherlands. Those who spend one or two semesters in the Benelux state not only benefit from the modern university system, which is based on European standards. A semester abroad in the Netherlands is a good and opportunity to the Dutch culture to get to know at first hand.
Special semester programs in the Netherlands
Many universities in the Netherlands offer special programs for one or two semesters abroad. International students usually have the opportunity to choose from a variety of courses in such a Study Abroad program. This enables them to put together their own courses and complement their studies at their home university. Many students also use a semester abroad in the Netherlands to attend courses in previously unknown subjects.
It is best for students to speak to their home university in advance to have their studies abroad recognized. In doing so, they conclude a learning agreement with them so that the courses they have attended can be recognized later in the Netherlands. It is advisable to also list alternative courses so that there are alternative courses at the Dutch host university.
At many universities in the Netherlands, the Study Abroad program also includes courses dealing with the culture and history of the country. In addition, the universities and colleges often offer extensive support and a leisure program. These include, for example, special Welcome Days or excursions with the new fellow students. This enables international students to quickly find a connection in their new temporary home.
Application requirements for a semester abroad in the Netherlands
The application for a semester abroad in the Netherlands is straightforward and begins about three months before the study visit. The exact admission requirements depend on the university and the respective department. As a rule, the (subject) high school diploma and enrollment at a German university are sufficient.
In addition, international students must prove that they have the required language level in English or Dutch. For this purpose, applicants submit the DAAD language certificate or take a language test such as the IELTS. English-language courses are not uncommon in the Netherlands and some of the courses for freshmen are still held in German.
Costs and financing options
A semester abroad in the Netherlands is easy to finance, especially as an EU citizen. The statutory tuition fees ( wettelijk collegegeld ) at the Dutch universities are currently comparatively moderate at EUR 2,006 per year. Studying at a private university such as the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is more expensive, but offers much more extensive supervision. In addition to the tuition fees, some private universities also charge housing costs or an extensive range of services and leisure activities. As a result, many students feel that they are in good hands and enjoy an uncomplicated semester abroad in the Netherlands, a country located in Europe according to aceinland.
In rare exceptional cases, the universities also have to pay the placement college fee. This applies, for example, if applicants are over 30 years old or already have a degree.
There are several options for financing a semester in the Netherlands. If you want to work in addition to the lectures, you need a Dutch health insurance, a burger service number (BSN) and a work permit. Every job in the Netherlands is taxable. Ten working hours per week are possible during the lecture period. A full-time position is permitted during the semester break in the summer months.
Cost of living in the Netherlands
When planning a semester abroad in the Netherlands, it is helpful to know the expected cost of living. First and foremost, they depend on the individual lifestyle and place of residence. In addition to rent and daily food, this also includes communication, travel and insurance costs.
On average, students in the Netherlands need between EUR 800 and EUR 1,100 per month. Around EUR 300 to EUR 600 of this is for accommodation. There are hardly any daily travel costs as the bicycle is the usual means of transport in many cities. In addition, the public transport network is very well developed.
Foreign BAföG, scholarships and more
To finance a semester abroad in the Netherlands, many students use the following options:
- Auslands-BAföG : Even those who do not receive BAföG in Germany have a chance of state funding for a semester abroad. The financial support includes a monthly allowance for living expenses and health insurance. In addition, the office pays up to EUR 4,600 of the tuition fees and subsidizes travel expenses.
- Education loans : Various institutes offer student loans on student-friendly terms. However, it is advisable to note the exact conditions of the repayment before closing.
- Scholarships : This funding is not only given to students with excellent grades. The Dutch organization nuffic maintains a database with the various scholarships for studying abroad in the Netherlands. In some cases, local universities also award grants for their students.
Under certain conditions, financial support from the Dutch state is possible, for example for a part-time job with over 56 hours a month. These services may be fully credited towards the BAföG abroad. The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science can provide information on the exact requirements for this type of study financing.