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Why the Netherlands?

The Netherlands, aka Holland, is a thriving nation in northwest Europe. Ranked within the top 10 exporting countries, it is well known for its international outlook and world-leading innovation. Choose to study in the Netherlands and you will enjoy the benefits of one of the best education systems in the world.


High quality and various types of education
Higher education in The Netherlands is known for its high quality and its international study environment. With more than 2,100 international study programmes and courses, we have the largest offer of English-taught programmes in continental Europe. Dutch higher education has a binary system, which means that you can choose between two types of education:

  • research-oriented education, offered by research universities
  • higher professional education, offered by universities of applied sciences like Zuyd

Quality degree at comparatively low cost
Life in The Netherlands is not expensive compared with English-speaking countries, and tuition fees are relatively low. If you are an EU student your annual tuition fee is around € 1,950. You may be eligible for a loan for the tuition fee, or even a restitution or a grant from the Dutch government.


90.000 international students
The Netherlands host around 90,000 international students, more than 56,000 students from EU countries and almost 23,000 from countries outside the EU. Another 10,300 students came within the Erasmus+ programme, or with a residence permit for an internship.


Safe and open minded
Holland is a safe country by international standards. There is a relatively low level of violence and street crime. The police are friendly and helpful. Our country’s historical ties with other parts of the world has brought foreigners to settle in The Netherlands, bringing some of their own ideas and cultures. This makes the Dutch generally open-minded and tolerant.


Everybody speaks English
Although Dutch is the national language, almost everybody also speaks English and often another foreign language, such as German or French. Another characteristic of the Dutch is their direct manner. You can say exactly what is on your mind, the Dutch are not easily offended.


Great student life
Each institution has a network of associations that bring students together for academic activities, sports and recreation. All of these associations are run by students, and some of them are internationally oriented. Many cities also have several separate student associations, not connected to any institution. And there are pubs, restaurants and other meeting places where many students hang out. Generally speaking, the Dutch higher education community seeks to be part of society and is not isolated from it. There is plenty to see in Holland, whether you’re strolling through town, making a boat trip on the canals or lakes, lazing on the beach or walking in the woods and dunes.


Pioneering and entrepreneurial country
Dutch people are entrepreneurs and discoverers. The country is the birth place of Nobel Prize winners, daring philosophers, groundbreaking artists and scientists. It was the first country on the European continent to offer study programmes taught in English. Students are continuously encouraged to come up with creative and innovative ideas, to think beyond conventional solutions and methodologies. It is not surprising therefore that Holland has so many pioneers.


Creative and innovative
Dutch people enjoy innovating and constantly ask themselves and others questions to come up with new ideas. While studying in the Netherlands, you will be encouraged to think about creative solutions. Preferably together with other students since you will only achieve innovative and creative results when working with others. Creativity also shows in the collaboration between Dutch higher education institutions and the business community. Work placements and internships form an important part of many study programmes.  You will have the opportunity to work on real business projects.


Progressive stance on equality and diversity
Everyone in the Netherlands has the right to be who he or she wants to be and to be with whomever they want to be, as long as they do no harm to others. According to the majority of the Dutch population, it shouldn’t matter whether you are male, female or transgender, heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. However, that doesn’t mean that the process of female, male, gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender emancipation is complete.


Don’t need a car to get around
Holland is a small country and public transport will take you almost anywhere you want to go. The bicycle is the cheapest and easiest way to get around, especially if you live in a city. There are special cycling lanes on almost every road and other road users are used to cyclists. Most Dutch people, regardless of their profession or status, have a bicycle. Buy a second-hand bike rather than a new one to save money. But also be sure to buy at least one strong lock! Once you have arrived in Holland, you will discover that many European capitals are within easy reach. Berlin, Brussels and Paris are just a few hours away by train.


More information
If you are planning to study at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, you can find all kinds of practical information about living and studying in the Netherlands on the website 'Study in Holland'.