Would you like to study abroad? The Netherlands is an excellent choice. Where else would you find students from over 160 different countries – 1 out of 10 students is an international student. But before you pack your bags, there are a few things you should know about the Dutch… and some of them might sound a bit weird to you!
1. Excellent education
Higher education in the Netherlands is known worldwide for its high quality. Dutch educational institutes score well internationally. Tio University of Applied Sciences, for instance, is highly regarded for the quality of its education and its study programmes have been earning the highest scores in the independent Higher Education Guide for years. Though the top 10 universities worldwide are being covered by the U.S. and U.K., we believe the Netherlands stands out in terms of quality. No other country as small as the Netherlands scores so damn well on the worldwide rankings! We have 7 universities in the top 100 worldwide which is incredibly good. A Dutch degree is therefore highly valued all over the world, something we are obviously very proud of!
2. More bikes than inhabitants
Dutch people cycle. A lot. In fact, the Dutch cycle on average 880 km per person per year. The Netherlands has even more bikes than inhabitants, can you imagine? Approximately a quarter of all movements takes place by bike. No surprise that the cycling conditions in the Netherlands are great; the country has over 37,000 km of excellent cycle lanes and road users are used to cyclists.
3. Best location in Europe
Studying and travelling at the same time? Oh yes! The Netherlands is one of the most centrally located countries in Europe making it incredibly easy to travel to other countries while studying. Think of a weekend Berlin, a midweek Paris, a few days Antwerp… you name it. Time to pack your bags!
4. Excellent public transport system
Not a cycling enthusiast? Lucky you, the Netherlands has a great public transport system. Wherever in the country you want to go, you can get there easily by train, bus, metro, tram or ferry. With one OV chip card you can make use of any form of public transport in the country. While you’re in the Netherlands anyway, this excellent public transport system is a good excuse to visit a lot of places of interest throughout the country!
5. Best non-native English skills
As an international student in the Netherlands you don’t have to learn Dutch in order to communicate with locals. We all speak English very well. In fact, the Dutch have the world’s best non-native English skills according to this study. Also, many study programmes in the Netherlands are in English. Tio also offers English master and bachelor programmes. the conclusion: don’t worry about language barriers!
6. Fantastic student life
Get yourself a weather app and try a “Bitterbal”, a “Frietje”, some “Drop” or a delicious “Kapsalon”. Make sure to have a museum “Jaarkaart”, a cinema pass and a “Bonuskaart” for the famous Albert Heijn supermarkets. Go to Lowlands festival, Amsterdam Dance Event or try out every single “Speciaal biertje” in the “Kroeg”. Visit an Ajax soccer game, rent a boat with friends, go for a swim in summer, and ride your bike (but watch out for tram rails, shitting birds, be prepared to use your bike in every type of weather and don’t get it stolen…oops). Celebrate King’s day and “Sinterklaas”, go ice-skating, visit the Rotterdam harbour, the “Anne Frank Achterhuis”, the Van Gogh museum, a legal coffeeshop (yup.. it is still legal), the Rijksmuseum and so much more. Buy an umbrella (or 10), meet the tallest people in the world, buy some “Klompen”, study hard, and attend every single party organised by your student association. But most of all: enjoy every single crazy beautiful thing about the Netherlands.
7. Work during studies
Running out of money because of all the delicious “speciaal biertjes”? Don’t worry! You are allowed to work in the Netherlands as an international student. In case you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you are free to work without restrictions. In case you are a non-EU student, you are allowed to work for 16 hours a week or fulltime in the summer months June, July and August. Regarding internships, there are no restrictions regardless of where you are from.
8. Healthy work-life balance
What if we told you that the Netherlands is the number one country when it comes to having a healthy work-life balance according to OECD Better Life Index? Oh yes! Finding a suitable balance between work and daily living is a challenge all workers face. However, moving to The Netherlands will never hurt you. Always remember: work hard, play hard!
9. The orientation year
The orientation year (zoekjaar) permit allows recent graduates from non-EU countries to stay in or return to the Netherlands for a period of up to 12 months. During this orientation year, graduates can seek employment or work without needing an extra work permit. This means they have free access to the Dutch labour market. International graduates can apply for this special work and residence permit within three years after their graduation at a Dutch higher educational institute. This means that travelling back to their home country prior to starting the orientation year in the Netherlands is also a possibility.
10. Orange fever
Every once in a while the entire country turns orange. This might sound strange, because the colours of the national flag are red, white and blue – so no orange at all. But the love for orange can easily be explained by the fact that it’s the official colour of the Dutch royal family. The biggest display of orange national pride probably occurs on the King’s birthday, but also during major Dutch sports events. Literally everything turns orange: people, houses, shops, cars and even entire streets!Learn more about Tio University of Applied Sciences
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