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The Netherlands in a nutshell

The Netherlands is the perfect place to start your international career, since the Netherlands is (and always has been) the trading centre of the World. Dutch people are known for their spirit of commerce, open-mindedness towards people from different countries, international ambitions and innovative ways of thinking. The ideal place for an international education.

Where else would you find students from over 160 different countries? 1 out of 10 students is an international student. Why do international students choose Holland? Watch the Study in Holland video and find out for yourself.

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Study in The Netherlands in 2 minutes

Study in Holland
Study in Holland
Study in Holland
Holland vs the Netherlands

This is the Netherlands

Holland vs. The Netherlands

The country’s formal name is the Netherlands, meaning 'low countries', because much of the land is at or below sea level. The Netherlands is also often called 'Holland', a name that refers to the area that is nowadays taken up by the two western coastal provinces, North and South Holland. In the 17th century this was the most powerful area of the Dutch Republic and many people still use the name Holland to refer to the country as a whole

Everyone speaks English

Most Dutch people speak more than one language. In addition to English, many people are able to speak German, French or Spanish. The Dutch are pretty direct, social and are not afraid to give their opinion. They tend to be down to earth and to project this view to the rest of the world.

Open-minded

The Dutch are open-minded and free spirited. This is also reflected in the paintings of masters, such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh. Even Erasmus, founder of humanism whose name is used for the famous international Erasmus scholarships, was a Dutchman. The Dutch are friendly, tolerant and open-minded to people from other cultures. Approximately 190 different nationalities live together in the Netherlands. Because of their sense of freedom and the flat countryside, the Dutch love to ride their bicycles, which explains why there are more bicycles than inhabitants.

Modern and innovative education

In Dutch education the communication between teachers and students is informal. Lectures at Tio are very interactive. Students are expected to present their views and opinions. Studying at Tio means studying in a modern learning environment, equipped with the latest facilities.

Climate

The Netherlands has a typically moderate climate, with mild winters and reasonable summers. Days with temperatures below –5º Celsius or above 30°Celsius are unusual. Wind and frequent rain dominate the weather, and because the Atlantic Ocean makes the weather so difficult to predict, it is a constant topic of conversation. A comment on the weather is always a good way to make contact with a stranger.

Co-operation is the key

Dutch society is pluriform, which means that there has always been a variety of religions and points of view. In politics, not one group ever has an absolute majority. There is, however, unanimous commitment to tolerance, human rights and respect for the freedom of others. Political life is characterised by co-operation and compromise while partners maintain their own values. The main religious groups are Roman Catholics and Protestants, although Dutch Protestants come in many denominations.

Monarchy

The Netherlands still is a monarchy, with currently King Willem Alexander on the throne. Though he has little official governing powers, he is as part of the Dutch government and politics.

Multicultural society

Dutch society is also colourful. Since the 1960s various circumstances have brought groups of immigrants to the Netherlands. Most have come from the former Dutch colonies of Indonesia and Surinam, and from Morocco and Turkey. We therefore often speak of the Netherlands as a multicultural society.

History

The Netherlands has always been an innovative country. During the Golden Age the Netherlands was a safe haven for immigrants and travellers from different cultures all over the world. The Dutch entrepreneurial spirit emerged during the trading of the VOC (Dutch East India Trading Company) in Asia. Today, the Netherlands still is the world’s largest investor, with about 3700 billion dollars in foreign investments.

Cheese and flowers

Originally the Dutch are known for their cheese and tulips. Every year, the Netherlands exports approximately 600 million kilos of cheese and more than 5 billion Euros worth of flowers and plants. However, in the past decade the Netherlands has also become known for other export products like its famous DJ’s, big television concepts and solid investment companies.

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Fun facts

While abroad, what do you tell your international friends about the Dutch? Fun facts about the Dutch!

Did you know that…

  • The Dutch are the tallest people in the world?
    With an average height of 184 cm for men and 170 cm for women, Dutchies are the tallest people in the world. Scientists say it's because of their DNA, nutrition and welfare, others say it's because of their copious consumption of dairy.
  • In 2015-2016 over 90,000 international students studied in The Netherlands? And that students graduating from a Dutch school, tend to do well all over the world?
  • Dutchies love their coffee?
    In the 16th century the Dutch introduced coffee to Europe. After Scandinavians, the Dutch are the world's biggest coffee drinkers. They drink no less than 140 liters of coffee a year on average. That's 3.2 cups a day!
  • Most Dutch people speak more than one foreign language?
    87% of Dutch people speak English as a second language. All Dutch kids learn English in school and visitors to Amsterdam are often impressed with the fluency with which the Dutch speak English. The Netherlands was rated third in the world in 2013 for English proficiency as a second language, as rated by the English Proficiency Index (EPI) published by Education First. According to an EU report from 2005, 97 percent of Dutch people say Dutch is their mother tongue, and 91 percent say they speak at least one other language to a conversational level. Also, 66 percent speak German, meaning many must speak at least three languages!
  • The Dutch eat the most liquorice in the world?
    Some 32 million kilos of the black sweet are consumed each year.
  • An airplane coming into Schiphol, lands at 4,5 meters below sea level?
    More than a quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level. In addition to that, 50% of its land lies less than one meter above sea level. Luckily, the Netherlands is not in a tsunami-prone part of the world.
  • The national colour is orange?
    Despite the flag being red, white and blue, orange is the national colour as the monarchy is from the House of Orange. Until becoming king, Willem-Alexander was prince of Orange. On the king's birthday – 27 April – Dutch people dress in orange and celebrate their country with outdoor parties, picnics and parades.
  • CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray were invented in the Netherlands in Eindhoven?
    Philips, a major Dutch company, developed CDs in 1979, in a joint project with Sony. They also developed cassette tapes and popularised many home electronics items in Europe, like TVs and blenders.
  • On average, there are 487 people living per square kilometer in The Netherlands?
    With 487 inhabitants per square kilometer, the Netherlands has the highest population density of any European country with more than 1 million inhabitants.
  • The Dutch love tulips?
    Tulips, tulip fields and flower bulbs are typically Dutch. Yet, tulips do not originate from the Netherlands. The first tulip bulbs were imported from Turkey to the Netherlands, where they proved to grow extremely well on Dutch soil.
  • The Netherlands is as flat as a pancake?
    The Netherlands is a very flat country. The Vaalserberg is the highest point in (the European part of) the Netherlands. It's only 322.7 meters high and located in the south-easternmost edge of the country in the province of Limburg.
  • The Nederlands is one of the largest beer exporter in the world?
    Dutch beer companies exported for an astonishing sum of nearly 1.6 milion euros abroad. Half of that was shipped to the U.S.
  • Amsterdam is built entirely on poles?
    Because Amsterdam's soil consists of a thick layer of fen and clay, all buildings are built on wooden poles that are fixed in a sandy layer that is 11 meters deep on average. The Royal Palace at Dam Square is built on no less than 13,659 wooden poles.
  • The Wilhelmus is the oldest national anthem in the world?
    Both the words and music date from the 16th century, and in it, the Dutch king speaks of his German blood and describes his loyalty to the Spanish crown.
  • Drugs aren't as easily available as you might think?
    While cannabis has been decriminalised, possession, cultivation and selling it to foreigners is illegal, even in coffee shops, as of 2012. However, this law is not enforced in either Amsterdam or Rotterdam. The police tend to ignore public possession of less than five grammes (30g in private) or cultivation of under five plants as this is considered personal use.
  • The Netherlands is home to more bikes than people?
    There are around 22.7 million bikes in the country, including the clever (if not so elegant) bakfiets which combine a bike and a wheelbarrow. Ideal for taking the kids to school, bakfietsen are even occasionally used for moving house.
  • An entire province is made from land reclaimed from the sea?
    Flevoland became a province in 1986 and is largely made of land reclaimed from the Zuiderzee in the 20th century.
  • Dutch artists are world famous: The country is believed to have brought oil painting to Europe, and renowned artists run from the Hieronymus Bosch (1400s) through artists like Vermeer, Rembrandt and van Gogh to modern artists and designers like MC Escher and the creator of Miffy.
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