Would you like to study abroad for a period? The Netherlands is an excellent choice. In the 2018-2019 academic year alone, 85,955 students from 170 different countries preceded you. 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 bachelor programmes have been earning the highest scores in the independent Higher Education Guide, which is partially based on the National Student Survey, for years.
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 more than 37,000 km of excellent cycle lanes and road users are used to cyclists.
3. 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 transportation card you can make use of any forms 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!
4. 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 since they speak English 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 bachelor programmes. So don’t worry about language barriers!
5. 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 colour of the Dutch royal family. The biggest display of orange national pride occurs probably on the King’s birthday, but also during major Dutch sports events. Literally everything turns orange: people, houses, shops, cars and even whole streets!
6. Six types of landscapes
The Netherlands is a patchwork of all kinds of landscapes, with different animal and plant species. Despite being a small country, it has no less than six distinguishable types of landscapes. In the country you can find river areas, dunes and landscapes of peat, sand and sea clay. It even has a few hills (proudly called ‘mountains’ by the Dutch), but apart from those the country is as flat as a pancake.
7. Fantastic student life
Decided you’d like to study in the Netherlands for a while? Luckily the country has lots of student cities with very different characteristics but all with a great student life.
- Obviously Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, for its rich history, great scenery and great student facilities.
- Rotterdam is the second biggest city and is because of its international atmosphere, modern architecture and buzzing nightlife also a great choice.
- And not to forget Utrecht (a traditional picturesque city with lots of canals) and Eindhoven (full of creativity, innovation, technology and knowledge)!
- Eindhoven is the city of light as it is home to established global brands and many tech-related multinationals such as ASML, Techwave and Philips. It is a true breeding ground for innovation with the warm and hospitable character of the south of the Netherlands.