Over the past few years, the Netherlands has been steadily growing in popularity as a study-abroad destination. Its education system, among the top five in the world, is characterized by combining research-oriented and career-oriented education. High-level study programs, top-tier universities, an international environment, a favorable geographical position, and numerous job opportunities are just some of the reasons that attract thousands of international students to the Netherlands year after year.
Do you need more? We have two alumni from Portugal and Spain that will share their experiences with you. Meet João and Saúl and we hope that their stories inspire you for your future career!
What made them choose the Netherlands?
João moved to the Netherlands from Portugal as part of an exchange program with the university in his home country. When looking for his study abroad destination, he also had Italy and the Czech Republic on his list. Ultimately, he chose the Netherlands because he found better quality universities and many other international students.
Saúl started studying Physics in Spain and quickly realized that he wanted to live an international experience, so he started looking for options where he could study in English. Although he also had Poland on his list, he finally decided on the Netherlands because of its physics lab options and how English is part of people’s lives there.
Difficulties studying in the Netherlands
During his studies, the main difficulty João found was the workload with university assignments, which was higher than what he was used to. However, this was countered with great infrastructure and a big international community. When considering his adaptation to his new life, he highlights that being in a small city helped him not lose so much time commuting.
Saúl told us that not everything was easy at first, and he had faced some difficulties. When applying, it was difficult for him to find a place to live in. He contacted an agency that helped him find a place at a student house. Then, while studying, he found out one of the subjects would be imparted in Dutch. However, he could study in English through books the professor recommended to him and take the final exam in English too.
What the Netherlands gives you
João left the Netherlands after his exchange program finished, but he remembers that some other students stayed in the country and found good jobs. He defines his experience as “very intense, positive, that makes you grow as an individual and better prepares you for the labor market.” The main benefits of being part of the international student community were for João “expanding the network, working with people from different backgrounds, learning about topics that I could not learn at my original university, and making friends for life.”
When Saúl finished his academic year in the Netherlands, even though the employability in the country seemed quite good for post-degree students, he had to return to Spain and complete his studies there. However, that experience abroad helped him so much until the point that he ended up working for a dutch global company that is present in Spain.
Studying in the Netherlands was, for him, “a remarkable experience that anyone with the chance to do should make happen. You will surely enjoy your stay while having the opportunity to meet people from around the globe and travel since The Netherlands hosts some of the main airports and ports within Europe, connecting countries on different continents. Having this chance and making it so that even after time goes by you can keep in touch with people you got to meet there is something worth living.”
A small piece of advice to everyone who is planning to study in the Netherlands
“It is going to be an intense experience so enjoy it at most while it lasts. Create bonds, travel around, have fun and be grateful for the opportunity that has been given to you”.
“To not be afraid to be truthful to yourself, let others get to know who you are, and take every opportunity that comes your way to ensure you make the best of your stay. After years go by, your knowledge of things will keep piling up and you will end up applying only part of it in your work life. However, those experiences you may get to live will remain there forever, shaping you and making you realize what life is good for.”
We are certain that you are already looking for flights to start your student life in the Netherlands! Still, if you are eager to learn more, watch our last Study in the Netherlands Webinar and start your international journey with SRT!