The Netherlands is home to some of the best universities in the world. The country is one of the leading non-English speaking nations that attract many international students for high-quality education and quality lifestyle. When it comes to studying in the Netherlands for Indian students, there are 1,900+ educational programs and 60+ leading institutions to pick.
Indian students can check out a vast range of options like Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in the Netherlands. They can also choose from Ph.D. and short-term courses in Holland. With 86,000+ international students in the country before COVID-19, its popularity as a global study hub has remained intact. Despite the pandemic, foreign enrollment went up by a whopping 13%.
Here is a brief guide to admission and visa requirements, universities, funding, and more for students wishing to pursue higher education in the Netherlands.
Top Reasons to Study in the Netherlands for Indian Students
Before learning how to study in the Netherlands, you should check out the top reasons to pursue higher education in the country.
- A diverse line-up of English courses – Netherlands universities offer a great number of programs entirely in English. Close to 2,000 programs are available in the country. Another advantage is that 95% of people in the country speak English. Day to day communication is easy as a result.
- Value proposition – The quality of higher education in the Netherlands is globally recognized. The cost of living is lower than in many English-speaking nations, and so is the tuition fee. There are many opportunities for scholarships while students appreciate the interactive teaching style and innovative curriculum. Students can also expect to develop vital skills like problem-solving, analysis, and creative thinking.
- A global community – Holland is home to international students from more than 160 countries. The country offers a diverse and inclusive global community. The fusion of different cultures naturally makes it more appealing to international students with the liberal and open-minded approach of the Dutch.
- Quality of Life – The Netherlands is one of the safest countries worldwide, as highlighted in the Global Peace Index for 2018. It is also one of the happiest countries in the whole world. The highest density of museums in the world is another attraction for students. The Netherlands has its bustling cities and a plethora of noteworthy landmarks. Students can also explore other cities in Europe during their time here. Paris is only a three-hour ride away via train. You can also reach Berlin and London in just 5-6 hours!
- Career Prospects – Holland has the 18th biggest global economy and is home to biggies like Heineken, Philips, Shell, ING, KLM, Unilever, and more. The country is a leader in water management, agriculture, sustainable energy, design, and logistics. The Government is always looking to draw the best global talent every year. International students may apply for orientation years after graduating. This one-year residence permit helps them start their businesses or find jobs in Holland.
Higher Education in the Netherlands
International students can choose from the following degrees:
Holland also has the following types of universities and institutes:
- Research universities
- Institutes for international education
- Universities of applied sciences
- University colleges
- Summer schools
While specific admission requirements vary across institutions, the language proficiency criteria are usually the same. Students require a minimum of TOEFL 550 (paper-based) or 213 (internet-based). At least IELTS 6 is needed for those taking this examination. Students who are not currently eligible for their chosen programs may consider preceding years.
Leading Universities in the Netherlands
Here is a guide to the top universities in the Netherlands, their tuition costs, and popular courses.
Tuition and Living Costs in the Netherlands
The cost of study in the Netherlands for international students includes tuition fees, housing, daily expenses, food, and more. Monthly expenditure may be approximately INR-69,643-95,756 (€800- 1,100) for international students. Here is a closer look at the same:
- Tuition Costs- Tuition fees are comparatively lower in the Netherlands. On average, those from EU or EEA nations usually pay INR 188, 726 (€2168) annually. At the same time, for students from other countries, the tuition costs are between INR 522,284 (€6000) and INR 1,305, 563 (€15000) for Bachelor’s degrees. They also hover between INR 696,360 and 1,740,944 (€8000 and €20000) for Master’s courses. You will find more information about the anticipated tuition fees at top Dutch universities above.
- Accommodation- Average housing costs may vary between INR 26,116-52,239 (€300- 600) every month. It depends on the city of residence, the inclusions within the rental price, and accommodation facilities provided by the educational institution. For instance, accommodation is costlier in a big city like Amsterdam as compared to a smaller town.
- Food- Almost all universities and institutions offer affordably priced meals for students. Most Dutch cities have their eetcafes or pubs where you can find delicious food at low prices. The larger cities have numerous foreign or global restaurant brands as well. The cheapest way is to cook your meals regularly. A cup of coffee will cost you €2 in an average restaurant, and €3 is the approximate price of a sandwich. Dining at an affordable restaurant will set you back by roughly €10.
- Transport- You can easily navigate big cities and towns on a bike. Bus tickets mostly come for €2 for a single journey within city limits. You can always get a 40% discount card for your train tickets. It applies if you are traveling outside the peak hours.
- Discounts for Students- Several museums, pubs, bars, cinemas, and restaurants offer attractive student discounts. Many of them require proof in the form of student IDs. The ISIC (International Student Identity Card) helps you get fabulous discounts on shopping, travel, and museum visits. It has global validity too. You can also use the Dutch CJP discount card for special offers on museums, events, festivals, and even shopping!
Visa Guidelines for Studying in the Netherlands
Your visa and work permit will depend on several factors like nationality, tenure of stay (whether less or more than 90 days), and the purpose of your visit. Citizens of European Union (EU) nations do not require visas for residing in Holland or even obtaining a work permit for taking up jobs in the country. Citizens from other countries will require visas and work permits for entering Holland for study, research, or employment purposes.
Enrollment in any course means that your host institution will reach out to you to start the application process. You can also contact the international office at your university or the HR department if you are a research scholar. The applications are usually processed quickly, although you should begin the procedure well in advance. Those staying for less than 90 days will only need the short-stay visa or what is known as the Schengen visa. For those residing for more than 90 days, the entry visa (MVV, based upon nationality) and VVR (residence permit) are mandatory.
Your host educational institution will receive the letter of approval or rejection via the immigration authorities. You can subsequently apply for your MVV at the nearest Embassy or Consulate in your home nation. The student visa costs are usually between €70- 320, depending upon your home country.
Validity of Visas
Your visa will help you travel through all nations within the Schengen zone. The visa may also cover only one country at times or a few nations. You can then pass through only these specific countries in such scenarios.
The stay in the Schengen zone will cover just 90 days within a total time frame of 180 days. If you have already resided here for 90 days, you cannot return until the completion of another 90 days. The entry visa will also have validity for just 90 days, and you should follow up with a residence permit for longer stays.
Multiple and Single-Entry Visas-
A multiple entry visa allows holders to travel to and from the Schengen zone throughout the entire period of validity. The single-entry visa only allows travel within this area. Once you leave the Schengen area, you cannot return without a short stay or return visa.
Part-time work in the Netherlands
Students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours every week in the Netherlands. There is a post-study work permit that is valid for one year after graduation. However, it depends on your study program and once you get your part-time job, buying public health insurance is mandatory in Holland.
If you have a job in the Netherlands, your employer will require the social security number or BSN. Insurance companies may also ask for this number. You can obtain the BSN automatically by registering with the local council.
Scholarships for Studying in the Netherlands
There are several scholarship opportunities for those interested in studying in the Netherlands. Some of them include the following:
- Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme- This offers a chance to skilled Indian students to study at leading Dutch universities. Many Dutch institutions offer this scholarship.
- The Holland Scholarship- This scholarship is for international students from non-EEA (European Economic Area) nations. Students wishing to pursue full-time Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees may apply for the same. The scholarship is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science and many research and applied sciences institutions in the Netherlands. The scholarship amount of €5,000 is released in the first year of the study program itself. The grant is valid for a year only. Those with educational degrees from Holland institutions cannot apply for this scholarship.
- Desmond Fortes Scholarship
- MENA Scholarship Programme or MSP
- Orange Knowledge Programme
- Sino-Dutch Scholarship
- NN Future Matters Scholarship
Indian students can expect a rewarding academic journey in the Netherlands with many advantages, globally acclaimed institutions, massive research, and professional opportunities.