Netherlands flag

Study in Netherlands


If you are one of the non-cliche world enthusiasts who believe in exploring the world your own way, you can choose to study abroad in Netherlands. Famous for its bulb fields, canals and its lavish lifestyle, many international students are attracted to study in this European country. 

Studying in Netherlands for international students is an exciting route to ride on. The country is home to some of the world’s finest universities that offer a modern approach to education, a great student life and a welcoming environment.

In addition to the benefits of obtaining quality education,  studying in Netherlands can also satisfy your wanderlust as this European country shares its borders with Germany and Belgium.

Netherlands As A Study Destination: Highlights

As an international student wanting to study in Holland, here’s an overview of the important facts you need to know about the country:

Language of Instruction

Dutch and English

Average Cost of Study

6,000 - 50,000 EUR/ year

Average Cost of Living

1,000 EUR/ month

Sources of Funding

Education loans, Part time jobs, and Scholarships 

Exams Required



Winter (Feb), Autumn (Sept)

Types of Visa

Long stay student visa and resident permit

Top Courses

Agricultural, Liberal arts, Sciences, Engineering, Sports Management, Philosophy,  Business and Finance, etc.

Types of Degrees

Diploma, Bachelors, Masters, PhD

Best Student Cities

Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Delft


 Why Study In Netherlands?

The Netherlands was the pioneer European nation to offer English taught courses. This also implies that this was the first country in Europe to have an open mind to welcome foreigners to their system. Most Dutch people today understand English and so, it is easy to make yourself understood in the Netherlands.  Some of the other important reasons to study in Netherlands are: 

  • Universities in Netherlands is not as expensive as other study abroad destinations such as the UK or US. Education in the Netherlands is subsidized by the government and therefore the tuition fees are relatively low. 
  • Students get excellent international exposure while studying in Netherlands. Foreign students from over 150 countries are currently studying in Holland which offers you an amazing multicultural experience.   
  • Universities in Netherlands are known for their unique and innovative methods of teaching. Classroom teaching takes place in small groups and  emphasis is laid on promoting group work among students with practical applications.  
  • An added advantage of studying in Netherlands is that no matter where you stay, you will always have easy access to other parts of Europe. You can easily travel to neighbouring countries such as Germany, Belgium,  Poland, Luxembourg, etc, that too on a budget.  
  • Netherlands is a very safe and welcoming country. People are warm and value individual freedom.

Education System

The Netherlands education system is quite straightforward. There is primary, secondary and vocational education. Post this, students progress to pursue a degree at the University level:

  • Diploma: Students can enroll in a diploma program after secondary school or after the completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree. The main aim is to obtain or advance necessary skills and education in a particular field. They are of a 2 years duration.
  • Bachelor's Degree: These are undergraduate programs that may take up to 4 years to complete. There are two types of Bachelor's degrees in Netherlands -  HBO (University of Applied Sciences) and WO (Academic University Education). HBO degree programs are more professional in nature while the WO degree programs are academic.
  • Masters Degree: Students can get a master’s degree at a research university or at a university of applied sciences. The duration varies between 1.5 to 4 years.
  • PhD  Degree: This is a postgraduate research degree and takes a minimum of 4 years to complete.

Institutions of higher education in Netherlands can be divided into the following categories: 

Type of Institution

Key Points

Research Universities

Focus on academic learning. They offer a graduation, post graduation and a PhD degree. 

Universities of Applied Sciences

Focus on practical learning and development. They offer diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to students.

Institutes for International Education

These offer English taught courses including Bachelors, Masters and sometimes PhD degrees

In addition to the above, there are private institutions, university colleges, art schools etc. in Netherlands. 


Credit System in the Netherlands 

To successfully complete your education in Netherlands you will have to earn credits. Credits in Netherlands are actuated according to ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). 

  • Students are credited based on their performances and participation in lectures, seminars, assignments, laboratory work, independent study and exams.
  • The overall credit score of a full-time study year is about 60 credits. Every student gets 30 ECTS per semester.
  • Each credit represents 28 hours of work. Consequently, to complete the required learning outcomes of a full cycle (full-time, one-year programme) you are expected to work and study for about 1.680 hours in Netherlands.

Top Courses

Institutions offering higher studies in Netherlands have a diverse range of courses to choose from. Some of the best courses in Netherlands for international students are: 

  • Agricultural 
  • Liberal arts 
  • Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Fashion 
  • Sports Management 
  • Philosophy 
  • Business and Finance

The most popular programs that students opt to study in the Netherlands are:


Duration in Research university

Duration at universities of applied sciences

Average Tuition Fees/ year

BA Fine Arts

3 years

4  years

6,000 - 15,000 EUR

BSc Business Management

3 years

4  years

6,000 - 18,000 EUR

MSc Engineering

1-3 years 

1-2 years

7,000 - 35,000 EUR

MSc Architecture 

1-3 years

1-2 years

8,000 - 20,000  EUR

MA Humanities 

3 years

4 years

7,000 -  35,000 EUR


2 years


8.000 - 25,000 EUR


1 year


9,000 - 37,000 EUR

Computational Social Science
Course Duration - 36 Months
Biomedical Informatics
Course Duration - 24 Months
Film Studies (Media Studies)
Course Duration - 12 Months
International Development Studies
Course Duration - 12 Months
Actuarial Science
Course Duration - 36 Months
Course Duration - 12 Months

Admission Process

The process to study in the Netherlands for international students can be completed online. Let’s discuss the Netherlands university application process in detail below: 

  1. Check the top universities of Holland and select the course that suits you. 
  2. Once you’ve shortlisted your desired universities, check out the official university website to gather more information about the Netherlands university requirements and eligibility criteria.
  3. Keep in mind the deadline of application and plan your preparation. 
  4. Attend the required tests to seek admission. GMAT/GRE are qualifiers to seek admission in any Netherlands university. Along with that, you will have to present your IELTS or TOEFL score for an English-taught course. In the case of a Dutch course, you can take the CNaVT and NT2 language tests. 
  5. You can apply to study in Holland via the official website of your desired university or via studielink.
  6. Fill out the application form and upload all the required documents and certificates on the official site. Proceed to pay the application fees online.
  7. Wait for the universities to revert. If selected, you will have to acquire a student visa to study abroad in Holland.    
  8. Note that your university is responsible for initiating your visa process at the IND. Therefore, check with the university you have been enrolled in. After a go ahead from the university, you can apply for a student visa and a resident permit at your local embassy. 

The application process can turn out to be a long and complicated task. Hence, you may want to get in touch with our career counsellors at Yocket to simplify the process for you.


Netherlands University Requirements for International Students

Based on the choice of course you wish to pursue in Netherlands, you will have to meet some important requirements. Your admission application will be considered only if you tick all the requirements stated below: 




  • 10th and 12th certificates 
  • IELTS/TOEFL for English
  • CNaVT/ NT2 for Dutch
  • Some diplomas might require previous work experience in the field. 

Bachelor's Degree

  • 12th standard certificate with minimum of 75%
  • IELTS/TOEFL for English
  • CNaVT/ NT2 for Dutch
  • Some institutes or courses might also require a diploma to pursue a Bachelors

Masters  Degree 

  • Bachelor’s degree in any relative field. For research-oriented programs, the bachelor’s degree should be of a research-oriented program as well.
  • The average GPA score required is 7.5 or higher on a 10.0 scale.
  • Minimum GRE score of 310 to 330 or GMAT score of 600.
  • IELTS with a minimum score of 6 or TOEFL with 80.
  • CNaVT/ NT2 for Dutch
  • CV, LORs and SOPs

PhD Degree

  • Masters degree in the field you are interested in conducting your research in. 
  • Relevant Research/ Work Experience
  • CV 
  • LORs and SOP

Cost of Attendance

The cost of studying in Netherlands depends upon the course and university you choose. The overall cost of studying can be divided into two categories – Tuition Fees and Cost of Living.


Tuition Fees

The university fees in Netherlands for EU or non- EU/EEA students differ, the latter being slightly more expensive. 

Degree Type 

Average Annual Tuition Fee 


6,000 - 15,000 EUR


8,000 - 25,000 EUR


Cost of Living

The cost of living for international students in Netherlands depends upon your lifestyle. The good news is that students also have the advantage of availing of special student discounts at malls, entertainment centres and more. Get an International Student ID card or a Dutch CJP card and enjoy all the benefits available for you. An average cost of living incurred by international students under various heads is discussed below:


Cost Per Month

Apartment housing including utilities  

300 - 1,200 EUR


50 - 75  EUR

Books and supplies

40 EUR


15 EUR


150 EUR

Best student cities

Although a small country, there are a number of cities you can choose between to pursue your higher studies in Netherlands. Given below are some of the best cities to study in Netherlands for international students:


  • Average Cost of Living/ month: 950-1000 EUR
  • Top Universities University of Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC



  • Average Cost of Living/ month: 900 EUR
  • Top Universities: University College Utrecht, Utrecht University, University of Humanistic Studies



  • Average Cost of Living/ month: 850 -900 EUR
  • Top Universities: Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences



800 EUR

  • The Hague University of Applied Sciences
  • Hotelschool The Hague
  • Royal Academy of Art


800 EUR

  • TU Delft


Being accepted to a Netherlands university implies that you don’t have to struggle too much with documentation as the Universities initiate your visa formalities. 

  • In case of a short course in the Netherlands (Shorter than 90 days), you can opt for a Schengen visa or a short-stay visa. 
  • In case of a recognised long course, you will require an Entry visa (MVV) and a residence permit (VVR) to study in the Netherlands. 

Given below is the Student visa procedure for the Netherlands: 

  1. Coordinate with your selected university on initiating your visa application. 
  2. After completing your visa initiation, visit the Embassy or Consulate and apply for your visa. 
  3. Pay the visa fees and submit your application.
  4. Attend your visa interview. 
  5. Your visa application might take up to a month to be approved. 
  6. Collect your MVV. 

Documents required for a Netherlands Student visa

  • Completed visa application form and two photographs
  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Academic transcripts
  • Official letter from the academic institution in the Netherlands
  • Study plan (Explain why you are interested in that particular subject area? How and why is it related to your prior studies?)
  • Financial proof for the entire period of study (around 870 EUR/month)
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Visa application fee (172 EUR)
  • Photocopies of all the original documents
  • Tuberculosis test (required for citizens from some countries)

Top Scholarships

To encourage bright minds to study in Holland, there are a number of Government-funded, organisation funded and university-funded scholarships provided to international students. Some scholarships in Netherlands are: 

The Global Study Awards

  • International students aspiring to pursue a Masters in the Netherlands in an English-taught program. 
  • Amount/ Benefit: 10,000 EUR 


Holland Scholarship Programme

  • International students aspiring to pursue a Bachelors or Masters in Holland. 
  • Amount/ Benefit: A grant of 5,000 EUR in the first year. 


Orange Knowledge Programme

  • Offered to students from third world countries to pursue masters or short term programs.
  • Amount/ Benefit:  Covers cost of living, tuition fees, health insurance etc. Students also receive a monthly fixed amount during your study.


Erasmus Mundus Scholarships

  • Students pursuing masters degrees. 
  • Amount/ Benefit: Coverage of tuition fees, insurance, travel costs etc. 


University-Based Scholarships 

  • Students enrolled in Holland Universities.  They grant a reduction or coverage of tuition fees and offer additional scholarships based on Merit. Universities included are University of Maastricht, Radboud University, Utrecht University, University of Groningen, VU University Amsterdam, University of Twente offer such scholarships. 
  • Amount/ Benefit: Reduction of tuition fees, insurance cover, travel or cost of living expense grant. 

Work Opportunities

Choosing to study abroad in Holland also has a positive bearing on your professional career. Many institutions and universities offer placements, networking opportunities and exposure to international students. 


Job Outlook for International Students after Studies

Netherlands has great demand for international graduates. There are many job vacancies and fewer people to occupy a job.  Some of the top companies you can work in Netherlands for are Shell, Airbus, ING group, Philips, etc. Some of the top areas that offer job opportunities in Netherlands after Masters are:

Area of Specialisation

Average Annual Salary


​62,000 EUR


55,000 EUR


85,000 EUR

Data Science

65,109 EUR


70,000 EUR


Work Visa & PR in the Netherlands 

To promote employment of highly skilled international professionals, Netherlands offers one year as an Orientation year for international students. The Orientation year is the allowance or permit provided to international students after graduation to seek employment. Once you get a job, you can continue living in Netherlands until you have the job. However, note that there are certain conditions that you need to comply with during your employment. That are: 

  • Your employer needs to be a registered sponsor for highly skilled work. 
  • Your pay needs to be equal or above the minimum wage requirement. 

Highly skilled migrants 30 years or older requirement: 

​4,752 EUR gross per month

​Highly skilled migrants younger than 30 years requirement: 

​3,484 EUR gross per month


Studying in Netherlands for international students is fruitful when they make a transition to a work visa in Netherlands. Some of the formal documentation you will need there are: 

  • A work permit (TVW)
  • Residence permit
  • Work+Residence permit (GVVA) 
  • Long stay visa (MVV)

Note: Unless you are an entrepreneur, your employer will take care of your residence and work permit in the Netherlands. 

For PR in Netherlands, you can apply after 5 years of work or stay in the Netherlands. Studying in Netherlands for Indian students too can lead up to the ladder of work visa and PR. This is possible if you opt for a high-in-demand profession like Engineering, Data experts and more. 

Choosing to study abroad in Netherlands can turn out to be an amazing experience. What adds to it is the warm and open-mindedness of people.  Considering the lifestyle, travel, low cost of living and the attractive future that Netherlands holds for you, you should definitely consider studying in this beautiful country. In case you have doubts, feel free to get in touch with our Yocket professionals about studying in Netherlands for Indian students.


1. Can international students work in the Netherlands?

Ans: Most students prefer to work while studying in the Netherlands. International students with a valid residence permit are allowed to work either full time in June, July & August and 16 hours per week during classes.

2. Is education free in the Netherlands for international students?

Ans: Higher education in the Netherlands is not free for international students, however, it is fairly accessible and affordable. Know more about the cost of education in Netherlands in our article

3. Is the Netherlands a good place to study?

 Ans: Amsterdam is one of the Netherlands' most popular student cities. It houses more than 100,000 students globally. Studying in Amsterdam for Indian students is one of the most welcoming experiences worldwide.

4. What is the difference between Statutory tuition fees and Institutional tuition fees for international students in the Netherlands?

Ans: Dutch universities charge differently to non-EU/EEA students and EU/EA ones. This gives rise to the terms Statutory tuition fee (for EU/EEA students) and Institutional tuition fees (for non-EU/EEA international students).

5. What is a numerus fixus?

Ans: It simply means a limited number. Each program has certain seats fixed for an academic year.

6. What happens under numerus fixus program?

Ans: If a program has limited capacity and receives more applications than the number of seats it has, the selection happens through numerus fixus program.

7. How do I know if my desired program falls under the numerus fixus program?

Ans: It should be checked with the university. Applications, then, can be submitted through Studielink or directly to the university.

8. Is there any deadline to apply through Studielink for the numerus fixus program?

 Ans: Yes, one must apply before January 15 through Studielink to apply for numerus fixus program.

9. How many numerus fixus programs can I apply to in an academic year?

Ans: Applications can be sent to only 2 numerus fixus programs in an academic year. There are exceptions for programs such as Dentistry, Medicine, numerus fixus programs for which an application can be made only one in an academic year.1

10. When does the selection process for the numerus fixus program start?

Ans: The timeline for review of applications for these programs is 15 January to 15 April.

11. How will I know if my application is accepted for the numerus fixus program?

Ans: You can check it on Studielink. If accepted, you will know by April 15. You should accept the offer within one week as later you lose your ranking and the seat is passed on to the next candidate.

12. What are foundation courses in the Netherlands?

Ans: These are aimed at preparing international students for language skills required to pursue bachelor’s or masters courses. These also help them to adapt to the environment at the new university and the country. Some foundation courses may guarantee admission in one of the university’s courses later.

13. What are pre-bachelors programs in the Netherlands?

Ans: These are nothing but foundation programs to help students learn practical aspects of an academic program and provide them English language training to help them fulfill the requirements of the bachelor's program. These serve as a good way to help students adjust to university life.

14. Do I need to obtain a residence permit after reaching the Netherlands?

Ans: Yes, if you are a non-EU student, you need to apply for a residence permit after reaching the Netherlands. Usually, your university will apply on your behalf after you submit the required documents.

15. Is there any fee for residence permit application in the Netherlands?

Ans: Yes, there is a fee of EUR 174

16. Do I need to maintain any minimum credits to obtain my residence permit in the Netherlands?

 Ans: Yes, you need to maintain at least a 50% minimum credit requirement to get your resident permit.

17. What are the minimum and maximum duration of a preparatory program in the Netherlands?

 Ans: It can range from 6-12 months.

18. Who will decide whether I need a preparatory course in the Netherlands?

Ans: This is at the sole discretion of your educational institute.

19. Is a preparatory program available only for bachelor’s programs in Netherlands?

Ans: No, it is available for the Masters program too.

20. Do I need to pass IELTS even when I opt for a preparatory course?

Ans: Yes, passing IELTS is a must. An IELTS score of 5.0 lets you do a preparatory course for 12 months. 5.5 IELTS score is required for a 6 months preparatory course.

21. Do I need health insurance for applying for a Netherlands Visa?

Ans: No, if you are younger than 30, you can stay insured from a health insurer in your home country and do not need Dutch insurance.

22. Is it necessary to have Dutch health insurance when I get a full-time job in the Netherlands?

Ans: Yes, you must get one within 4 months of getting a job. If you don't get one, you are charged a heavy fine of 450 USD approximately.

23. Can you provide some examples of Dutch companies I can take my health insurance from?

Ans: Some examples of health insurance providers in the Netherlands are LoonZorg, ONVZ, OHRA, UnitedConsumers, Besured, Salland, and ZorgDirect.

24. When should I apply for an extension of my residence permit in the Netherlands?

Ans: You must apply for an extension before 3 months of the expiry date of your residence permit.26. What is the application fee for the renewal of my residence permit in the Netherlands?It is close to 404.66 USD.