HIT #4: Why I decided to study in the Netherlands

‘Hang In There’ is a weekly series hosted by our Marketing & Communication intern: Hang Vu. After 2 years of studying in the Netherlands, Hang wants to share her most honest experiences with other internationals who are also living in the Netherlands generally and in Eindhoven specifically.

weekly column banner

Are you planning to study abroad in the Netherlands? Then, this article is made for you! Compiled from many official sources as well as based on Hang’s perspective, you can use this as a reference to prepare for the next milestone of your life.

Studying abroad has always been one of my biggest dreams since I was a child. Moving to another country to study means that you are stepping out of your comfort zone and making a lifelong investment. In order to invest wisely, many factors need to be considered carefully before reaching the final decision. So, why did I decide to choose the Netherlands as my destination? More than just bikes and windmills, here are the 3 main reasons that had convinced me back then.

signs on road to left and to right

#1 Opportunities to study in a high-quality educational environment with affordable tuition fees:

With 55 universities in total and many of them are ranked as the world’s top universities in reputational rankings such as Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) or Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, it did not take me too long to put the Netherlands on my wishlist. Moreover, as the best non-native English-speaking country, I could easily find a Bachelor’s degree program that suits my interest and ambition from over 2100 English-taught international study programs in this country.

Although I’m not a resident of an EU/EEA country, I find the tuition fee in a Dutch educational institution quite reasonable, compared to native English-speaking countries like the US, UK, or Australia. Depending on your academic field, the study costs for the Bachelor’s program at a Research University (Universiteit) is around €6.000- €12.000 for a non-EU citizen, and it varies from €7000 to €10000 at a University of Applied Sciences (or ‘Hogeschool’ in Dutch). Furthermore, both Research Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences offer a great number of scholarships for EU/EEA and non-EU residents, as well as you can ask for student financial aid from DUO. Therefore, I would say that the Netherlands is an ideal environment for students who strive for an internationally well-recognised degree on a medium budget.

#2 Opportunities to discover the cultural heritage and human diversity:

As a girl who is curious about the outside world, the Netherlands completely got me before I even arrived here. Located centrally in Europe, the Netherlands is already a multicultural country where international EU/non-EU students and expats coming every year. The Netherlands is also well-connected to other European countries. It is just a piece of cake to reach Belgium, France, and Germany by train or by bus (if you do not have a driving license like me).

Thanks to its central location, I have been to 7 more countries besides the Netherlands within 2 years. The travel experiences have sharpened my communication skills as a student and widened my intercultural knowledge as a person. If you are curious about one of my trips, check out my travel vlog since 2019!

#3 Opportunities to approach practical teaching method:

Back in 2019, I was wavering between two options: going to a Research University or a University of Applied Sciences. In terms of study duration, the number of enrolled students per year and per class, training quality, tuition fee, etc., each university has its own pros and cons. In the end, I decided to follow my Bachelor’s at a University of Applied Sciences. At a university of applied sciences, the curriculum aims to provide students the fundamental knowledge in a specific field of study while getting practical experience through projects.

From my case, during the first and second year, I had to apply my academic knowledge gained into practice, in order to help my real-life clients tackle their communication or marketing problems.

Studying at a University of Applied Sciences means you need 4 years to obtain your diploma, instead of 3 years like in other research universities. However, at my university, the third year is designed for internship (which I’m doing at Holland2Stay now, yay!) and studying a minor, while the last year is to work on a graduation project. So, basically, students of universities of applied sciences study 1 more year to get more working experience and have a better understanding of where your passion lies, before stepping into the professional career path.

girl standing in tulip fields
You are not living in the Netherlands if you do not have a taken picture with tulips!

Only half of my Bachelor’s journey has gone, but with all the opportunities that the Netherlands has given me, I could say that studying here is the best decision that I have made, and I would never regret moving to this tulip kingdom!


written by Hang

As a travel freak who moved from Hanoi to Eindhoven, I love spending my day discovering new angles of this city and learning about the country from the locals. Hopefully, my articles would help you step-by-step entering the world of Dutch culture and make your every day in the Netherlands ‘a great stay’!