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Study in Netherlands

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1. Country Overview

1. Country Overview

Netherlands is famous for its freedom and sense of responsibility that you’ll find in every citizen of the country. For International Students, Netherlands offers an amazing choice of more than 1,600 university level programs in English in a multicultural rich environment. You’ll be to study in a calm and secure environment. A Degree earned from a Netherlands University is internationally recognized and accepted by employers worldwide. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised to find that the cost of education is low as compared to other countries in the European Union.

The Dutch Ministry of Education along with the municipal governments concerned coordinates all policies and aspects related to Education, Culture and Science. Higher education in Netherlands is offered at two types of institutions namely universities and research institutes. With more than, Netherlands boasts the highest number of English-taught programs in continental Europe, offering International Students a choice of more than 1,600 International Study Programs and Courses which are taught in English. Thus, students find studying in Netherlands a great and truly enriching experience.

Course of Study in Netherlands are offered at two levels, namely Research-oriented Education Level and Higher Professional Education Level.

Strategic location, happy, smiling people, excellent transportation and quality of life make studying in this small beautiful country a real pleasure!

2. Why Study in Netherlands?

2. Why Study in Netherlands?

There are MANY reasons to study in Netherlands as an International Student:

  • Netherlands since 1950 is the first non-English speaking country to offe study programmes conducted in English
  • The study programmes are specially designed to suit the educational requirements of International Students who favour Netherlands as their Study Destination
  • Netherlands, due to its strategic, central location in Europe is considered to be “The Gateway to Europe”
  • All famous capital cities of Member Countries in the European Union are within easy reach
  • Paris and Berlin, Brussels and London are all situated within an hour’s flight from the Dutch capital – Amsterdam.

3. Netherlands Education System

3. Netherlands Education System

Netherlands Education System


The schooling system in the Netherlands emphasizes choice in education. Compulsory education under Dutch law applies to children of all nationalities from five to 18 years who are residing in the Netherlands. The school system is, however, quite unusual. Your finances, location, nationality, the age of your children, and how long you are likely to stay in the Netherlands are the main factors you should take into account when selecting a school. Many companies reimburse international school fees as part of a relocation package and the reimbursements could be exempt from income tax (though not for all schools).

Visa process is the most formidable part for students. Lack of proper information and incorrect supervision by inexperienced agents cause students to lose the opportunity of getting the visa even they have admission and every thing on hand.
At SIEC, we ensure student visa success and with our professional approach and direction chance of visa improve significantly and it become possible for student to reach their dream study destination.

Our extensive network of branches and every increasing experience provide us latest information on,

  • Accurate visa application procedures
  • Relevant and important documents required for visa interview
  • Guidance on providing sufficient financial documentation
  • Interview preparation through several mock interview sessions
  • Expected questions and suitable answers to satisfy visa officer

At SIEC, our mission is simply making you achieve your goal of studying abroad!

At SIEC, our dedicated team provide all the required information to face the ‘visa interview’ at the UK or US Consulate. In addition to providing information our mock interview sessions help student to address nervousness. At first, we carefully assess the background of the applicant and then determine strong and weak areas. Based on this first-hand information, our counselors will suggest appropriate answers and responses for given questions and situations.

With this specialized and adapted preparation, facing the interview for visa will become easier for you since you will be fully confident of what to do or not to do and how to tackle difficult questions and situations.

Proper planning, self-confidence, preparation and good presentation are the key aspects to succeed in the visa interview. SIEC makes sure that you, the applicant, are fully prepared to handle all these aspects successfully and get the coveted Student Visa for UK or USA.

See the following YouTube links that show examples of two students’ mock credibility interviews carried out by INTO.
They were also with 2 Chinese students both with GOOD ENGLISH. Note these interviews were also for DIPLOMA courses:

    Types of schools:

    Public (openbare) schools
    State-run schools (non-denominational) provide secular education, but they can also offer teaching around specific philosophic or pedagogic principles (Montessori, Steiner etc.).

    Private schools
    Most private schools are denominational (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Hindu) or follow specific philosophic principles, as above. Private schools are governed by a board or the foundation that set them up.

    Special schools
    There are schools for children with special needs and also special needs teachers at Dutch schools.

    Costs of Schooling
    Primary and secondary state education is free, with parents being asked to contribute a ‘voluntary’ nominal amount, which varies from school to school with additional payments for lengthier school trips and lunchtime supervision (tussenschoolse opvang) and after-school care (naschoolse opvang) which the school is supposed to provide or sub-contract.

    Dutch Primary education (primair onderwijs or basisonderwijs)
    There are eight years of primary schooling. Most children start at four years in group one and move up a group every year. Different age groups may be in the same class. In ‘Group 8’ (in February of each year), children in 85 percent of primary schools (basisscholen) sit the CITO test ( which will determine their next level of education. CITO tests are also used in some schools to measure the literacy and numeracy of younger children.

    Dutch Secondary Education (voortgezet onderwijs)
    From 12 years. ssThere are four main diplomas:
    VMBO (a further four years of school). Prep school for vocational secondary education. A VMBO-T diploma can lead onto secondary vocational education (MBO).

    HAVO (Five years)
    Senior general secondary education. Provides entrance to hogescholen or ‘vocational universities’ (HBO Hoger beroepsonderwijs).

    VWO (Six years)
    Preparation for academic studies at a research university (WO — Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs). VWO schools are called Athenaeum, Gymnasium and/ or Lyceum. In the past, the various forms of secondary education were provided in different schools but now there are broader combined schools allowing movement between diploma programmes.

    MBO. (Secondary Vocational Education)
    If a student has successfully completed the Dutch VMBO-t or the international middle school programmes, the IGCSE or IB-MYP, but is not admitted to the IB-Diploma Programme, the MBO (three to four years) might be a good option. In the Netherlands students can follow several MBO-programmes taught in the English language as well.

    Dutch Higher Education
    Third-level education, as it is known in the Netherlands, is offered at vocational level (HBO, at a ‘university of applied sciences’ or hogeschool) and at academic level (WO, at a university or universiteit).

    Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are available at both HBO and WO institutions but you can only do a PhD at a (WO) university.

    There’s a huge range of courses taught in English (around 1,300). You can see what’s available and where on the Nuffic (Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education) website ( which includes extensive information about the Dutch higher education system. Institutions are either government funded or government approved.

    Around 370,000 students are enrolled at 44 ‘universities of applied sciences’ or hogescholen, which provide general courses or specific study in one of seven sectors: agriculture, engineering and technology, economics and business administration, healthcare, fine and performing arts, education/teacher training and social welfare. For more information, visit

    There are 14 research universities with around 205,000 students involved in intensive academic studies.

    Fees depend on your nationality and age. There’s an EU fee for EU/EEA nationals, which is set by the Dutch government. Otherwise you pay the institutional fee (three or four times higher). The fees at private institutions can be substantially higher.

    How to apply
    There are nearly 50,000 international students studying in the Netherlands-Germany is top of the international student list-and information on fees, qualifications and study programmes is widely available in English. Students should first contact the institution offering the course, which will specify what education qualifications are required for admission. A quota system is in place for oversubscribed courses; places are allocated by lottery.

    University programmes consist of a Bachelor’s or undergraduate phase lasting three years and a Master’s or graduate phase lasting one to two years. As many Dutch universities have partner institutions in other countries, students can study part of their course abroad.

    Qualification Accreditation

    Diplomas and Certificates awarded overseas need to be accredited by the Dutch authorities. Often the school where you have applied takes care of this. Non-native English speakers are required to pass an English language test at a specified level, most commonly the TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Test.


    February and September of every year.

    Required Documents

    • Mark Sheets, Transcripts, Consolidated Marks Sheets from Class 10 onwards up to Degree
    • English Language Ability: Test Score Card (IELTS or TOEFL )
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Two Letters of Recommendations (one from the university and one you’re your employer (if available)
    • LOR’s should be in sealed Envelope
    • Updated CV with detailing years of education and marks scored
    • Extra Curricular Certificates and Language Certification (German, French, etc) if available
    • GMAT and GRE Score Cards
    • Passport copy
    • Ten passport size photographs

    NOTE: All academic documents, IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT and Passport (front and back) should be Notary Attested.

4. Costs

4. Costs

Annual Tuition Fees

For EU Students: Approximately €1,700 per year.
For Non-EU Students: (Approx) €14,000 – €18,000 a year.

Cost of studying for a Diploma/Bachelors & Masters Courses in Netherlands

For Students belonging to the EU (European Union) Countries: Annual Tuition Fees charged by Universities in Netherlands are approximately €1,500.

For Students belonging to Non-EU/Other Countries: The Annual Tuition Fees charged by Universities in Netherlands are a little higher and may differ from University-to-University.

Living Expenses: Approximately € 700 – 800 per month, and depending upon your lifestyle – austere, normal, rich, extravagant or lavish!

Cost of studying for a Netherlands PhD General

For Students belonging to the EU (European Union) Countries: The Annual Tuition Fees charged by Universities in Netherlands are approximately €1,500.

For Students belonging to Non-EU/Other Countries: The Annual Tuition Fees charged by Universities in Netherlands are a little higher and may differ from University-to-University.

Living Expenses: Approximately € 700 – 800 per month, and depending upon your lifestyle – austere, normal, rich, extravagant or lavish!

Cost of studying for a Netherlands PhD ASA

For Students belonging to the EU (European Union) Countries: The Annual Tuition Fees charged by Universities in Netherlands are approximately €1,500.

For Students belonging to Non-EU/Other Countries: The Annual Tuition Fees charged by Universities in Netherlands are a little higher and may differ from University-to-University.

Living Expenses: Approximately € 700 – 800 per month, and depending upon your lifestyle – austere, normal, rich, extravagant or lavish!

Other Information on Cost of Living in Netherlands
Since Holland does not have a tradition of on-campus accommodation, students usually do not live on campus but have their own room living as close as possible to their university town. Finding good, affordable accommodation can be a problem in Holland. So, make sure you check at your university whether they can arrange a room. You may have to share the shower, toilet, kitchen and living room with other students. Also, the rooms may be quite smaller than your expectations. It is common for men and women to live together in a shared house. Make sure you read your rental contract before signing it.
Rent and bills
An average room in Holland costs around €300 to €600 a month. Before you take on a room, make sure you check what bills are included in the rent, as this may adversely effect your budget. Some accommodations include gas, electricity, TV and Internet in the rent, for others you are expected to pay them separately. Most rental contracts run for at least six months or a year when you are enrolled on a course programme.

Furnished or unfurnished?
Find out if the room is furnished or unfurnished. The quality can vary greatly, and furnishings may range from just a bed and a chair to a fully-equipped room with an internet connection. If you decide to go for an unfurnished room, you can buy cheap furniture at second-hand shops in your city.

Daily expenses
Your daily expenses (includes: food, public transport, books, clothes, costs for housing and insurance, and cinema tickets): around €800 to €1,100 a month.

Some average prices: a cup of coffee/tea in a café: €2, a cheese sandwich: €3, dinner in a typical student restaurant: €10. Most supermarkets offer a variety of brands. It is worth comparing the prices to find the cheapest option.

Other expenses
Other expenses will go towards leisure, books, and travel, etc. Bus tickets cost around €1.60 for a single fare in the city. You can consider buying a discount card for train tickets. Discount Cards gives you 40% reduction in off-peak times. Cinema tickets cost about €8,50, but most cinemas give student discounts.

Student discounts
Many bars, restaurants, museums and cinemas give student discounts. Most of these ask for proof in the form of a student card from your institution. You should check in advance if a student discount is available.

Especially for international students, the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) can provide some interesting discounts and offers on travel, shopping, museums and more, worldwide.

5. Student life in Netherlands

5. Student life in Netherlands

There’s a real fun student culture her as most of the happenings take place off-campus. Each institution has a network of associations that bring students together for academic activities, sports and recreation. All of these associations are run by students themselves and some of them are internationally oriented. Many cities also have several separate student associations, not connected to any institution. And there are usually pubs, restaurants and other meeting places where many students hang out.

Public safety
Holland is a safe country by international standards, with a relatively low level of violence and street crime. The police are friendly and helpful and you can always feel confident approaching them for help. You may speak to them in English as they are quite fluent in the language. Even if they aren’t they will arrange an interpreter for free!

Emergency services
Simply dial 112 from any phone (free of charge).

You don’t really need a car to get around in Holland as it is a small country and public transport will take you almost anywhere you want to go. It is better that you buy a Rail Card as Holland has a dense railway network that offers frequent service and proves to be the quickest way to travel between city centres.

6. Application Procedure

6. Application Procedure

February, September and May intake for few courses in some universities.

Entry Requirements and Eligibility Criteria

For Under Graduate Programmes

  • 12 years of education (mandatory)


  • 10 year of education + a 3-year Diploma
  • IELTS: 6.0 Overall (or) TOEFL: 80 points (IBT)

For Masters Programmes

  • 15 and 16 year of education with 65% marks
  • IELTS: 6.5 Overall (or) TOEFL: 85 points (IBT)

For MBA Program

  • 15 and16 years of education with relevant Subjects
  • IELTS: 6.5 Overall (or) TOEFL: 85 points (IBT)
  • GMAT: 550
  • Work Experience: 2 – 3 years (at Managerial level)

Documentation: Your list of required documents should include College Admission Letter, Valid Passport, Proof of Sufficient Funds to maintain yourself in Netherlands, Two Passport Sized Photographs, Previous Educational Certificate(s), and Proof of English Language Proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS) Test Score Card.

7. Visa guideline

7. Visa guideline

As an International Student wishing to study in Netherlands for a period that is longer than three months you’ll have to get authorisation for temporary stay (MVV – Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) in case you are not

if you are not a citizen of the EU/EEA or the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or other nations who are members of the relevant treaty.

The MVV Application Process

  • Takes anywhere from three to six months
  • The university or educational institution can apply for it on your behalf using the fast track procedure
  • The institution signs a guarantee and must provide other documents that are time- and resource-intensive
  • Not many institutions in Netherlands are ready t do this, causing you delays or even foregoing your decision to study in Netherlands.

But, SIEC Education can advise on how to get your MVV Application for Netherlands fast-tracked and finished with minimum stress and time wasted. Our teams of immigration experts are there to help you begin your journey to study in Netherlands today.

Documents Required

  • College Admission Letter
  • Valid passport
  • Prof of sufficient funds
  • Two Passport Size Photographs
  • Previous Educational Certificates
  • IELTS or TOEFL score card to prove English language proficiency
  • Letter from the institution to which you have been accepted stating the purpose and duration of the stay.

8. Work Permits for Students

8. Work Permits for Students

If you are from the EU/EEA (but not from Bulgaria or Romania) or from Switzerland, you are free to work without restrictions. But, if you are from Bulgaria or Romania, or from a country outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you need a permit (see section Work Permit below on how to get one), and you can only work for a maximum of ten hours a week or, instead, you can work full-time during the summer months June, July and August.

Finding a part-time job is easy. Just try HARD enough!

The easiest way to find a job is through an employment agency, or uitzendbureau. Some agencies specialize in jobs for students. The student affairs office at the Dutch institution where you are enrolled can provide addresses or may even have their own job agency. Of course you can also respond to advertisements or search for a job on the Internet. The following websites may be helpful: (in Dutch)

Get your Health Insurance BEFORE you take up a JOB!
It is mandatory that you take out the Dutch basic healthcare insurance before you take up a job. If you do not meet this requirement you risk a huge fine or even being deported.

Social Security Number
BSN is short for Burger Service Number, which translates as ‘citizen service number’. The BSN is equivalent to a social security number – a unique registration number for every citizen, used in contacts with any government service. Various people may ask you for your BSN. If you have a job, your employer will need to know your BSN. Insurance companies may also ask for your BSN-number. When registering with your local municipality, you are automatically issued a BSN. Your local town hall will most likely send you a letter to confirm all your personal details listed in their administration, and this letter will also mention your BSN.

Payment of Income Tax
You are required to pay tax over your total Dutch income for the year. Scholarships may also be counted as income and added to the total. For more information on income tax, you can check with your employer.

Work Permit

  • Citizens of all other countries (other than EU/EEA (but not from Bulgaria or Romania) or from Switzerland and Dutch Nationals), will need a Work Permit
  • This also includes International Students before they seek a Part-time Job running along with their studies.
  • Dutch immigration law restricts the number of hours you may work
  • You may either do seasonal work full-time (but only in June, July and August), or you may work part-time throughout the rest of the year (but no more than ten hours a week)
  • You may not do both (seasonal work full-time and part-time throughout the rest of the year)
  • It is up to your employer or the employment agency to apply for your Work Permit; You cannot do this yourself
  • The application must be accompanied by a copy of your Residence Permit for study purposes and by a statement from your institution confirming that you are enrolled as a student.

Processing time:

  • It will take about five weeks to process your Work Permit application

Simplified rules are now in place for the Work Permit application to be speeded up which means that UWV WERKbedrijf no longer performs all the checks stipulated in the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wet arbeid vreemdelingen, Wav).

9. Frequently Asked Questions

9. Frequently Asked Questions

10. Universities and Colleges

10. Universities and Colleges