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Study in Netherlands

Welcome to the land of tulips, windmills, and world-class education – the Netherlands. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the unique opportunities that studying in the Netherlands offers. Whether you’re considering a foundation program, a bachelor’s degree, medical studies, or a master’s degree, SnappStudy is your trusted companion on this academic journey. Discover the benefits of studying in English-taught universities, unravel the document and visa requirements, and unlock the door to a transformative educational experience.


An overview

The education system in the Netherlands is characterized by a student-centric approach, a focus on critical thinking and problem-solving, and a strong emphasis on research and innovation. The Dutch education system is divided into several stages, from primary education to higher education, offering a variety of pathways for students to pursue their academic and career goals.

Education System

Primary Education:

  • Age Range: 4 to 12 years old.
  • Duration: Eight years.
  • Curriculum: Focus on foundational skills, including Dutch language, mathematics, science, social studies, and physical education.
  • Assessment: Continuous assessment with no standardized tests.
  • Transition: At the end of primary education, students receive advice on the level of secondary education that suits them best.

Secondary Education:

  • Age Range: 12 to 16/18 years old.
  • Duration: Four to six years, depending on the type of secondary education.
  • Types of Secondary Education:
    • VMBO (Preparatory Secondary Vocational Education): Practical and vocational-oriented education.
    • HAVO (Higher General Secondary Education): General education preparing for higher professional education (HBO).
    • VWO (Pre-University Education): Prepares students for university.
  • Curriculum: Core subjects include Dutch, mathematics, English, and physical education, with additional subjects based on the chosen track.
  • Assessment: Final examinations at the end of the program determine eligibility for higher education.

Higher Education:

  • Dutch higher education offers a variety of programs at bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Higher education institutions include universities, universities of applied sciences (HBO), and institutes for international education.
  • Bachelor’s Degree:
    • Duration: Three years.
    • Types of Institutions:
      • Research Universities: Focus on academic and research-oriented programs.
      • Universities of Applied Sciences (HBO): Emphasize practical and professional skills.
    • Curriculum: Varied programs in fields such as arts, sciences, engineering, social sciences, and business.
    • Language of Instruction: English or Dutch.
  • Master’s Degree:
    • Duration: One to two years.
    • Types of Programs:
      • Research Master’s: Focused on research skills.
      • Professional Master’s: Emphasis on practical application in specific professions.
    • Language of Instruction: English or Dutch.
  • Ph.D. Programs:
    • Duration: Typically four years.
    • Research Focus: Independent research under the guidance of a supervisor.
    • Thesis: Original research leading to a doctoral thesis.
    • Language of Instruction: English or Dutch.

Grading System:

  • Scale: 1 to 10, with 5.5 as the passing grade.


  • Continuous assessment, exams, assignments, and presentations.


  • Dutch universities actively promote internationalization, offering numerous programs in English. Many programs have an international orientation, attracting students from around the world.

Quality Assurance:

  • The Dutch Inspectorate of Education ensures the quality of education at all levels. Accreditation organizations, such as NVAO, assess and accredit programs.

Student Life:

  • Dutch universities offer a vibrant student life with various student associations, cultural events, and sports activities. Many students live in shared housing, and cycling is a common mode of transportation.

Funding and Scholarships:

  • Dutch citizens and EU/EEA nationals generally enjoy lower tuition fees. Non-EU/EEA international students may have higher tuition fees but can explore scholarships and financial aid opportunities.

Post-Study Work Opportunities:

  • The Netherlands offers a “Search Year” allowing international graduates to stay in the country for up to a year to find employment. The Dutch education system’s flexibility, emphasis on research and practical skills, and commitment to internationalization make it an attractive destination for students seeking a high-quality education in a diverse and innovative environment.

English-Taught Programs:

  • The Netherlands stands out for offering a plethora of programs in English, providing international students access to high-quality education without language barriers.


Cost of studying and Living: 

The cost of studying and living in the Netherlands varies depending on the level of education, type of institution (public or private), and the program of study. Here’s a breakdown of the costs for both medical and non-medical programs at different educational levels:

Primary and Secondary Education:

  • Public Schools:
    • Tuition Fees: Primary and secondary education is generally funded by the government, and there are no tuition fees for Dutch citizens. However, there may be small fees for extracurricular activities.
    • Books and Materials: Schools often provide textbooks, and additional materials may cost around €50 to €100 per year.
  • Private International Schools:
    • Tuition Fees: Can range from €5,000 to €25,000 per year, depending on the school and grade level.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at €200 to €500 per year.

Pre-University Programs:

  • Public Pre-University Programs:
    • Tuition Fees: Public pre-university programs are part of the Dutch secondary education system, and tuition is subsidized. Students pay a nominal fee of around €30 to €100 per year.
    • Books and Materials: Approximately €100 to €200 per year.
  • Private Foundation Programs:
    • Tuition Fees: Private foundation programs can range from €5,000 to €15,000.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at €200 to €500 per year.

Bachelor’s Degree:

  • Public Universities:
    • Tuition Fees: For EU/EEA citizens, tuition is around €2,000 to €4,500 per year. For non-EU/EEA citizens, it can range from €8,000 to €20,000 or more.
    • Books and Materials: Approximately €300 to €500 per year.
  • Private Universities:
    • Tuition Fees: Private university fees can vary widely, ranging from €8,000 to €20,000 or more per year.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at €300 to €500 per year.

Medical Programs:

  • Public Medical Schools:
    • Tuition Fees: For EU/EEA citizens, medical program fees are around €2,000 to €4,500 per year. For non-EU/EEA citizens, it can range from €8,000 to €32,000 or more.
    • Books and Materials: Approximately €500 to €800 per year.
  • Private Medical Schools:
    • Tuition Fees: Private medical schools may have higher fees, ranging from €15,000 to €40,000 or more per year.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at €500 to €800 per year.

Master’s Degree:

  • Public Universities:
    • Tuition Fees: For EU/EEA citizens, master’s program fees are around €2,000 to €4,500 per year. For non-EU/EEA citizens, it can range from €8,000 to €20,000 or more.
    • Books and Materials: Approximately €300 to €500 per year.
  • Private Universities:
    • Tuition Fees: Private university fees for master’s programs can range from €8,000 to €25,000 or more per year.
    • Books and Materials: Estimated at €300 to €500 per year.
  • Ph.D. Programs:
    • Tuition Fees: Ph.D. programs at public universities typically have lower or no tuition fees. However, private Ph.D. programs may have fees ranging from €10,000 to €25,000 or more per year.
    • Books and Materials: Costs are usually covered by the institution.

Cost of Living:

  • Accommodation:
    • On-Campus Housing: €300 to €700 per month. Off-Campus Housing: €500 to €1,200 per month.
  • Food:
    • Groceries: €200 to €300 per month.
    • Dining Out: €10 to €20 per meal.
  • Transportation:
    • Public Transport: €60 to €100 per month. Bicycle: €50 to €150 for purchase.
  • Utilities:
    • Electricity, Water, Internet: €150 to €200 per month.
  • Health Insurance:
    • Mandatory for Students: Approximately €80 to €100 per month.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Entertainment, Personal Items: €100 to €200 per month.
  • Additional Expenses:
    • Visa Fees: Approximately €171. Residence
    • Permit: Approximately €317.

It’s important to note that these are estimated costs, and actual expenses may vary based on the city, lifestyle, and personal choices. Additionally, EU/EEA citizens may have lower tuition fees compared to non-EU/EEA citizens. Students are encouraged to budget carefully and explore scholarship opportunities to offset costs.

Document Requirements

Document Requirements: Your Gateway to Enrollment

SnappStudy simplifies the application process by guiding you through the essential documents required for successful enrollment:

General Document Requirements:

  • Educational Certificates: Transcripts and certificates from previous academic institutions.
  • Language Proficiency: Proof of English proficiency through tests like IELTS or TOEFL.
  • Letters of Recommendation and Motivation: Compelling letters of recommendation and a well-articulated statement of purpose.
  • Portfolio (for Art and Design Programs): Showcase your artistic or design work.

Visa Requirements

  • Student Visa: Obtain a student visa from the Dutch embassy or consulate. Provide proof of acceptance from a Dutch educational institution.
  • Health Insurance: Mandatory for all students and a prerequisite for obtaining a student visa.


Quality Education:

  • Internationally Renowned Universities: Dutch universities consistently rank high globally. Emphasis on research and critical thinking.
  • Innovative Teaching Methods: Problem-based learning and interactive classrooms. Foster creativity and independent thinking.

Cultural Integration:

  • Multicultural Environment: Connect with students from around the world. Cultural diversity enhances the learning experience.
  • Bicycle-Friendly Cities: Navigate Dutch cities on bicycles, a sustainable and popular mode of transport.

Career Opportunities:

  • Global Recognition: Dutch degrees are recognized worldwide. Opportunities for internships and work placements.
  • Thriving Industries: Access to industries like technology, engineering, and life sciences.

Quality of Life:

  • High Quality of Life: Excellent healthcare, infrastructure, and public services. Safe and welcoming environment.
  • English Proficiency: English is widely spoken, making daily life and communication easy for international students.


  • Your Academic Partner in the Netherlands, SnappStudy is not just an educational consultancy; it’s your dedicated guide on the path to academic success. Explore the unique features that make SnappStudy the ideal partner for your educational aspirations:
    • Personalized Consultation: Receive tailored guidance to navigate the application process seamlessly.
    • Program Selection Assistance: SnappStudy assists in choosing programs aligned with academic and career goals.
    • Ongoing Support: Post-arrival assistance and support as you settle into life in the Netherlands.
    • Alumni Network: Connect with SnappStudy’s alumni network for mentorship and networking opportunities.

Foundation to Master's

Navigating Your Academic Pathway: Foundation to Master’s

SnappStudy’s commitment to education extends from foundational programs to doctoral studies. By providing a seamless pathway, SnappStudy ensures students receive continuous support throughout their educational journey in the Netherlands.


Studying in the Netherlands with SnappStudy is not just an academic pursuit; it’s an exploration of excellence, cultural richness, and a pathway to a global career. From reputable universities to a welcoming cultural environment, the Netherlands offers a unique blend of opportunities for international students. Contact SnappStudy today to embark on your educational adventure and unlock the doors to academic excellence in the heart of Europe. Your journey begins with SnappStudy – your key to a world-class education in the Netherlands.


Yes, international students are allowed to work part-time (up to 16 hours per week) during the academic year and full-time during the summer months (June, July, August) without needing a work permit.

Yes, the Netherlands offers a one-year “Orientation Year” visa (zoekjaar) for international graduates from Dutch universities, allowing them to stay and search for employment or start their own business.

The academic year in the Netherlands typically runs from September to June, with two semesters: the first semester (September to January) and the second semester (February to June). There is usually a break during July and August.

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