Today, a home to world famous companies, Netherlands has passed through a journey where it was just an industrial and tourist centre. Located in north-western Europe, the country is a constitutional monarchy with one of the most stable economies in all of Europe.
With a population of nearly 16.5 million people, the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Nearly a third of the Netherlands is below sea-level and for a long time the Dutch constructed dykes and barricades to ensure that their lands do not get flooded by sea-water. Now it has become a hub for higher education thanks to their friendly immigration laws and easy visa processing. This is largely because since the early 1990s, leading Dutch institutions have begun offering a select few courses to international students, which are taught in English.
Most students do not have the Netherlands in their list of study abroad destinations because they think that the courses are taught in Dutch; and they will have to learn a new language and focus on learning the nuances of the Dutch language. This is true to a certain extent as a majority of the institutions offer their courses in Dutch, but since the 1990s, more and more premier Dutch institutions are offering a select few courses taught in English for international students. This does not mean that the student should not learn Dutch. Picking up a new language is useful and one may even land a job in the Netherlands on completion of the course. Student life in Netherlands can be really exciting. The Dutch are a friendly bunch of people who love football, fine art, technology, good food and drinks. People visiting the Netherlands from Asia can expect a culture shock. The consumption of 'soft drugs' is legal and hash burgers are popular, lesbian and gay rights are respected seriously and no discrimination is made. The Dutch are seriously progressive thinkers and there is a genuine respect for the state and the law.
The Netherlands is in no way less expensive than the UK. In many aspects, the cost of living is the same. Students who wish to try something different and explore life in a beautiful country with a focus on top-notch research-centric courses might wish to apply to study in the Netherlands.
Best of Netherlands
1. Delft University of Technology
2. University of Amsterdam
3. Wageningen University and Research Center
4. Erasmus University Rotterdam
5. Leiden University
6. Maastricht University
7. University of Twente
8. Tilburg University
9. Radboud University Nijmegen
10. Eindhoven University of Technology