Reasons to study in Netherlands
The friendly Dutch welcome students from across the globe with open hearts. This is evident from the trouble they take to acquire expertise in the English language. Universities in the Netherlands offer over 2,000 programs, which use English as a medium of instruction. Of course, each university functions in alignment with its own rules and regulations.
They cover a broad range of disciplines at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. There are diploma, certificate and doctoral (PhD) courses on offer too. All universities have one thing in common. They require you to take an IELTS, TOEFL or English language test, if your native language is not English.
A sportive international player keen to excel in all areas, Holland strives to remain a knowledge-rich and culture-rich place. All 13 universities award great value to research related to science and technology. Some colleges even offer courses on applied sciences, granting equal importance to theory and practice.
The Netherlands adhere to the best study traditions in the world. Therefore, your degrees are accepted everywhere across the globe. Many local and international companies offer internship positions to students, after they complete their studies. You may use them to launch your professional network worldwide.
The Dutch will respect you only if you work hard and qualify for the high-quality study programs. It would be good to sign up for an introductory course, in order to learn the basics of the Dutch language. You will gain many friends because of your interest in their language. Additionally, your stay in an alien country will prove to be highly comfortable.
What is so admirable about the educational system in the Netherlands?
The educational authorities ensure that they design every program to perfection. The aim is to meet all the global standards of high-quality education. They also ensure that requisite facilities for each course are in place. The Netherlands Government is well aware of the what, when, why and how associated with every task.
The Dutch educational system is one of the oldest systems of learning and knowledge in the world. Surprisingly, all-round education has been in existence here, since the 16 th century. The focus of teaching is mainly on teamwork. After all, sportive players are always willing to learn from one another.
Even in a group, students may express personal viewpoints, feelings and opinions without inhibition. It does not matter who you are or where you are from. The Dutch are very open- minded and tolerant in attitude. You will enjoy functioning in this kind of an interactive environment.
The majority of your coursework focuses on group, and not on individual assignments. There is less emphasis on theory and more on practice. Over time, your academic skills and innovative talents will develop splendidly. This is because of sharing of ideas, cooperative functioning and personal experiences.
The Dutch educational system is highly problem-based learning in nature. You will learn to analyze and resolve practical issues easily. You will also develop a unique professional identity. This is an achievement indeed, when surrounded by students from over 150 diverse nations!
The majority are from EU nations. Regardless, you are bound to feel as if you have stepped onto a world map. Grab the chance to explore alien minds and ideas. You may never be able to participate in such global interactions again.
If you wish to, you may link up with a choice international student association. You will not miss home too much or feel homesick. You must get used to all kinds of individuals and their mindsets. After all, interviewers assess you in a creative manner, whenever you apply for a program or scholarship.
Holland's universities love to foster dependable relationships between students and professors. This is necessary, for every classroom is a conglomeration of diverse cultures and backgrounds. However, a student group generally comprises of 15 to 30 members only. Therefore, a professor finds it easier to conduct seminars and tutorials.
Your attitude will acquire an open-mindedness, international orientation and global perspective never seen before. You will even be inclined to see the 'whole' rather than just the 'bits'. This will help you gain expertise in your field of study. Finally, you will also learn to confront life's challenges without flinching.
General Life as a Student in The Netherlands
The Netherlands is an attractive option for students desiring to study abroad. Tuition charges are highly affordable in the Netherlands. We cannot say the same of other nations in the European Union (EU) or in the West. The Dutch Government goes out of its way to subsidize costs as much as possible.
If your nation is part of the EU, you will have to shell out around €1,900 or so per annum. Alternatively, you may be from a non-EU nation. Your educational expenses may work out to anywhere between €5,800 or €6,000 and €20,000 per annum. Everything depends upon your selected course of study.
Your high motivation and immense talent can grant you access to various grants and scholarships. If you are from a non-EU nation, they will pay partially or completely for your education. It all depends upon how 'worthy' the authorities find you. You may receive anywhere between 500 and 3,000 Euros each year.
You will receive better favors if you go in for a university offering applied sciences. In case, your country belongs to the EU and you are below 30 years of age, you are eligible for a student loan. Several private Dutch organizations are keen to offer bursaries and grants too. They may confine certain offers to particular nationalities only.
As per a recent census (2014-2015), over 90,000 international students were resident in the Netherlands at that time. The number only keeps increasing year after year. These international students arrive from almost 160 countries. The Germans, Chinese and Belgians dominate the university landscape in the Netherlands.
Some disciplines are extremely popular. They include economics, psychology, applied sciences and engineering. Then again, at least one in ten international students receives monetary help. Therefore, it will be worth every penny to study in the Netherlands.
Life can prove exciting if you manage to obtain an ISIC Student Card. This International Student Identity Card makes you eligible for discounts on travel, insurance, shopping, etc. No one considers your nationality while offering discounts at bars, restaurants, cinemas and museums either. Technological advancements permit you to watch television shows in their original languages.
Opt for the bicycle as your favorite mode of transportation. Renting one is not expensive. Furthermore, you will be able to get around easily and quickly. Obtain the Holland Pass, in order to travel and sightsee without hassles.
Inhale the fragrance of fresh flowers as you cycle down the road alongside the tulip gardens in Den Helder and Leiden. Do not forget to add the famous Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum to your travel itinerary. The Royal Palace is 350 years old, an Ancient Icon. UNESCO has declared the 17 th century canal ring at Amsterdam as a heritage site.
The Dutch are extremely fond of football and other sports. Other 'likes' include good food, drinks, technology and fine art. It is legal to consume soft drugs in Holland, especially in the form of hash burgers. The progressive and law-abiding Dutch also respect the rights of gays and lesbians.
Working while Studying
Sometimes, particular institutions from EU nations go in for exchange programs with universities in Holland. Check with your university's international office regarding your eligibility. If you are eligible, you will receive monetary help from your native country. Direct help is through loans or grants, while indirect help is through tax benefits that your parents receive.
If you still find it difficult to manage, you can always take up a part-time job. If you are from Switzerland or an EU/EEA (except Croatia) country, you require no permission to work. You may work any number of hours and anywhere you want. However, if you are from Croatia or a non-EU/EEA nation, you will have to face some restrictions.
According to Holland's immigration laws, you may put in ten hours of work every week. Alternatively, you may work full time during the months of June, July and August. You cannot opt for seasonal and part-time work at the same time. Furthermore, you will need an official work permit.
Begin your job search by approaching employment agencies in your area and elsewhere. Several of them set aside jobs specifically for international students. Then again, the student affairs office at your host university may provide addresses. If the office has its own job agency, the staff may direct you there.
Do not forget to explore the World Web, for it lists jobs according to area. Some shops, as well as local newspapers place advertisements. You may take the help of a friend while browsing them. Be prepared for the fact that some jobs require native fluency with the local language and may refuse to employ you.
It is the duty of your employer to initiate the process of applying for a work permit on your behalf. Alternatively, your employment agency may do so. Both will have to approach UWV WERKbedrijf. The organization has simplified rules and regulations for international students.
A photocopy of your residence permit obtained for study purposes has to accompany the application form. Additionally, your host institution has to confirm that you are a student studying there. Make sure that your employer is aware of UWV WERKbedrijf's modified rules. The heavy checks outlined by the Foreign Nationals Employment Act no longer exist.
It may take anywhere up to five weeks or so for your application to get through. Note that this process is extremely important. If you opt for illegal, back-door entries to employment, your employer faces the risk of heavy fines upon discovery. You may even lose your residence permit and your chance to complete your education in the Netherlands.
Note that you will not need a work permit, if you are doing your internship. Your host institution has permitted you to take up a job as part of your study program. There is no need for any kind of internship agreement between your employer and your host establishment. Leaving the issue of work permit aside, do ensure that you have understood everything about your job's terms and conditions before beginning work.
Your employer has to deduct Social Security contributions from your gross pay every month. This is for insuring you against the consequences of work-related accidents, if any. The deductions are termed as unemployment benefits, disability pay, etc. Do approach the Human Resources Department at your workplace for complete clarifications.
Towards this end, you will have to obtain a citizen service number or social security number. Register your name at the local municipality. The office will issue you a Burger Service Nummer or BSN automatically. The local town hall will send you a formal letter, in order to confirm your personal details.
Continue Working after Graduation
You need not quit working in the Netherlands after completing your studies. You are welcome to continue seeking better opportunities for your career growth. However, there is a specific law that you must adhere to, even during your student working days. As a resident employee, you must go in for public healthcare insurance.
This insurance is termed as basic care insurance (basiszorgverzekering). You have to take it, regardless of how many hours you work in a week. Even students from EU nations, possessing an EU Health Insurance Card, are not exempt from this rule. You may gain relief from this rule only if you are a student, who is not an employee too.
When you are a student, you can work only part-time. Therefore, look for an insurance company that permits switching between public and private healthcare insurance. You may be grateful for this option later on, when you begin a serious career. Whatever is the case, you risk a heavy monetary punishment if you refuse to purchase healthcare insurance.
It is not possible for people with low incomes to afford healthcare insurance. Since you fall into this category, do approach a public healthcare insurance company. You will be able to avail healthcare allowance. The Government of Netherlands provides this kind of assistance to people with small budgets.
You will have to apply online or approach the local tax office. The former requires a digital signature. The snag is that you must fill out the application form in Dutch only.
Another law relates to the issue of income tax. You have to begin paying your taxes right from your student-employee days. In case, you possess a scholarship, you may count this as income too. Everything goes towards the total amount of taxes that you have to pay each year.
It is possible that your scholarship is taxable. Furthermore, you have a part-time job. Then, you may receive a lower amount (as study funds or work pay) than you expected. In case, there is a tax treaty between Holland and your native country, the Netherlands will not take income tax from you.
As mentioned earlier, if you are a Swiss national or from an EU/EEA nation, you are free to work in the Netherlands. You do not need a work permit. In case, you are from Croatia, you will have to wait until July 1, 2020, for a relaxation in rules. This is because your country attained EU membership only from July 1, 2013 onwards.
As a foreign national seeking employment in Holland, you will have to apply for GVVA. This stands for a combined residence and employment permit. This rule applies if you intend to continue employment after three months. Either your employer or you must approach the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) for the permit.
There are conditions attached to employing people from a non-EEA nation too. Your employer must justify that there is no one from EEA countries, who can fill your role. Furthermore, a vacancy for this particular position must have been in existence for five weeks or more. Sometimes, a position is vacant for three months and more too.
The UWV will check if the employer has advertised the position over the Internet or not. It will also peruse advertisements placed in the print media. The organization will take a keen look at the application submitted by your employer for an employment permit. Only when all the requirements are satisfied, will the UWV allow you to work in the Netherlands.