About Netherlands

The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of four countries, the Netherlands itself in mainland Europe, and the islands of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten in the Caribbean, as well as three special municipalities, the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, also in the Caribbean. The country’s formal name is the Netherlands, meaning ‘low countries’, because much of the land is at or below sea level. The Netherlands is also often called ‘Holland’, a name that refers to the area that is nowadays taken up by the two western coastal provinces, North and South Holland. In the 17th century this was the most powerful area of the Dutch Republic and many people still use the name Holland to refer to the country as a whole.

A creative country: Holland is a creative nation. Dutch people enjoy innovating and constantly ask themselves and others questions to come up with new ideas. While studying in the Netherlands; you will be encouraged to think about creative solutions. Preferably together with other students since you will only achieve innovative and creative results when working with others. Innovation and creativity are essential in Dutch education. As a result, students at Dutch higher education institutions are often ambitious and they can easily adapt to other cultures and methods of working.

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    Education System

    Dutch higher education has a binary system, which means that you can choose between two types of education:

    • Research-oriented education, offered by research universities.
    • Higher professional education, offered by universities of applied sciences.

    At a research university you will focus more on research-oriented work, which could be either in an academic or in a professional setting. At a university of applied sciences you can choose a professional programme in the applied arts and sciences, to prepare you for a specific career.

    In 2002 Holland introduced the bachelor’s-master’s degree structure, but the distinction between the two types of education still exists. Both research universities and universities of applied sciences can award a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

    You first obtain a bachelor’s degree (first cycle), you can then continue to study for a master’s degree (second cycle). After completion of a master’s programmes you can start a PhD degree or PDeng degree programme (third cycle).

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    Many students do an internship as part of their study programme. As a foreign student, you may also be interested in doing an internship in the Netherlands