Book Club: The Top Five Dutch Cities for Expat Students
Combine the perks of big city living with a quaint, small town feel and you’ve got the atmosphere in Amsterdam. This city breathes coziness and, at the same time, acts as the Netherlands’ capital and financial center. However, Amsterdam also promises a booming nightlife, a variety of museums, and charming surroundings, decorated with canals and architectural flair. For the year 2013 to 2014, Amsterdam ranked fifth in a list of the top ten student cities for the quality of living category, in the QS Best Student Cities report. However, it did fare poorly in the affordability category.
Rotterdam: Students Galore
Even though it doesn’t attract as many international students as Amsterdam, Rotterdam has a culturally diverse population and a student-friendly vibe. It is home to Erasmus University Rotterdam. A social life is at your door step as international students reside in university housing near campus, where there are a variety of clubs and bars in the vicinity. Even though living costs match those in Amsterdam, rent is slightly cheaper. Plus, if you prefer to do your coursework in cafés, you have an array of study spots to choose from.
Groningen: Students Rule
If you are looking for a city where students have taken over, look towards Groningen. Percentagewise, it has the biggest student population; slightly less than a third of the city’s residents are students (30%). It is also one of the most bike-friendly cities worldwide, made possible by the number of students and the flat landscape.
Leiden: History and Tradition
As the oldest university in the Netherlands (established in 1575), Leiden University has had time to build up an excellent reputation, thus ranking as one of the Netherland’s top law institutions and 23rd in the world according to the 2014 QS Law Ranking. To top it off, the International Court of Justice is only ten minutes away by train.
Tilburg: Cultural Curiosity
For the international student who never gets tired of travel, Tilburg offers a great location between major European cities, such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Brussels. It is the Netherlands’ sixth largest city and may also offer career opportunities after you graduate: Tilburg is located in one of the fastest developing economic regions in the Netherlands. Multinational companies such as Fuji, Sony, Philips, and Ericsson have offices in the city.
Whether you feel like experiencing the Dutch culture or you want to meet other expats and global minds in the Netherlands, the listed universities give you many options.