Complete Guide: 10 To-Do When You Study Abroad in the Netherlands
With the Netherlands' vibrant cities, picturesque landscapes, and welcoming culture, this European gem offers numerous opportunities for international students. While you're busy pursuing your academic goals, exploring the country, and immersing yourself in Dutch life, we took the liberty of making a guide to the Netherlands to enjoy your time there. So, here are the top 10 things to do when studying abroad in the Netherlands.
1. Explore Amsterdam's Rich Heritage
No study abroad experience in the Netherlands is complete without visiting Amsterdam. Take a leisurely stroll along the enchanting canals, marvel at the historic architecture, and delve into the city's art scene. Discover world-renowned museums like the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, which house masterpieces from Dutch artists. Embrace the vibrant nightlife, hop on a bike to explore the city's hidden gems, and embrace the unique atmosphere of this cosmopolitan capital.
2. Visit Historic Windmills in Kinderdijk
Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must-visit destination during your study abroad journey. This picturesque village is home to 19 iconic windmills, offering a glimpse into the Netherlands' rich agricultural past. Take a boat tour, wander along the footpaths, and learn about the engineering marvel that has kept these structures standing for centuries. Capture breathtaking photographs of the windmills and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the surrounding polder landscape.
3. Experience Dutch Festivals
The Netherlands is known for its vibrant and festive atmosphere, with numerous yearly cultural celebrations. From King's Day, where the entire country turns orange, to the colourful flower parades of Bloemencorso, these festivals provide a unique insight into Dutch culture. Join locals in dancing, music, and traditional costumes, and savour delicious Dutch treats like stroopwafels and oliebollen. Embrace the joyful spirit and create unforgettable memories.
4. Discover Utrecht's Charming Canals and Dom Tower
Utrecht, the fourth-largest city in the Netherlands, is brimming with history and charm. Explore its enchanting canals by boat or on foot, and soak up the lively ambience of its cafes and restaurants. Ascend the Dom Tower, the tallest church tower in the country, for panoramic views of the city. Discover hidden courtyards, visit the unique Museum Speelklok, and enjoy the vibrant student life that thrives in this university town.
5. Immerse Yourself in Dutch Cuisine
Studying abroad in the Netherlands provides the perfect opportunity to indulge in Dutch culinary delights. Sample traditional dishes such as herring, stroopwafels, bitterballen, and cheese at local markets and eateries. Explore the vibrant food scene and try international cuisines in Amsterdam's diverse neighbourhoods. Don't forget to experience a gezellige (cozy) evening at a traditional Dutch pub, enjoying local beers and the gezellige ambiance.
6. Bicycle Through the Dutch Countryside
Embrace the Dutch way of life by hopping on a bicycle and exploring the breathtaking countryside. The Netherlands is renowned for its well-developed cycling infrastructure, making it easy to embark on scenic routes through tulip fields, picturesque villages, and lush landscapes. Rent a bike, join a guided tour, and experience the tranquillity and beauty of the Dutch countryside at your own pace.
7. Visit The Hague and its Cultural Highlights
As the seat of the Dutch government and international organizations, The Hague is a city of political and cultural significance. Explore the beautiful Binnenhof, visit the Mauritshuis museum to admire Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring," and wander through the peaceful Scheveningen beach. Don't miss the chance to visit the Peace Palace, home to the International Court of Justice, and gain insights into global diplomacy.
8. Enjoy Beach Life in Zandvoort and Scheveningen
Although the Netherlands may not be the first place that comes to mind for beach destinations, Zandvoort and Scheveningen offer beautiful coastal experiences. Relax on pristine sandy shores, take a refreshing dip in the North Sea, and enjoy water sports activities. The lively beach clubs and vibrant atmosphere make these seaside towns the perfect spots to unwind and embrace the Dutch beach culture.
9. Explore the Beautiful Hoge Veluwe National Park
Escape the bustling city life and immerse yourself in nature at De Hoge Veluwe National Park. This expansive park offers a diverse range of landscapes, including woodlands, heathlands, and sand dunes. Rent a bicycle for free and embark on cycling trails that lead you through breathtaking scenery. Visit the renowned Kröller-Müller Museum, which houses an impressive collection of Van Gogh's artworks, along with sculptures and modern art.
10. Engage with Locals and Embrace the Dutch Lifestyle
The Netherlands is known for its friendly and welcoming people. Take the opportunity to engage with locals, practice your Dutch language skills, and learn about their traditions and way of life. Join clubs or organizations that align with your interests, participate in community events, and build meaningful connections. Embracing the Dutch lifestyle will not only enhance your study abroad experience but also provide a deeper understanding of the country's culture.
It's time to enjoy the unique opportunities that the Netherlands can offer you. From exploring historic cities to immersing oneself in nature, indulging in local cuisine, and engaging with the Dutch culture, there are endless possibilities for international students.
Browse through diverse programs in the Netherlands that Educatly can connect you to and select your favourite to apply to. You can also sign up to Educatly and update your profile to get matched with a suitable program, degree level and university based on your interests and desires.