What Indian students say about studying in The Netherlands
Posted on October 28, 2013
India is one of the top five non-EU countries that have shown a significant interest in having their students study in The Netherlands. There are currently about 800 Indian students enrolled at a Dutch institution, with studies showing that this number is on the rise. So why are students from India attracted to this small and much cooler country? Here is what some of them had to say about their universities and programmes, including advice and tips for other interested students.
Ankit Sonthalia and Pradeep Angadi chose to study in the business field. Both Ankit and Pradeep did an Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Ankit chose to study at the Amsterdam Business School while Pradeep did a double degree at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, in partnership with the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England. Both students highlight the international environment they learn in, with many of their classmates being from different backgrounds and cultures, providing them with a diverse and global learning experience.
Both students also praise their cities. Ankit says Amsterdam is beautiful and, although the costs of living is quite high, the city is full of friendly people and good living conditions. Pradeep describes his city, Groningen, as a true student city with many bars, parks, sports facilities, and cultural events to cater to all different types of interests.
Prince Mayurank also chose to study in the business field, enrolling in a Master of Science degree in Business Information Technology (BIT) at theUniversity of Twente. He applied to the University of Twente based on its high global ranking and his specific course content. Prince describes the Dutch people as very friendly and open-minded and says they readily speak English to make those who don’t speak Dutch more comfortable.
He says the biggest difference between the educational system in The Netherlands compared with India is the focus on discussion and attaining knowledge. The Dutch tend to be less focused on textbook knowledge and an integral part of a course is group work, helping students figure things out by working together. He also says the cold might take a bit of getting used to, but seeing the snow fall in the winter was one of his favourite moments.
Some students, like Anand Mishra, prefer studying at a university of applied sciences. Anand enrolled in a Master’s programme in International Service Management at Stenden University of Applied Sciences. He was interested in the curriculum this programme and school could offer him and that is why he picked it over other schools in The Netherlands and Europe. He says the large number of English speakers and the multicultural environment at his school made it easy for him to develop diverse friendships and professional opportunities.
Although he warns that the paperwork to study abroad might be overwhelming at first, he thinks that it is part of the personal investment a prospective student must make in order to make the most out of this opportunity. Anand also points out that while there are differences between Indian and Dutch cultures, the Dutch are polite, innovative, and open-minded.
Chetna Chandrakant Ipar is studying at Wageningen University (WUR). She is pursuing a Master’s in Food Technology. Chetna describes her professors as extremely motivating and open for discussions while providing students with the help and advice they need. She also says The Netherlands is very beautiful and that she has learned much more from her experience abroad than just knowledge from her textbooks. She encourages new students to get acquainted with the Dutch language as well.
As a PhD student in Biochemistry at Maastricht University, Sameera Peraramelli encountered a lot of help to get her to Holland and to sort through all of the paperwork and practical matters that needed to be taken care of. She says she’s had plenty of opportunities to explore The Netherlands and Europe through her university’s student association. The educational environment has also provided her with a great place to grow professionally, as well as socially and personally.
Randhir Kumar is also completing a PhD in The Netherlands. He is doing his research at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research which is part of the University of Amsterdam. Randhir chose to study there because of the global reputation of the school, especially when looking at his specific study field. The flexibility and support he’s received throughout his study are two of the main things Randhir highlights as being different from education in India. His first impressions of Holland were also pleasant. Although he thought there were too few people on the train when he first arrived from Mumbai, he quickly got used to the accommodating and friendly demeanours of the Dutch.
Randhir strongly recommends The Netherlands as a study destination, not only because of the high quality of education, but also because of the networking opportunities that such a cosmopolitan student body can present to an ambitious student.
There are over 1,900 programmes and more than 60 higher educational institutions to choose from for those interested in studying in The Netherlands. These students from India are just a few of a growing number. The options to study are diverse with students being able to enrol in short courses, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD programmes, as well as specific specialisations. Although many of the students warn about the colder climate, they all agree that their experiences while studying in The Netherlands have been very positive. They have gained a widely recognised degree while making new friends from around the world and opening up international opportunities for themselves.
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