Study in Netherlands

How Much Does It Cost to Study in the N…

How Much Does It Cost to Study in the Netherlands



The living cost is one of the most important factors to consider when you decide to study abroad in the Netherlands. Aside from the tuition fees, you should consider accommodation and other living expenses; although the Netherlands is very student friendly and offers different discounts for students. Tuition fees vary depending on the city, university, and degree level and program.

Here is how much students spend on studying abroad in the Netherlands:

What Are the Tuition Fees in Dutch Universities?

Considering the Netherlands is part of the EU countries, EU-enrolled students typically pay lower tuition fees than students from Non-EU countries. According to the latest data available, EU/EEA students pay tuition fees fixed by the Dutch government, which hardly change throughout the years.

Tuition fees for Non-EU students in the Netherlands are very different depending on the university type and degree program. However, the average tuition fees for all students in the Netherlands —regardless of nationality— can range from €2,500 to €15,000 for undergraduate studies or even reach €20,000 for further advanced studies.

What Is the Difference in Tuition Fees Between Non-EU and EU Students?

According to the latest changes due to inflation, students from EU/EEA countries, including Switzerland and the Republic of Suriname, pay fixed tuition fees of around €1,000 to €2,000 per year. Although tuition fees vary depending on the degree level, this statutory fee —as the Dutch call it— is almost always the same for EU students, except for situations where there is a high inflation rate.

On the other hand, tuition fees in the Netherlands for Non-EU students are considerably high. The average tuition fees for Non-EU students can range from €6,000 to €20,000 per year, depending on the university and degree level.

Institutional Tuition Fees are what the Dutch call the tuition fees for international students. However, it is worth noting that there are multiple scholarship opportunities that, if not all, can cover some percentage of the tuition or living expenses of the students.

Here is the difference in tuition fees between EU/EEA and Non-EU students by level of study:

Degree Level EU/EEA Students Non-EU Students*
Undergraduate Degrees ~ €2,200 per year ~ €6,000 - €15,000 per year
Postgraduate Degrees ~ €2,200 per year ~ €7,000 - €20,000 per year

*Since there are two types of higher education institutions in the Netherlands, the tuition fees for international students are usually lower at Universities of Applied Sciences compared to Research Universities.

*Tuition fees at medical schools and degrees are also higher than in other degree programs. International students are expected to pay up to €30,000 per year for Medicine or Dentistry programs.

Do I Have to Pay Application Fees?

Most Dutch universities require an application fee to be paid when applying for higher education studies. The application fee ranges from €75 - €100 depending on the institution and degree level, and program. The application fees at Dutch universities are mostly common for international students that come from Non-EU countries. Dutch universities also refer to application fees as handling fees.

However, each university in the Netherlands has different rules regarding application fees. Some universities also offer a refund of the application fee for international students after officially enrolling at the university.

Are There Any Scholarships for International Students?

International students who cannot afford the tuition fees in the Netherlands can apply for several available scholarships. You can apply for scholarships directly to the university you are applying to, you can contact the university or check their website if they offer scholarships for Non-EU students.

There are also scholarships available from the government or organizations such as Nuffic. Some of the most popular scholarships for international students include the following.

  • Amsterdam Merit Scholarship. Non-EU students enrolled in master’s degree programs at the University of Amsterdam are eligible to apply for this scholarship.
  • University of Twente Scholarship. This scholarship is also available for students enrolled in master’s degrees at this university. Students who show academic merit and excellence can apply for the Twente Scholarship.
  • Holland Scholarship. Non-EU students are eligible to apply for this scholarship regardless of the degree level they are applying for. The Holland Scholarship awards €5,000 as a one-time thing. You should, however, check if the university you are applying to is part of this scholarship program.
  • Orange Tulip Scholarship. Only students from particular countries can apply for this scholarship, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and Vietnam. Each university can assign the amount of money they want to award and the number of students they want to give this scholarship to.

What Are the Living Expenses for Students in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is considered an expensive country, especially for international students who are studying abroad at Dutch universities. As in many European countries, the bigger and most popular cities are usually more expensive than smaller cities, towns, or suburbs.

As the capital city and a tourist destination, Amsterdam is one of the most high-priced cities in the Netherlands. Regarding monthly expenses, including accommodation and general living expenses, students can spend an average of €800 - €1,200 per month.

Here is an overview of monthly living expenses for students in the Netherlands by city:

  • Enschede: €650 - €920
  • Eindhoven: €950 - €1,350
  • Amsterdam: €1,000 - €1,500
  • Delft: €780 - €1,200
  • Rotterdam: €760 - €1,250

What Is the Accommodation Cost for Students in the Netherlands?

Accommodation costs in the Netherlands vary depending on the city and location of the university. Furthermore, accommodation costs can also depend on the lifestyle you choose since bigger cities in the Netherlands offer a luxury lifestyle compared to smaller hence cheaper living costs.

The average room in a rented apartment in the Netherlands can range from €300 - €600. Below is a list of Dutch cities and their accommodation cost per month.

  • Amsterdam: €400 - €800
  • Groningen: €350 - €650
  • Nijmegen: €350 - €450
  • Rotterdam: €400 - €750
  • Leiden: €350 - €700

There are also student housing available at most Dutch universities, which are mostly campus-based. The average cost for student housing ranges from €350 - €600 per month.

How Much Do Students Spend on Essential Living Expenses in the Netherlands?

Aside from accommodation and tuition fees, students living in the Netherlands should pay attention to how much they spend on food and groceries, entertainment, university materials, and other living costs that come with studying abroad.

Here is how much students in the Netherlands spend on everyday living expenses:

  • Food and groceries. The average student in the Netherlands spends about €150 - €170 per month on food and groceries. If they share an apartment with other students, it is advisable to share the groceries, which is cheaper and more convenient. The prices of eating out in restaurants can range from €10 - €20 per meal.
  • Transportation. One of the best things about the Dutch population is that they use bikes as one of their main transportation modes. Bikes are convenient and cheap for students who want to rent a bike or even buy one and use it during their studies.
    • The Netherlands offers a student discount for train tickets of up to 40% of discount. A one-way ticket on any kind of public transport in the Netherlands costs €3, and a monthly pass is €35 - €70 per month.
  • University Materials. For a student, it is very important to have enough money to buy books and other useful university materials. The average student in the Netherlands spends around €30 - €65 in books and study materials.
  • Other Expenses. Students in the Netherlands usually spend around €50 - €70 monthly on entertainment and other social activities. However, most student bars, restaurants, cinemas, and other entertainment centers offer student discounts if you present your student card.
  • Visa Fees. Non-EU students must obtain a student visa to enroll in universities in the Netherlands. The student visa application fee is around €170 regardless of nationality

Can I Earn Money as a Student in the Netherlands?

International students are allowed to work part-time while they are studying abroad in the Netherlands. As usual, students from EA countries, including Switzerland, do not need to apply for a work permit and have the same working privileges as Dutch students.

However, international students or Non-EU students must apply for a work permit, and they can work only 10 hours per week. International students are allowed to work full-time during vacation and summer breaks. However, students need to choose between working part-time during the year or full-time during their vacation.

It is easy for international students to find jobs in the Netherlands since the majority of the population speaks English.

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