Studying in Holland as an International Student

Jan. 23, 2017, 1:41 p.m.

Study in Holland for International Students – Why I decided to look for an international business school in the Netherlands (and why you should consider it too!)

Hi everyone! Since most of you reading this post don’t know me (apart from my mom, HEY MOM!) I think it is fair enough that I introduce myself first.

Well, my name is Gloria, I am 19 years-old. I live in the Netherlands since 2015. I decided to move abroad with the purpose to have an “unique” curriculum, so I opted for living in Enschede.

The beginning – Studying in the Netherlands

As you might know, there are two types of high-education in the Netherlands: the universities focused on research and the universities of applied sciences, focused on the job market. And no, the programme I follow is not related to Mathematics or Biology even though the university is named  Saxion University of Applied Sciences.

Back in Brazil I was very interested in International Relations and Commerce, so I decided to look for a programme that matches both areas. So I found International Business and Management Studies .


Studying in Holland as an International Student – Saxion University of Applied Sciences

Why Saxion?

Well, one day I was visiting an educational fair in São Paulo, Brazil. My mom met me there after a while. I had a lot of flyers and souvenirs from several schools and I was still very curious, looking for information about everything. Then my mom saw a booth and asked me: “Have you already been there? That is the Holland’s booth”. It was Nuffic Neso – Study in Holland stand. So I went there.

I met a really nice man named Fábio. He was telling me about his experience studying in the Netherlands. When he finished talking I was impressed. “What an incredible country!” – I thought. So when I arrived home the first thing I did was opening the computer and researching about this country that nowadays I call “home”. I found Saxion on a list of universities in the Netherlands for international students. I checked their website, started gathering more information and I felt in love. As simple as that.


Study in the Netherlands – Saxion’s main building in Enschede has the shape of a tulip when looking from above (Picture by Gloria Ahorn)

Why Enschede?

Unlike most Dutch universities, Saxion has three campuses in three different cities, all of them located in the East part of the Netherlands. The smallest campus is in Apeldoorn, where only one course is offered in English – Hotel Management .

One of the other cities is Deventer, in which several programmes are offered in English, including International Business and Management Studies. The biggest campus is in Enschede, with three buildings, but sometimes we also have classes in other locations around the city too.

Saxion Enschede (Picture by Gloria Ahorn)

These are the two newest buildings. The brick building was finished in 2015 and part of it hosts Engineering lessons. The glass building hosts courses in the creative industry, so all the necessary equipment for these students can be found there, such as cameras, lightings, studios, etc.

As Saxion’s biggest campus is located in Enschede, the majority of international programmes is taught in this city (they offer a large number of programmes in Dutch too). This was one of the reasons why I chose to study here: I could meet more international students just like me. In the end it is very important that I follow an international programme, in another country, meeting people with different cultures.

Another reason why I picked Enschede is the proximity to Germany. The city is only 8km far from the German border, which means 15 minutes by car or 10 minutes by train or 40 minutes by bike! Since I love to travel, I wanted to enjoy my free time exploring the cities around me, so is there a better option than visiting cities from the Netherlands and Germany?

The last reason why I ended up here is because Enschede was the biggest of the three cities. It is still a small place compared to where I came from (São Paulo is the 11 th largest city in the world, while Enschede is the 11 th largest city in the Netherlands).

University of Twente is also located in Enschede, so there are a lot of students living here. Because of this parties and options to go out increase.

Going out in Enschede

If you have been to small Dutch cities you noticed that many stores and supermarkets do not open on Sundays, which means there is not many people around. But in Enschede stores are opened on the first and last Sundays of each month.

The local’s farm happens every Tuesdays, Saturdays and “special” Sundays. There you can eat several Dutch specialties such as kibbeling, oliebollen, herring, patat and stroopwafel – everything is fresh. You can also buy fresh groceries, fish, typical Dutch cheese, things for your house, things for your pet… The list is long and diverse.



Market Day in Enschede.

In the Netherlands, Thursdays mean “party night” for students. This does not make much sense to me since I often have early classes on Friday – and many other students too. But I must say it is pretty fun to go out and see the city busy with students. Most of the places have free-entrance, sometimes you have to pay a 5-euro entrance-fee. Of course, once you’re inside you have to pay for your own drinks, but the prices are ok.

If you like to shop, you can find stores with different styles here, not only for clothes, but basically for anything you want. Really.

And if this is not enough for you, you can still find several parks around the city – one of the best ones, Volkspark, is less than a 5-minute walk from Saxion. It is very nice to go there just to kill time, exercise, read a book, feed the ducks or have a barbeque with friends. Enschede has also places to go bowling, cinemas, paintball, ice-skating, and many other cool options to explore.

The city hall frequently organizes events in the centre; these festivals usually happen from Thursday to Sunday and they have varied themes such as music, food, technology, Valentine’s Day. I remember that in December 2015 there was a big ice-skating place with a traditional Christmas fair – and tasty food!

And of course, if you wish, it is very easy to catch the train and go anywhere. Amsterdam is only a 2-hour trip from here.

What about you: Would you like to live in a place like this?

Translated and Adapted from The Nerdylands .


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