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Studying abroad is a significant decision that can shape your future. For young Nigerian professionals, students, and parents, the Netherlands offers an excellent destination with a rich educational heritage, innovative teaching methods, and a vibrant multicultural environment. This guide will provide all the essential information you need to study in the Netherlands.

Why Study in the Netherlands?

High-Quality Education

The Netherlands is renowned for its high-quality education system. Some Dutch universities consistently rank among the top 100Universities in the world, offering a wide range of programs taught in English. The focus is on interactive and student-centred learning, which prepares students for the global job market.

Innovative Teaching Methods

Dutch education emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. Lectures, seminars, and group projects are some of the innovative teaching methods used in the program. This approach encourages students to think independently and develop practical skills.

Multicultural Environment

The Netherlands is a multicultural society with a welcoming attitude towards international students. Studying here means you will be part of a diverse community, which enriches your learning experience and broadens your cultural horizons.

English-Taught Programs

With over 2,000 programs offered in English, the Netherlands is one of the top non-English speaking countries for international education. As a result, Nigerian students can find programs to study in the Netherlands.

Choosing the Right University and Program

Types of Institutions

The Dutch higher education system includes research universities and universities of applied sciences. Research universities focus on academic research and theoretical knowledge, while universities of applied sciences emphasize practical training and professional skills.

Popular Fields of Study

Some popular fields of study among Nigerian students include:

  • Engineering and Technology
  • Business and Economics
  • Health Sciences
  • Environmental Studies
  • Social Sciences
Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary by institution and program. Generally, you will need:

  • A recognized secondary school diploma or equivalent
  • Proficiency in English (IELTS or TOEFL scores)
  • Specific program requirements (e.g., portfolio for arts programs)

Application Process

Research and Shortlist

Research universities and programs that align with your academic and career goals. Shortlist a few institutions and programs based on their ranking, location, tuition fees, and available scholarships.

Prepare Your Documents

Gather all necessary documents, including academic transcripts, certificates, a motivation letter, and letters of recommendation. Ensure you meet the English language proficiency requirements.

Apply Online

Most Dutch universities use an online application system called Studielink. Create an account on Studielink, fill in the required details, and submit your application before the deadlines.

Await Response

After submitting your application, you will receive an acknowledgement from the university. The admission process can take several weeks, so be patient. If accepted, you will receive an offer letter.

Financing Your Studies

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees in the Netherlands are relatively affordable compared to other Western countries. For non-EU students, the average tuition fee for undergraduate programmes is between €9,000 and €20,000, and for a postgraduate programme between €12,000 and €30,000.


Several scholarships are available for international students, including:

  • Holland Scholarship
  • Erasmus Mundus Scholarships
  • Orange Tulip Scholarship
  • University-specific scholarships
Part-Time Work

International students can work part-time (up to 16 hours per week) during the academic year and full-time during holidays. By doing so, you can cover your living expenses and gain valuable work experience at the same time. Learn more.

Visa and Residency

Student Visa (MVV)

Nigerian students need a student visa (MVV) to study in the Netherlands. Once you receive an offer letter from a university, you can apply for an MVV at the Dutch embassy in Nigeria. If your study is fewer than 90 days, you might need a short-stay Visa or Schengen visa. For stays longer than 90 days, you might need an entry visa (MVV, depending on your nationality) and a residence permit (VVR).

As soon as your host institution receives an ‘inwilliging’ (a letter of approval from the immigration service), they will let you know. You can then apply for the MVV at the embassy or consulate in your home country. Required documents include:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of admission
  • Financial proof
  • Health insurance
Residence Permit

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you must apply for a residence permit. The university usually assists with this process. The residence permit allows you to stay in the country for your studies.

Living in the Netherlands


Finding accommodation can be challenging, so start early. Options include university dormitories, private apartments, and shared housing. Websites like SSH, Kamernet, and HousingAnywhere can help you find student housing.

Cost of Living

The cost of living varies by city, with larger cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam being more expensive. On average, you should budget around €800 to €1,200 per month for living expenses, including rent, food, transport, and leisure activities.


Health insurance is mandatory for all international students. You can purchase a Dutch health insurance policy or use a private international insurance plan that covers your stay in the Netherlands.

Culture and Lifestyle

The Dutch are known for their open-mindedness and direct communication style. Most people speak English, making it easier for international students to integrate. The country offers a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous festivals, museums, and recreational activities.

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Job Market

The Netherlands has a robust job market, especially in technology, engineering, finance, and healthcare. International graduates can apply for a one-year orientation year visa to search for employment in the Netherlands.

Alumni Network

Dutch universities have strong Alumni networks, providing graduates with valuable connections and opportunities for professional development. Joining these networks can help you stay informed about job openings and industry trends.


Studying in the Netherlands offers Nigerian students a unique opportunity to receive a world-class education in a dynamic and multicultural environment. With careful planning and preparation, you can make the most of your study abroad experience and pave the way for a successful future. Whether you’re a student looking to advance your education or a parent seeking the best opportunities for your child, the Netherlands is an excellent choice for higher education.

Are you excited about the prospect of studying in the Netherlands? Let us help you every step of the way. From selecting the right university and program to navigating visa requirements and securing accommodation, our expert team is here to guide you. Take the first step towards your dream education today!


Author Chinwe

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