What It Is Like To Study At The University Of Amsterdam?

Sunset over Amsterdam

Before this article begins, I want to mention that if you are an international student considering their options and the University Of Amsterdam is one, you’re making the right choice, I couldn’t recommend a better University experience!

What’s It Like Studying In Amsterdam?

There are many reasons why you should study at the University Of Amsterdam (UVA), and some of them aren’t even about the University or course!


Studying at the UVA is no mistake, to back this up, the UVA is classed as one of top universities in Europe. It is also ranked in the top 61 universities in the World University Rankings.

They offer a wide selection of Degree programmes and Masters programmes, so keep an open mind when searching for courses, the UVA will convince you! If not, try and attend a UVA opening day, or if you are struggling for travel, they do virtual opening days also.

Cheap & Affordable Course & Living Prices

When you compare the Netherlands to other western european places, the Netherlands provide cheap costs to those who are in student life. From my experience studying at the UVA, you will need just less than €500 (on average) a month on rent. You fund this by working part time jobs alongside your student loan that you will receive.

You can also apply for free public transport passes, giving you more money a week to spend on that student housing of yours! The dutch also offer scholarships that can fully reduce the tuition fee of your course!

I also found it to be a struggle when searching for an accommodation, this is because i was searching in the closing months to University. There is a huge demand for accommodation there in Amsterdam, so it’s worth researching early and getting yourself in one as soon as possible!

Teaching Methods

The Dutch educational methods are known for it’s high quality and are acknowledged worldwide for it. They focus much on teamwork allowing it to be much easier for international students. The Dutch are well known for their students’ relationships between each other and their tutor.

They primarily focus on practical methods over theoretical methods.

English Speaking

To make life easier, the degrees that are taught here are taught in the English speaking language. Since it is a common international university, most courses here are taught in English, which does have it’s benefit within the culture.

The Netherlands is known as the first non-native english speaking country which has universities that hold English speaking courses. If you come from a country that does not speak English natively, you will need to take IELTS, TOEFL, or similar English language tests. As a disadvantage to those who don’t speak English natively, the Netherlands are strict when it comes to speaking a language there.


The culture in Amsterdam has that Dutch essence with added international cultures and languages to give an internationally multicultural capital.

English Speaking

Following on from the last heading, Amsterdam is an international and multicultural filled environment, so English tends to be the primary language for shops, bars, pretty much everywhere! Since this is the case, the UVA tends to be a highly recommended place with over 95% of the locals there speaking English.

Multicultural Environment

Amsterdam is a widely internationally driven capital. During 2015, the international students there came from over 150 different countries, primarily from Italy, China, and Germany. The UVA has associations to help the international students throughout their studies there.


Many international city capitals are usually extremely populated and crowded, however, compared to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, it isn’t as crowded. As of 2019, the population of Amsterdam was 860,000, which sounds like a lot, but when you compare this to other countries’ capitals, like the UK; 9,000,000, it doesn’t seem as excessive.

Famous Places

Whilst you live out your student life, you will more than likely not run out of entertainment and leisures to do there. It has many famous cafes, bars, canals, and more significantly, it’s Art Scene.

When you’ve had enough of constantly getting drunk and visiting the bars with your friends, the famous canals and art museums are in it’s own right worth exploring. The canals provide beautiful scenery as you go out for your morning jog, or perhaps your night walk.

The art scene in Amsterdam is like no other country and stands out within its own right. It’s history is plagued with it’s beauty and interest in art which provides the best insight for the creative students. The Van Gogh museum is the most common place of visit, but other museums like the Stedelijk and the Rijksmuseum are also other internationally known museums.

I hope this article gives you a great insight to what it’s like studying at the University of Amsterdam, good luck on your future endeavours!

Written By: Max Lang-Orsini

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