Netherlands is one of the most welcoming countries in the world for international students. It offers more than 2,000 programs taught in English and even more programs in Dutch. In 2002 it introduced three cycles of higher education: bachelor, master and doctoral studies. However, in the past Netherlands had two distinctive types of higher education institutions: research universities and universities of applied science, with the former providing research-oriented education and the letter specializing in professional education. This distinction exists even today, but become less important, because both types of universities use the same three cycles system.
Bachelor programs in the Netherlands are taught in Dutch and in English. The duration of the studies is 3 years for BA and Bsc programs provided by research universities and 4 year for Bachelor programs in the universities of applied sciences. Requirements for every program are specified by the university, but prospective students have to be graduated from the high school and demonstrate a proper knowledge of English or Dutch. In some cases international students who are not eligible to study in the university of their choice may choose to enroll in a preparatory year.
Master programs in the Netherlands are even more popular among international students: many of them are taught in English. To apply for this programs, students have to have an undergraduate degree: high GPA as well as scientific and extracurricular activities increase the chances to be admitted. The duration of studies is between 1 and 3 years (depending on the program and the university). Doctoral programs (PhD) in the Netherlands are dedicated for those who want to pursue a career in academia. In this case the most important part of application is your research project, which should demonstrate your interest as well as your ability to conduct a high-quality research.
Universities in the Netherlands offer a wide range of programs in different areas. The Netherlands is especially famous for its programs in communication and engineering, as well as natural sciences.