Studying abroad is with no doubt an unforgettable experience, and the Netherlands can become the perfect destination for you. Some cities preferred by students are Amsterdam, Utrecht, Harlingen, Delft, etc. Discover the 10 reasons to go on Erasmus to the Netherlands!
1. Geographical location
The Netherlands has an enviable location, it is located in the north of Europe and has good access to the North Sea. This country borders Germany to the east and Belgium to the south. Travelling within the country is very comfortable, keeping in mind that it is not excessively large. This country is perfectly communicated with other European countries by train, plane, and even ferry and boat.
The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, which is spoken by some 23 million people. In this country, there are notable Belgian influences, which is why many of the population here have certain notions of French, even though it is not considered an official language. The same goes for German.
Dutch is a complex language, especially if you are not familiar with German-derived languages like German. Here are some basic words and expressions to start practising your Dutch:
- Good morning = “Goedemorgen”
- Goodbye = “Tot ziens”
- Please = “Alsjeblieft”
- Thank you = “Bedankt”
- You’re welcome = “Graag gedaan”
- I don’t speak Dutch = “Ik spreek geen Nederlands”
- I’m sorry = “mijn excuses”
3. Climate in the Netherlands
The Dutch climate is not the biggest attraction for Erasmus students, especially if they come from warmer countries like Spain, Italy or Greece. It must be said that the temperature is not bad considering its location in Northern Europe, the proximity to the sea has a lot to do with it.
The Netherlands is one of the rainiest countries in Europe; It rains about 125 days a year, something that is undoubtedly noticeable in its enormous green plains that do not have many other destinations.
4. Transport in the Netherlands
Transportation system in the Netherlands is quite good, the distances are not very high, so the price is either. From here you can easily move to other European countries such as Germany and Belgium.
Public transport in the Netherlands
Most Dutch cities have urban buses and trams, although larger cities such as Amsterdam (the country's capital) and Rotterdam also have a metro. Many cities offer special tickets to students, who can get a monthly or annual pass for an affordable price and have unlimited use.
Train and buses in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is not very large, so distances and travel times are reduced. The best communications in the country unite the axis of the most important cities: Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Eindhoven. High Speed allows you to travel to Germany and Belgium in just a couple of hours by train.
5. Gastronomy in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has enormous influences from its border countries (Belgium and Germany), which has given rise to very characteristic gastronomy. Dutch cheeses are known worldwide, but the gastronomy of this country is much more than that, these are some typical dishes:
- Bitterballen: Savoury appetiser stuffed with beef, flour, butter and spices, then covered in a layer of crusty bread and served with mustard. It is common for this dish to be served with beer in typical Dutch pubs.
- Stamppot: Stewed cabbage, sauerkraut and smoked meat, although it can have different ingredients depending on the region.
- Pannenkoeken: They look similar to American pancakes; Caramel or maple syrup is added. Pannenkoeken can also be salty, they are usually filled with meat or smoked salmon and eaten at any time of the day.
- Haring: it is the most famous street food in the country. They are small sandwiches that are filled with gherkins, onion and smoked eel, although you can create the combination that you like best.
6. Cost of living in the Netherlands
The cost of living in the Netherlands follows the line of the European average, it is high in the most important cities of the country such as Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven. Interestingly, the country's capital, Amsterdam, is one of the cheapest cities in the country.
If you want to know more information about your Erasmus in the Netherlands, go to the Erasmus Play website. There you will find the best 100% verified student accommodation.
7. Party in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is the party destination par excellence, here you can find an immense cultural offer and the best music festivals. Tomorrowland is a must for Dutch people and electronic music lovers from all over the world.
King's Day (April 27th) is a flashy holiday where all the Dutch wear orange and the streets fill with music. The Carnival and the Amsterdam Pride (the only floating parade in the world) are two celebrations that you cannot miss.
The best cities to party in are Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven.
8. Places you must visit in the Netherlands
This country has a European atmosphere and a cultural movement that you will love. The mix between architecture, culture and nature has made it one of the most visited countries in Europe. You cannot leave the Netherlands without knowing some of the most visited places:
- Zaanse Schans
- The windmills at Kinderdijk
- The Frisian Islands
- Keukenhof Tulip Field
- The Hague
9. Main monuments in the Netherlands
If you decide to do your Erasmus in the Netherlands, this is a summary of the monuments that you cannot miss:
- Hoge Veluwe National Park
- Ridderzaal Palace
- The City of Naarden
- Amsterdam canals
- Anne Frank House Museum
- Mediaeval city of Amersfoort
10. The character of the Dutch
Their character is very similar to the German, so do not be surprised that a first meeting may seem somewhat cold or distant. When they get over that barrier, the Dutch are affable and welcoming, although from the outside they come across as having an independent spirit that we don't find in all European countries.