Most Malaysian students who are looking to pursue higher education abroad find themselves sticking to the same pattern of choosing between the UK, the States, or Australia, with Canada and New Zealand also increasing in popularity over the last 5 years.
As tempting as the bustling streets of Oxford Street, the golden beaches or exotic wildlife of The Land Down Under or even living under the dictatorship of Donald Trump may be, I say why not break the mold and look beyond these cookie cutter university options.
There are so many countries that deserve to be considered, which leads me to my country of choice – The Netherlands! A country so famously associated with glorious canals, giant windmills, and of course, legalized marijuana, it offers so much more in terms of education! Out of so many reasons to study here, here are just 7 to get you seriously interested:
The Dutch Experience!
The Dutch are blessed with great local beer, a great history, and art culture. This is evident with the various museums throughout the country, notably the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam. You will also see a serious knack for cyclers everywhere, as seen with all the special bike lanes – bikes even outnumber cars!
And, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the Stroop waffles; it is the most amazing sticky toffee filled waffles.
The Dutch also speak very good English, with 95% being able to speak the language.
High-quality education AND much lower expenses
Dutch universities actually offer the most English-taught programs in continental Europe, and most of their degrees are recognized worldwide.
The tuition fees of Dutch universities are also significantly lower than the countries mentioned above, with absolutely no drop in standard.
Extremely international and diverse student network
Here in the Netherlands, from personal experience, you will undoubtedly meet people from all corners of the globe, from Brazil to Bulgaria, Germany to Taiwan.
It truly is an international hub for students, much more so than the UK and Australia. And, there aren’t many Malaysians here as well, if you really want to immerse yourself in a wholly multicultural environment, look no further than the Netherlands.
Opportunity to learn a new language
The Dutch speak English very well, so learning Dutch is purely optional. But if you’ve ever wanted to learn a new language, I can guarantee that Dutch is certainly a very intriguing one. It may seem difficult at first, but as with all languages, if you work at it, you’ll get it in no time. As Malaysians, we pretty much all know at least 2 languages, some even 3 or 4, so why not learn another one!
Excellent opportunities for traveling
The Netherlands is also blessed with a prime traveling location, making trips to other European countries extremely easy and not too hard on the wallet.
Flights to London, Berlin or Paris from Amsterdam all take about an hour. You could even take 2-3 bus rides to Germany or Belgium. If you study here, you will almost definitely visit at least 2-3 other countries throughout your degree program.
The best music festivals
If you hadn’t already known, the Netherlands also boasts the best DJ’s in the world including Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Tiesto, and Armin Van Buuren.
Music festivals occur frequently throughout the year, and there are several huge international ones like the Amsterdam Music Festival and Mysteryland that are organized every year as well. If you enjoy your EDM or just wanna have fun/have an amazing experience, you have to come to these festivals.
The Netherlands is one of the happiest and safest countries in the world!
Whether it’s the beer, the marijuana or just their overall laidback personalities, as of 2016 the Netherlands is the 12th safest country in the world and the 8th happiest.
These are just some of the reasons as to why more Malaysians should think about coming to the Netherlands to study! Trust me, you won’t regret it.
My name is Kai Zen Au, and I’m a 20-year-old Malaysian who is pursuing my Bachelor Degree (Class of 2020) in Physiotherapy at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen (Hanzehogeschool Groningen), Netherland. I have great interests in health, fitness, football and food. And I hope to write more articles in the future just because I really enjoy writing. I want to share my personal experiences of living and studying in the Netherlands and general knowledge of other topics.
You can reach me here at my Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/kzen01