written by Andreea Tugulan
alumna Creative Business
You’ve got one thing pretty clear: you want to study in The Netherlands. But this beautiful country has so much to give, each city being unique in its way. It must be making you very indecisive on which city would be ideal for you. I have to say that I was in the same position about 5 years ago. I decided to take into consideration 5 pillars that for me were most relevant: general information about the city, travelling time (around the city and country), affordability of accommodation, job prospects (as a student and after graduation), student life.
- General information
The city is 4th biggest in the Netherlands, due to the many universities, it truly makes it an international, student city. It is one of the happiest and safest cities in Europe, but indeed the whole Netherlands is doing pretty well when it comes to this.
Utrecht has been awarded by GoEuro several times the title “Most beautiful canals in Europe”. In all honesty, it is simply stunning to walk around the canals in the early evening when the canals are dimly lit.
- Travelling time
Utrecht above everything is a transit hub. The Utrecht central station is the busiest in the Netherlands. In this station, you can find trains, buses, and bikes to rent. Since the city is right in the heart of the country, it makes it the main connection point with all the other cities. So, if you want to work in another city, for example, or just visit the whole country (and even further than this), it is cheaper and faster (fewer connection points) to travel right from Utrecht.
*If you cycle from one part of the city to the other, it will take you maximum an hour. Making it super easy, cheap, and even healthy to bike around, instead of taking public transport.
Taking into consideration multiple factors, like what Utrecht has to offer, how big of a city it is, and generally how pricy the Netherlands can get, Utrecht is at the border of affordable.
Prices range from 300€ (sharing a house with multiple people) to 800€ (living in a studio, on your own).
- Job prospects
Since Utrecht is a very international city, it is much easier to find a job as an international. The main cities that will help you land a job without having any knowledge in the Dutch language are definitely Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Hague. It is possible to find jobs in other cities, but for sure it’s a tad harder when your command of Dutch is not on the spot.
- Student life
Utrecht literally has it all. From museums and street art to pubs open every day of the week and festivals booming every summer. In a few words, there’s always something to fun to do and discover in Utrecht.
This being said, after I learnt about the above advantages of living in Utrecht, it was no brainer to me where I was going to move for my studies. Almost 5 years later, I still live in this beautiful city and I have no plans of moving away.