The Netherlands plays host to some of the best universities in the world. Due to this, it is a country that lots of international students plan to study in either for a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree.
It is obvious that universities in the Netherlands are not the only universities in Europe.
However, lots of people look forward to studying in the Netherlands because of the many pros associated with studying in the Netherlands.
In as much as the pros of studying in the Netherlands can be said to be overwhelming, just like there are pros of studying in the Netherlands there are cons associated with schooling in the Netherlands.
Going by this, if you plan to study in the Netherlands, it is important that you know the disadvantages of studying in the Netherlands.
That being said, below are some of the disadvantages of studying in the Netherlands.
Dutch Culture Might Seem Weird
This is a disadvantage that will most likely affect students from third-world countries. This does not mean that students from other first-world countries will not be affected. However, students originally from third-world countries will most likely be more affected.
The educational culture in the Netherlands is not one that is based on a hierarchy and this makes it the direct opposite of several other educational cultures. In the Dutch educational culture, professors are known to relate very casually with their students. This is unlike some other countries where it appears there is a huge gulf between the professors and students.
So, if students from outside the Netherlands where people do not relate very easily with their professors come to the Netherlands to study, they might just find the casual learning environment very disturbing.
In lots of countries, students are mandated to greet their professors formally. However, in the Netherlands, a simple ‘hi’ will be good enough. This means if you are coming to the Netherlands to study and find it difficult adjusting to the casual lifestyle in this nation’s educational sector, you might actually struggle to communicate effectively and this could end up affecting your grades badly.
The Approach Might be Entirely Different
Every country has its unique approach to education at all levels. So, if you are resident in a country with an approach to education that is more traditional and different from what the style of education in the Netherlands is, you might deal with a bit of struggle when you school in the Netherlands.
Unlike lots of countries where there is a defined schedule and lots of courses are project-based, the approach to education in the Netherlands is a lot different.
Students at the tertiary level in the Netherlands are expected to be proactive in their learning. It is not all about coming to the class and listening to a lecturer. It is a process that involves students sharing opinions with their colleagues and lecturers.
Learning in tertiary institutions in the Netherlands is something that requires a great deal of independence. The implication of this is students should be ready to carry out research on their own and exhibit very clear ideas after completing research.
The weather in the Netherlands is not the best. This might not mean much to you if you are coming from a country where the weather is very difficult. On the other hand, your stay in the Netherlands might be very disturbing if you are originally from a country where the weather is nice.
Lots of people feel comfortable in sunny weather. However, the Netherlands is not a country where there is a lot of sun.
Theoretically, like other countries in Europe, the Netherlands has four seasons. While this is right on paper, the sun does not last for a long time in the Netherlands. This means you will have to learn to cope with the long absence of the sun if you decide to school in the Netherlands.
The average day in the Netherlands can be windy or rainy. That’s not all. The winter season is not very pronounced. This implies that lovers of snow might not get as much snow as they might love to get.
While it is impossible to conclude that the weather in the Netherlands is bad, you will have to decide if it is one that will favour you or not.
Learning to Speak Dutch Might not be Easy
The Netherlands is a bilingual country. Although Dutch is the country’s official language. A good number of the population speaks Dutch and English fluently. This means you will always find people that can speak English and communication might not be an issue if you speak English or are from an English-speaking country. Well, the same cannot be said about people that do not speak English or Dutch.
Dutch is not the easiest of languages to learn. So, if you do not speak English and Dutch, you might have to learn to speak Dutch and this will not be very easy.
You Must Learn to Bike Excellently
Moving around in the Netherlands might not be a difficult thing for anyone that is good with the bicycle. However, if you rarely ride a bicycle, you might struggle to move around in the Netherlands for a long time.
Struggling to ride a bicycle excellently is one thing. Another challenge you might have to deal with is the challenge of always having to move on a bike even when it is raining. Since the Netherlands is known for very frequent rainfall, you might need to master the art of riding a bike with one hand and holding an umbrella with another. This is more important than the average person thinks as the average Dutchman will not cancel an appointment because of the rain.
The tuition fees of universities in the Netherlands might not be as high as those of universities in other parts of Europe. Also, students can get scholarship programs or student loans to help them through school, there is not much that can be done about the cost of living in the Netherlands.
Scholarships and student loans might make tuition fees a lot less challenging. Nonetheless, they do not cover the cost of living in the Netherlands and this can be a challenge for international students
The average person in the Netherlands has learned to mind their business and this might be a major problem for international students. Imagine coming to school in a country where people do not give a lot of attention to strangers. It is just a matter of time before you begin feeling isolated if you don’t get to make friends with other international students.
Cost of Transportation
The average person in the Netherlands moves around by bicycle. Although this is the norm in the Netherlands, not everyone knows how to ride a bicycle. If you fall into the category of people that do not know how to ride bicycles or do not ride so well, you will have to move around by public transport and this is not so cheap. As a matter of fact, together with the cost of accommodation, transportation might take up a huge chunk of your money while your school in this country.
Why Not to Study in the Netherlands
The universities in the Netherlands might be highly rated. However, the Netherlands might not be the best place for international students to study because of the general unfriendly nature of the Dutch. Additionally, international students might not get the same privileges as Dutch students and this could be frustrating.
In as much as this affects all international students, students from third-world countries are more affected.
Furthermore, university agencies have a reputation for taking more in rent from international students than what they take from Dutch students.