Utrecht in the Netherlands is becoming a more and more popular place for international students. The fourth-largest city in the country is centrally located, bordering on the Holland region, and combines a unique medieval charm with a modern, welcoming atmosphere.
Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Its origins go back to an ancient Roman fortress built some 2,000 years ago. Today, roughly 340,000 people live in the city.
As in other Dutch cities like Amsterdam, there are many canals running through Utrecht. What sets them apart is the “lower level” - below the street above - where the warehouses were located in olden times. Today, you can walk down the stairs and enjoy a coffee or meal right next to the canal.
Utrecht has one of the largest student populations in the Netherlands, with around 40,000. More than 10% of those come from abroad, contributing to the city’s vibrant, bustling atmosphere. If you want to study abroad in Holland, you will feel right at home here.
Although the town is of modest size, you can find quite a few universities in Utrecht: HKU University of the Arts caters to students seeking an education in theater and the fine arts; HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and TIAS School for Business and Society offer international business degrees; Tilburg University operates its Theology campus in Utrecht; and the University of Humanistic Studies offers its postgraduate programme to international students.
But these are all dwarfed by Utrecht University (UU), one of the largest and oldest universities in the Netherlands. Utrecht University is frequently placed among the best universities in the world in various rankings; its illustrious roster of alumni include some of Europe's most influential scientists and thinkers. UU offers nearly 100 Bachelor and Master programmes across all academic disciplines - History, Physics, Medicine, Law, Economics, Computer Science, and many others.
The city is conveniently close to Amsterdam Schiphol airport, one of the largest in Europe, and thus connected to basically anywhere on the globe.
When you study in the Netherlands, you should use the chance to explore the country. Utrecht is located relatively central, making it easy to explore cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam or The Hague.
Within Utrecht, you will find that most distances are very walkable. Especially the center is very compact. For longer trips, or in heavy rain, you can always rely on its bus network. But don’t forget that, as every student in the Netherlands, you should have a bike and use it often!