International students in the Netherlands

As an international student or alumni of one of our programmes, you might consider staying in the Netherlands after your studies. As this choice can be quite complex, we have listed different possibilities to consider and websites to visit for you.

EP Nuffic

As an international student/alumnus, you are very much welcome to study, stay and work in the Netherlands during and after your studies. Dutch organisation for internationalisation of education EP Nuffic organises workshops and meetings for international students to network in the Netherlands. Their website also provides information about visa requirements for internationals in the Netherlands.  


EP Nuffic offers a clear overview of all grants and scholarships available for international students. Note that grants are often offered to a selection of nationalities only and that a grant application can require a substantial time investment. If you are interested in applying for one of the grants, always check whether you meet all requirements and note that grant deadlines usually are early in the academic year.

Orientation year

If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, your visa will in most cases expire by the time you graduate. If you wish to stay in the Netherlands upon graduation, you can apply for an ‘orientation year’ (or ‘search year’). Students who have finished their Bachelor, Master or PhD at a Dutch university can apply for the orientation year within three years after completing their study programme. It allows you to work for a period of one year without applying for a work permit. This option will enable you to freely search for work without going through a visa-issuing procedure. Visit this page more information.

Learning Dutch

If you decide to pursue a career in the Netherlands, you may encounter the need to learn Dutch. Especially in competitive career fields like Marketing and Communications, some knowledge of Dutch language on communicative level can enlarge your chances of being accepted for a position.

The easiest way to learn Dutch is through a language course. The Language & Training Centre and Erasmus Language Sharing offer language courses on the Erasmus University campus. In most cases, a (small) fee for participation in a language course applies. You can of course also ask a friend to teach you Dutch, buy a self-study book and use mobile apps such as DuoLingo.

Once you have learned Dutch to such an extent that you believe you could make use of it in work settings, you can consider taking an exam to have a proof of proficiency in Dutch. This exam is called Staatsexamens Nederlands als Tweede Taal (NT2). This exam can be taken in several cities, and Rotterdam is one of them. The exam is subject to a fee.


Tip regarding language courses on Campus Woudestein! As a student, you can get a discount on Dutch beginner’s course at the Language & Training Centre at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.