Today, more and more students are choosing to study abroad to broaden their horizons. Spending time in another country, especially as a student, allows you to experience a new environment, overcome unique challenges and, most importantly, access a top quality education. Europe, with its diversity of languages and cultures, has become a popular destination for aspiring Indians.
Dutch universities are known for their multicultural environment and innovative teaching methods, so it’s no surprise that the Netherlands has recently become the focus of attention, with Indians becoming their eleventh largest community of international students. It helps that English is spoken by the vast majority of the population there, which makes the transition a bit easier for foreigners.
In the south of the country, based in a relatively small but charming town, we have Tilburg University – a public research university specializing in social and behavioral sciences, economics, law, business sciences, theology and human Sciences. The Tilburg School of Economics and Management, founded in 1927, is the university’s oldest and largest department, while the other four were founded between the 1960s and 1980s.
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The university campus is compact but extremely green, nestled between woodlands and the city of Tilburg. With an emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility – the motto of the college is “Understanding Society” – systems are in place to ensure daylight saving time, insulation and water conservation. The facilities are excellent: a beautiful library, several cafes and open spaces.
The institution has gained a reputation in both research and education. Economics, Business and Law are popular courses at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. In 2020, RePEc ranked the Faculty of Economics as the 23rd most productive research department in the world and the 6th in Europe. The institution is ranked in the Top 36 in Accounting and Finance in the QS Topic Ranking, and 17th in Business Administration. For law, it is by far the best university in the Netherlands.
Tilburg University has a student body of over 19,000 students, of which around 32% come from outside the Netherlands. This percentage of Indian students has steadily increased in recent years. The university offers both Dutch and English-taught programs: in fact, 48 of the total 71 programs were in English. They also award around 120 doctorates per year.
The Netherlands has favorable immigration laws and easy visa processing, so the relocation process shouldn’t be too difficult. Tuition fees range from 12,000 to 15,000 euros per academic year, but there are scholarship options for exceptional students. The Orange Tulip scholarship offers tuition waiver for Indian students admitted to a one-year masters program. In addition, Master Research students automatically benefit from a partial waiver.
Life in Tilburg is relatively cheap compared to Dutch university cities, such as Amsterdam and Utrecht. The approximate cost of living is between € 715 and € 1,215 per month. The university does not offer accommodation on campus, so it is important to seek accommodation once you have an offer. Fortunately, international students are allowed to work part-time for up to 16 hours per week during the school period and full-time during the summer months of June, July and August.
The college has over 40 student associations and societies, which are easy ways to meet new people. There are groups for arts and culture, student policy, philosophy, and study associations. Some clubs are aimed specifically at international students. For those interested in athletics, the state-of-the-art sports center will be a delight. It offers over 50 activities: aerobics, martial arts, handball, swimming, rock climbing, to name a few.
With the innovative and rapidly growing business environment in the southern part of the Netherlands, there are many opportunities for internships in international companies located in Tilburg and the surrounding area. There is an active career portal which not only organizes workshops and training sessions, but also offers individual counseling for students looking for career advice.
Holland offers a one-year work permit to foreign students which allows them to find a job in the Netherlands or start their own business. This residence permit gives you free access to the Dutch labor market. Although the country is quite English speaking, knowing the Dutch language will give you a big advantage, so learning is highly recommended.
Some of the world’s largest multinationals, including Philips, Heineken, KLM, Shell, ING and Unilever, are Dutch. Tilburg Uni hosts one of the biggest industry networking events in the Netherlands called Economic Business weeks Tilburg. This on-campus recruiting campaign is followed by the world’s best companies. There are many key industries offering excellent employment opportunities in the Netherlands: life sciences and health, high-tech systems and materials, agriculture and food, design, horticulture, chemicals, energy, water and logistics.
Tilburg is a real student city. It’s small enough that you can walk or cycle anywhere, but it also has a vibrant culture that will appeal to young people. You can expect plenty of pubs and restaurants, theaters and concert halls, important museums and, of course, well-known fairs and festivals. In addition, the city is only a few minutes by train from Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, and offers easy access to other European capitals.
The education system in the Netherlands, focused on group work and hands-on learning, will be a unique experience for Indian students. Most importantly, exploring a new country known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and incredible natural sights will lead to better opportunities for cultural connection and growth.