Study a graduate program in Rotterdam, study in Rotterdam, Study in the Netherlands

Study in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Population: 620,000

City overview

Rotterdam is the Netherlands second city, bursting with energy, creativity and passion. The city is a cultural hub, with excellent museums, galleries and plenty of nightlife – it’s not a surprise that its known as the clubbing capital of the Netherlands.

Rotterdam is also a youthful city, with a strong student population. Choosing to study a graduate program in Rotterdam is a decision you won’t regret.

Education profile

Although Rotterdam has many institutions where you can study a graduate program, the major university is the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), which is a major international student institution.

You can also study a graduate program in Rotterdam at some of the following institutions:

  • Willem de Kooning Academy
  • Hogeschool Rotterdam
  • Hogeschool INHOLLAND
  • Hogeschool voor Muziek en Dans
  • Shipping and Transport College

It is possible to study both research and taught graduate programs in Rotterdam. You should expect your course to take between 1-3 years to complete, depending on the mode and subject of study.

It’s worth noting that entry onto postgraduate programs in the Netherlands is different from other countries. The Dutch system uses a ten point grading system to decide who can join a particular course, so you should contact your chosen university to ensure that your home country’s qualifications are acceptable.

Many courses are taught in English, so language skills may not be necessary.

Immigration and visas

Students from EU countries are allowed to study in Rotterdam without needing a student visa, providing they can prove they are studying at an approved institution for more than three months and have sufficient income to support themselves.

Non-EU students will need to apply for a visa, although the type and length will depend in part on their nationality. All international students will need to demonstrate the following:

  • You have a confirmed place on a course at a recognised education institution
  • You are not already in the country on a tourist or business visa
  • You have paid all relevant visa fees

Life in Rotterdam

Rotterdam might not get the tourist hordes that Amsterdam does, but choosing to study a graduate program in Rotterdam means living in a youthful city that has a great community feel. Rotterdam is home to people from more than 160 countries, all bringing creativity and innovation to the city.

You should expect plenty of nightlife in Rotterdam, as it is known as the clubbing city of the Netherlands. There are loads of cafes, restaurants and music venues to visit, so you’ll rarely be bored in Rotterdam.

Working in Rotterdam

Rotterdam has traditionally been one of the major shipping centres of the Netherlands and remains so in the 21st century. Rotterdam has Europe’s largest port and is the world’s second busiest port after Shanghai.

The Erasmus University means the city has a strong focus on research and education, particularly in management and economics. Its links with industry means that many major multinational companies are also located in Rotterdam.


Unlike most other countries, students in the Netherlands tend to live in private accommodation as universities do not guarantee housing to students. Student accommodation is therefore scarce in Rotterdam, meaning many students choose to live in shared accommodation.
The most popular place to live in Rotterdam is around the youthful Kralingen neighbourhood, which mixes student digs and council housing with multi-million euro houses.

Weather and climate

Rotterdam has a similar climate to the rest of the Netherlands, with mild winters and cool summers. However, its proximity to the coast means it has a slighter milder climate than those further inland.

Summer is at its warmest between July and August when temperatures will average out at around 22C, while winter is at its coldest between December and February, when temperatures regularly fall below freezing.

What to do next

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