Still struggling to decide where to study? I did, too. There are a lot of cities all across Europe that seem like a good idea, but somehow it's super hard to obtain the info you want to have as a student. England? Too expensive. Germany? Meh. France? No one speaks English. The Netherlands? Aren't all cities the same?
No! There's a huge difference between regions and cities within The Netherlands. Most people have a common misconception about The Netherlands and 'Holland'. The Netherlands is the whole country, while Holland is the region comprising Amsterdam (North-Holland), Rotterdam and The Hague (South-Holland). The Netherlands ranks among the world’s top 10 countries for higher education.
Here are 7 reasons why The Hague is the perfect student destination for your next 3 to 4 years.
1. Cost of Living
Compared to Rotterdam and Amsterdam, The Hague is your best shot for reasonable rent and grocery prices. Amsterdam as THE tourist destination, makes it hard to find a good place to live, and you'll be part of the everyday craziness you can easily avoid when moving to The Hague - here you can find a direct comparison of the cost of living. The variety of newly build and beautiful, old Dutch apartments will give everyone the kinda apartment they are searching for. You can improve your career prospects, either in your home country or elsewhere, for a comparatively small cost.
The Hague is the perfect destination for expats. I was surprised to realize how almost every Dutch citizens can speak English. You won't have a problem communicating anywhere. The Hague University offers 15 courses in English, so there is a huge international community. In fact, 1 in every 10 university students is an international student.
3. NGO's and International Company's
Because it's the administrative capital of NL, the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia, UNICEF and Amnesty International are just a few Non-governmental organizations that can be found in The Hague that also offer internship opportunities. Additionally, Philips, Heineken, KLM, Shell, ING Bank and Unilever, are Dutch. Companies such as Sony, Sara Lee and Microsoft all have their European headquarters in Holland and offer excellent entry-level jobs/ internships.
The Hague is known to be the city of peace and justice, because of all the international organizations. However, that also means that The Hague is a safe city to live in. Whatever your culture, ethnicity, gender, religion is - you will be safe here because of the great diversity this city has to offer. I never felt unsafe walking home at 3 am (but UBER is always available in times of doubt - from the city center to Laak it's 5-6 Euros - get a free ride up to 10 Euros using the code caterinac220ue).
The Hague has a really good infrastructure: The public transport connectivity is pretty good, The Hague is well-positioned surrounded by bigger cities that you can reach within 45 minutes. You can even take a train to Germany that will take you there in 2 hours. Click here to find out more about the public transport system in The Hague. There are so many museums and old architecturally rich buildings to check out - a few: Binnenhof, Mauritshuis, Peace Palace.
One thing that overwhelmed almost every expat is the international community and all the friends you will make in your first year of IBMS. There are two parties organized every week through the student organization IIAM. The 'Grote Markt' (eng. big market square) has tons of bars and restaurants to check out, The Hague has clubs for every music taste from Hip Hop over Trap to Techno. And the best: in Dutch culture, no one cares what you are wearing! You can go in a tracksuit and old sneakers and people wouldn't mind (Boys & Girls), unlike in other countries like Germany and England.
7. THE BEACH
Of course, last but not least: THE BEACH. It's pretty windy in The Hague and that mostly comes from the fact that it's right at the Northsea. Enjoy the fresh breeze and end a stressful day at uni in one of the beach bars at Scheveningen Beach Pier.
That's it! There's a lot more reasons why The Hague is the perfect student destination but these are definitely the 7 most outstanding ones. There is so much to explore here, and even after living here for 2 years I find myself in new situations every day - it will never get boring.