Student Life at IHS Erasmus University Rotterdam

Studying abroad in the Netherlands 

The Netherlands has become a popular destination for international students looking to study overseas. With its international feel, famously open-minded culture and many expat communities it is no wonder that there are currently students from 160 countries studying in the Netherlands.

The Dutch higher education system is known as being of an excellent quality and the Erasmus University Rotterdam is currently ranked as number 72 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2018). Dutch universities have the highest number of English-taught programmes in continental Europe and so cater to students from many different nationalities.

The cost of studying in the Netherlands is generally much more affordable than some English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America, with lower tuition fees and living costs. There are also a number of scholarships and grants that could help you with the costs that come with studying abroad. You may want to read our dedicated scholarships page to see some of the external funding options that are available and their requirements. With top-ranking universities, affordable tuition fees and an international feel it is no surprise that currently 1 in 10 students studying at a Dutch university come from overseas.

The opportunities for students in the Netherlands don’t stop on graduation day. As an international graduate you could be eligible for a one-year residency permit giving you time to find a job and start your career in one of the happiest, safest and wealthiest countries in the world.   

Study in Holland

Study in Holland Nuffic Neso

Studying Urban Development in Rotterdam 

In addition to being the Netherlands’ second largest city and home of the largest port in Europe, Rotterdam’s unique history lends itself to being of particular interest to those studying urban development. After the city was bombed to the ground in WWII, Rotterdam city centre has been developed into a picture of innovation. Its futuristic skyscrapers sit beside post-war construction shaping the skyline of this modern city.

Rotterdam is not afraid to explore the unknown and has established itself as a hub for experimenting in new building and urban development methods. One example is the floating forest of Dobberend Bos, which is an innovative way of introducing more greenery into cities. Named Europe’s Best City at the 2015 Urbanism Awards, Rotterdam has proved itself to be the home of cutting edge development.

Green place in Rotterdam city centre

Studying in Rotterdam 

Rotterdam is a true student city being multicultural, affordable and a hub for art and culture. Named one of Lonely Planet’s top ten cities of 2016, Rotterdam has come a long way from its past as a humble fishing village. The city today combines cutting edge architecture with the cosy “gezellig” culture that is a Dutch custom.


It has been claimed that in the Netherlands the number of bikes exceeds the number of people. So it will come as no surprise that as a city Rotterdam is fully adapted to suit cyclists with dedicated bike lanes and bike parking to make journeys safer and faster. Popular spots to explore on two wheels include the city centre, the waterfront, the port of Rotterdam and the many parks and green areas both in and around the city.

Sports-fans are well catered for in Rotterdam, which is home to ‘Stadion Feijenoord’ or as the locals call it ‘De Kuip’. This is where the football club Feyenoord are based as well as being used for concerts and other events. For hockey fans the Hockey Club Rotterdam (HCR) is the largest field hockey club in the Netherlands. There is also the Willem-Alexander Rowing Course, which caters for rowing as well as canoeing, triathlon, cycling and swimming.       

Rotterdam plays host to several annual sporting events. It is on the route of the ATP world tennis tour and the annual Rotterdam marathon is ranked as one of the top ten marathons in the world.

Arts, Culture and Events 

With an ever-changing cultural landscape Rotterdam plays host to a wide range of cultural events, exhibitions and festivals. From film festivals to sporting events, orchestra performances to food markets there is something to suit every taste and lifestyle.

Rotterdam has a rich maritime culture, which is apparent in its museums and in the actual port itself, which can be explored by bike, boat or foot. For art lovers Rotterdam has some excellent contemporary art galleries including the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Witte de With Centre and TENT. There is also an abundance of theatres with performances in everything from comedy to ballet.  


In Rotterdam even the shopping areas are architecturally inspiring as the award-winning Markthal - which is a horseshoe shaped building made of steel and glass - is becoming a “must-see” tourist attraction. As for the shops themselves, Rotterdam has everything from high street to high end and boutiques to concept stores. You will also find that there are markets selling fresh produce in different suburbs around the city on most days of the week and the Markthal itself is home to many upmarket food stalls.   

Shopping in Rotterdam


As is with any international city, Rotterdam offers a range of different cuisines from around the world through its diverse range of restaurants, food stalls, cafes and coffee shops. If you are looking to try the local delicacies you can’t go wrong with stroopwafels, kroketten and of course the many varieties of Dutch cheese.

Exploring further afield 

Rotterdam is ideally located for those who want to explore further afield. The main station Rotterdam Centraal will connect you with other major cities in the Netherlands as well as in the neighbouring countries of Belgium and France. The canal lined streets of Amsterdam, historical Utrecht and the government city Den Haag are all reachable in less than an hour by train. Famous tourist attractions such as the tulip fields of Keukenhof and the windmills of Kinderdijk are both within an hour’s drive.

Find out more about student life at IHS Erasmus University Rotterdam

For more information on studying in Rotterdam you may want to read our practical matters hub page to find out more about housing in Rotterdam and the Dutch education system. You can also see the "Rotterdam favourites" from some of our current students or take a look at the IHS education section to find out which one of our courses suits you. 

Woudestein Campus

After a major renovation, the new EUR campus was opened on 5 September 2013 right at the beginning of the new academic year 2013-2014, at the same time as the centennial anniversary of the University.

Woudestein campus is currently in its second phase of construction, which is focused on further developing high quality educational facilities and on creating a sustainable environment that is also stimulating and enjoyable.

For more information about the new Woudestein campus, please visit the EUR website.

You can also take a virtual tour of our brand new campus or even sit in one of our virtual classrooms

On the Woudestein campus there are also excellent study facilities such as the auditorium and the university library, as well as catering facilities, the sports complex and the Erasmus Expo & Congress Centre.

Photo credit: Rotterdam Partners; Juriaan Snikkers; Jace & Afsoon; Ossip Van Duivenbode.