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India is one of the top five non-EU countries that has shown a significant interest in having their students study in The Netherlands. Here is what some of our students from had to say about their universities and programmes, including advices and tips for other interested students.

Some students say the biggest difference between the educational system in The Netherlands compared with India is the focus on discussion and attaining knowledge. The Dutch tend to be less focused on textbook knowledge and an integral part of a course is group work, helping students figure things out by working together.

Anurag Srivastava
MSc in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Erasmus Mundus) at Groningen University
I studied bachelors in biotechnology at VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu. I finished my bachelor education in 2011 and was looking for higher studies abroad and like many Indian students USA was on my top list. As soon as I finished my bachelors I got a research scholar position at IIT BHU. My hunt for a good university was going on across the world. Then I came to know about University of Groningen via I was fascinated about this university by seeing the quality research of the university and above all the vast history of this place. University of Groningen which was established in 1614 and still very young and part of the elite class top 100 world universities.

The major problem any student faces before he leaves his home country is the how the things are going to be in the foreign countries, what are the do’s and don’ts about the society on a large. What documents we need once we are there, how we can travel easily and other stuffs. I was terrified by just thinking all these things. Fortunately I joined the Neso India pre-departure brief and I would like to thank Dr Meenakshi Kaul (Indian Representative of University of Groningen) and Ms Amita Amin (Former Education promotion officer Neso India) for their constant support and solving my numerous doubts over the mail and also when I met them. I am deeply thankful to Neso for making my first international trip as cakewalk by providing me all the required information and allowing us to interact with the Alumni who have either worked or studied in Netherlands.

After coming to the new country and new places I have found many new horizon of myself. I really thank Erasmus Mundus Action II for providing me such a nice opportunity to study at world Class University. I thank Neso India and their staffs for making me feel secure about my first international trip. A special thanks to Dr Kaul, who have guided me well about the university. Last but not the least a big thanks to University of Groningen and GISA for absorbing me so well.

Chetna Chandrakant Ipar
Masters in Food Technology at Wageningen University
"I believe Netherlands is the friendliest European country to pursue your education.I has been to other places too in Europe, but Holland has its own charm of liberty, freedom and good quality of education. I am pursuing my Masters in Food Technology in Wageningen University (WUR). We experience a sense of independence and yet a great bonding with multi-cultural people in the university. The country is excellent for shaping not only your career but also your personality.

Professors in the university are extremely motivating and they personally advice you with every single detail you need. All the communications can be efficiently done even through emails. Being energetic, professional and most importantly, communication and exposure to so many international aspects (food,culture, dressing,language) is what I learnt. I have actually learnt more thing than just getting bookish knowledge. The people here are extremely polite and patient in the working environment of banks, hospitals, universities, grocery shops etc.

I call it wonderland because you get to see the green grasslands with cows, sheep, horses just like in pictures. It has widespread tulip fields, windmills, amazing cycle tracks, little farmhouses for feeling close to Nature and its beauty.

A tip to my junior friends: get acquainted with Dutch after coming to Netherlands. Dutch makes things smoother and more beautiful.

I would say: leave all your worries in India and welcome to Holland"

A B Singh,
M.Sc. Organic Agriculture (2013 February)

"When I came to Wageningen I found the world in just a small town’’ were the words of Juliette Ongus from Kenya. When I came across those words on a coffee mug, I felt as if they were taken right out of my mouth, as I had the same feeling about this place right from day one.

What I liked the most about Wageningen University is that they do not teach us in the class but they train us there. They try to make us better in our chosen field. I felt that their teaching methods are based on the ideas of Benjamin Franklin who said “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”

The city of life sciences is a great place to be in. />

So, my fellow students I wish you All the Best and hope to see you in the Netherlands especially in Wageningen University. The only left is to experience by you and yourself. Last but most important, Dutch language is quite difficult but fun to learn - "Veel geluk en het beste".

Moses Kishore James
Masters in Food Technology at Wageningen University
"When I came to Wageningen I found the world in just a small town’’ were the words of Juliette Ongus from Kenya. When I came across those words on a coffee mug, I felt as if they were taken right out of my mouth, as I had the same feeling about this place right from day one.

What I liked the most about Wageningen University is that they do not teach us in the class but they train us there. They try to make us better in our chosen field. I felt that their teaching methods are based on the ideas of Benjamin Franklin who said “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”

The city of life sciences is a great place to be in.

Pradeep Angadi
MBA in International Business & Management student
from Hanze University Groningen

The main reason I chose the Netherlands was because of the course, MBA in International Business offered by Hanze University Groningen as a double degree programme. The partnership of Hanze together with Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge was just the cherry on top of the cake. Moreover, I have travelled across Europe before and the Netherlands stood out from the rest cause of its people and culture.

The MBA in International Business was my main choice of study because: first, it was a dual degree programme which provided the opportunity for a semester at Cambridge; second, I wanted to explore my career in the two areas of Strategic Management and International Business Environment that have specific focus in the study.

In my class we’ve got 29 students from 22 different countries. What a variety! I have the opportunity to learn about different cultures, language, food and certain dos & don’ts of a country or culture.
br/>Overall, Groningen is a very well-balanced place. It has everything which is required to have a balanced life. Bars, Disco, Park, Library, Opera, Sports and everything are just part of the facilities open to everybody. For example, I prefer swimming and squash and I go to ACLO (a big student sports centre) that provides all the facilities required for any kind of sports activity. Furthermore, Groningen has got some amazing bars, disco and live bands. It also has cinemas and opera house which are worth visiting.

One of my favourite activities in the Netherlands has become fishing. I happen to meet some Dutch people who are teaching me how to do fishing and so far I have really enjoyed it!

It will be a cliché to say this but I have to say “Groningen is one of the best student cities to study in the Netherlands; it gives you every opportunity to be what you are and to achieve what you want. I would say to any student who comes to study here that he or she would create lifetime memories and friends” - “It’s Groningen, come and check it out!”

Akhil Aiyar
Masters in Food Technology at Wageningen University
Akhil is one of the former recipients of The Holland Scholarship from Wageningen University shares his experience about his new university and opportunities in Holland.

"Being one of the premier research institutions in the field of Environmental and Life Sciences, my decision to pursue a M.Sc. in Food Technology at Wageningen University was a no-brainer. My choice to study abroad was motivated by the desire to expand my horizons both academically and professionally.

My short stay in the Netherlands, thus far, has been a wonderful experience. It has acquainted me with people from all around the world & given me a glimpse into their cultures and way of thinking. Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds & affords you with the possibility to learn something new every day. When moving to a new country, it gets some time to get used to the people, the surroundings and understanding how things work.

I found the people in the Netherlands to be very kind & helpful and it helps that they can communicate well in English. I came to know about the Holland Scholarship while attending a webinar on M.Sc. in Food Technology at Wageningen. The Holland Scholarship is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in conjunction with various Dutch universities. While studying abroad is a wonderful experience, it can be an expensive affair. Securing the scholarship has helped me reduce the financial load to a certain extent and facilitate my endeavour to study abroad."

Darshana Jain
NLSIU exchange Student at the Faculty of Law (2014)
If my experience at University of Groningen or in the Netherlands is to be described in one word, though it is difficult, would be splendid. Groningen is a perfect student city any student would love to live in with its clean and peaceful environment, not to forget its lively night life. Biking in Groningen, is an indispensable part of life which is a lot of fun, though heavy wind at times may make it a bit more adventurous.

Living in Groningen for a semester introduced me to a kind of life style, culture, administration which is very different from what I had experienced in any other Asian city I have lived in so far. It was a rich learning experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I have spent a semester as a Bachelor exchange student at Faculty of Law. The lectures have been very insightful, the reading material is immensely informative and comprehensive.

The professors are very friendly and extremely cooperative. I had taken a combination of courses from different areas of law, Criminal, Commercial as well as Private Law. One common thing which I found was the courses being taught with a comparative perspective from jurisdictions across the world which facilitates opening up one’s horizons and enables one to analyze, criticize or even appreciate one’s own/ any legal system and suggest improvement measures.

International orientation of this place opens up to an amazing experience, be it interacting with international students coming from different parts of world, participation in various excursions, ESN’s various theme oriented parties, or music festivals.. Pursuing exchange at University of Groningen provided me an opportunity to explore myself in both personal and professional spheres and has helped me to surpass my limitation. I am happy to say that my experience in Netherlands is not just a profoundly memorable one, but it is the best experience ever. Dank jewel Holland, for being so amazing.

Indians in the Netherlands

At present, the Netherlands has the second largest population of people of Indian origin (PIOs) in Europe.

Indians in the Netherlands are also known as Hindoestanen (Dutch pronunciation for Hindustanis) are an ethnic group of Indian origin in the Netherlands. Most of the Indians in the Netherlands are of Surinamese origin. Just before and just after the independence of Suriname on 25 November 1975 many Indians emigrated to the Netherlands. They are mainly located in the cities of The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Almere and the municipalities around it.

It is estimated that a total of about 20,000 Indians or persons of Indian origin reside in the Netherlands at present. This does not include an estimated 160,000 Surinamese of Indian origin (Surinamese Hindustanis), who mostly migrated to the Netherlands from Suriname after the country's independence in 1975.

According to the Dutch statistical agency, CBS, there are more precisely 17,376 Indians or persons of Indian origin living in the Netherlands. This includes 11,847 Indians with Indian nationality or first-generation persons of Indian origin with Dutch nationality. This also includes 5,528 second-generation persons of Indian origin who were mostly born in the Netherlands.

The Dutch opinion of the Indian community in the Netherlands is very positive. The Indian Diaspora is commended for its silent integration into Dutch society, its acceptance of core Dutch values and social norms and for maintaining its own distinct Indian culture, traditions and values. Professionally, Indians in the Netherlands are highly regarded for their competence, hard work and social skills. There is a broad consensus that Indian immigrants have added value to the Dutch economy and society.

Indians in the Netherlands have played an important role in promoting cooperation between the Dutch and Indian communities residing here and in many walks of life. As described below, they have played this role either through existing Indo-Dutch organisations or by creating new ones where necessary.

Although the Indians residing and working in the Netherlands form a small community, they are well settled and well integrated professionally into Dutch society. They are also generally highly regarded by the Dutch. They play an important role in building bridges and promoting cooperation between India and the Netherlands in a wide variety of human endeavour. In the years to come, this cooperation is likely to further strengthen to the mutual benefit of both countries.

Sources : Nesoindia