The basics
THE Netherlands: Destination Guides

City Focus: Rotterdam,

Learn about the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands as a study abroad destination.


The Netherlands is a beautiful country to do study abroad. Known for their dams, wooden shoes and tulips, there’s so much more for students. With one of the largest ports in the world in Rotterdam, the culture that’s created within such an environment is what makes Holland unique. Rotterdam, Holland is more than just beaches and the sea. There are also excellent higher education institutions that range in specialities for the arts, medical research and management. Our student editor Ashley leads you through this historic city.



Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands with one of the largest and from 1962 to 2004, busiest ports in the world. The dikes and dams that Holland is known for grew out of the necessity for growth and progression as the city originally suffered from large floods. During World War II, Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by the German Air Force Luftwaffe. Despite having to rebuild most of the city, the historical context of the time is still very present, especially as the original City Hall survived the attack. Looking to the future, Rotterdam took chances on daring new architecture as the city put itself back together. It’s now known for its cutting edge architecture taste.


Higher Education

Rotterdam is home to one major university, the Erasmus University Rotterdam (ERU). Named after a former inhabitant of the city, the university is renowned for the three subject areas: Economics and Management, Law, Culture and Society and Health and Medicine. Spread over two campuses, ERU is known for having the top academic medical trauma centre within the country and leading business school around the world. For students interested in management positions within the transport and shipping industry, there’s the Netherlands Maritime University Rotterdam that specialises in postgraduate qualifications. For arts students, Codarts University for the Arts focuses on degrees in music, dance and circus.



The culture of Rotterdam is ideal for students. Named the European Capital of Culture in 2001, the arts are strong with the city. For example Rotterdam has its own orchestra and several theatres. For the size of the city, there’s also an impressive range of museums that cover natural history, shipyards and taxes. The nightlife is known for festivals during the summer and pop music. With three professional football clubs, there’s plenty to support for any sports fan. Students can be assured that transport is plentiful in Rotterdam, as it’s connected to the Dutch railway network, has a respectable Metro system, tram lines and at least 33 bus lines that venture all over the city. There’s also a water bus that travels from Rotterdam to Dordrecht.

With a varied culture that’s perfect for students, the star of Rotterdam is its higher education institutions. By being able to present some of the best educational resources for top subjects around the world, the chance to study abroad in this city is an opportunity not to pass up.


More Information:

Study in the Netherlands

About Dutch Institutions

Applying for a Dutch Student Visa

Studying Engineering in The Netherlands

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About Author

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.