About the Netherlands

You may already be aware of the ‘Unique Selling Points’ of the Netherlands, such as tulips, windmills, clogs and of course, the country’s educational facilities.

The Netherlands covers around 41,000 square kilometres and has a population of in excess of 16 million. With a rich cultural heritage, the country has been home to many of history’s most famous names in the areas of art, literature, philosophy and science. It also has a long history of international trade, having forged links with countries around the world from as early as 1600, bringing together new knowledge, skills, business and ideas. The warm welcome we give to the rest of the world has earned us a well-deserved reputation for openness in all aspects of society.

‘Holland’ or ‘The Netherlands’?

Should you call our country ‘Holland’ or ‘The Netherlands’? And what’s the difference between the two? The country’s formal name is ‘Nederland’ (The Netherlands), meaning the ‘low country’, or the ‘lowlands’, as much of the land is at or below sea level. The Netherlands consists out of twelve provinces. Two of them, North and South Holland, are the two provinces that together make Holland and they are the most heavily populated of all the provinces, encompassing the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Due to the maritime and economic power of these provinces in the 17th century, the Netherlands became known worldwide as Holland. To make matters even more confusing the inhabitants of the Netherlands are called Dutch.


As is the rest of Europe, the south of the Netherlands is within easy reach by car, or by utilising the country’s excellent public transport system. Our multinational population presents a rich mix of different cultures, each characterised by the tolerance for which the Dutch are famous. When you study in the south of the country, you will quickly learn that we have so much more to offer than just windmills, tulips, cheese and clogs. Although, of course, you should also take the time to explore these aspects of the country!

Ambience photo Fontys Ambience photo Fontys

Would you like to know more about the Netherlands? If so, we recommend that you visit the following websites:

  • www.minbuza.nl/en This website provides general information regarding the Netherlands, from statistics and amusing facts to detailed articles regarding the country’s government, history and society.
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands This is a free online encyclopaedia, providing a wide range of facts and figures.
  • www.studyinholland.nl This is a ‘Nuffic’ (Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education) website and includes a wide range of general information.