Helping our international students reach their personal and academic potential
We recognise that finding the university that best fits a student's academic needs is only part of the university search. Finding a university that can provide a stimulating living and learning environment is also key. The following campus and general information is designed to help parents of new international students get acquainted with life on and beyond the campus at the University of Twente.
A 'Twente Welcome' for our new international students
Our goal is to help every student reach their full potential, which is why we do everything we can to ensure that your son or daughter's 'Twente experience' is a positive one. We welcome our new international students with a free pick-up service from the airport or train station. Upon arrival at the campus, an international student currently studying at the UT will be on hand to assist with campus and general orientation. In addition, we offer personalised help with visa administration, language classes, as well as general advice and events (such as the international food festival) to help students settle in to life at Twente.
Facilities at the Campus
The University of Twente's campus is the only 'American-style' campus in The Netherlands. Spread over 150 hectares of beautiful parkland, it provides an academic and social setting in which students quickly become active members of a thriving community. In 2011, international students voted the campus at University of Twente one of the 20 most attractive campuses in the world. On-campus amenities and support services for our students include: a grocery store, restaurants, cafés or bars, in addition to a wide variety of top sports facilities, a medical centre, counselling facilities, a hotel and religious support services. The University's library and online learning resources are extensive. And because the entire campus is a wifi hotspot with one of the fastest connection speeds in the world, students are able to work anywhere on the University's grounds.
The High Tech, Human Touch educational approach
The University of Twente's guiding principle is: High Tech, Human Touch. Our research and educational focus is on technologies of the future: information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology. However, we believe that the most interesting and relevant innovations take place at the interface between technology and people. For this reason, we consider the work that we do in the social and behavioural sciences to be key elements for technological innovation. Twente's 3300 scientists and other professionals are working together every day towards solving real-life problems with cutting-edge research. The High Tech, Human Touch approach also informs our approach to teaching. We integrate our multidisciplinary research directly into our Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and PhD programmes in Engineering, Behavioural and Social Sciences. By incorporating current research topics into lesson material, students can be inspired by the work that is inspiring their teachers. Our 5,500 Bachelors and 2,500 Masters students know that studying at Twente means being active in education and research groups, and most importantly, that it means learning from one another. Peer-to-peer learning takes place outside the tutorial room, too: in study, cultural or sport associations, in one of the university's many student businesses, or even in one of the 750 spin-off companies that are currently bringing 'made-in-Twente' innovations to market. At Twente, we view education and research not only as a form of personal enrichment, but also as an important and meaningful way to contribute to society-- now, and in the future.
A university education is a serious investment. Planning for this investment includes the consideration of tuition fees and living expenses, as well as the resources to cover these costs: student loans, family contributions, scholarships. Tuition fees are approximately the same at all Dutch universities. This is because the government sets tuition fees for all universities centrally. Typically, at Twente as at other Dutch universities, institutional and tuition fees vary according to the programme of study and nationality of the student. The fee schedule for the coming academic year, as well as the conditions and eligibility for applicable fees, are online available at this website. Please see the University's international students website for more information regarding sources of financial support for studying in The Netherlands.
Cost of living and housing
International students may find that living expenses in The Netherlands are higher than in their home country. However, results from international surveys show that among all Dutch universities, the University of Twente has the lowest costs of living and accommodation. While exact costs depend largely on lifestyle, for most students, average monthly spending on food will come to approximately € 175 per month. Around €400 per month should be budgeted for rental accommodation. A fuller list of typical student expenses is available through the University's web pages. Twente's International Office provides support for foreign students seeking furnished accommodation, both on and off-campus.
The campus is home to approximately one third of the University's 9,000 students currently living in the University's modern and comfortable accommodation. Campus life is immeasurably enriched by the diversity that students from over 70 different nations bring to our community. Worldwide, the UT's international student associations are ranked within the top-5 for student satisfaction. Students are encouraged to get involved by joining one of approximately 40 University of Twente student associations, among them: the Twente chapter of the Erasmus Student Network, as well as the Chinese, Turkish, Indian, Pakistani, Indonesian and Latin American student associations. International Benchmark Studies rate Twente as offering the best social facilities and activities in the Netherlands.
The city of Enschede
Enschede is a mid-sized city of approximately 160,000 inhabitants and compares favourably to cities in the west of the Netherlands in terms of affordability, quality of life and safety. The city is home not only to the UT, but also to the Saxion University of Applied Sciences (a poly-technical college) and Artez art and design academy. Enschede offers an array of high quality sports and cultural events. It is also a good place for shopping, with major Dutch and international chain stores, specialist Asian and halal food shops, quirky boutiques and open air markets. It is not uncommon to hear not only English, but German and French spoken by merchants and their clients. Enschede is situated on the border with Germany and enjoys convenient rail and road links to Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Amsterdam.
New Horizons, New Concerns
Living away from home, perhaps for the first time, is an exciting and slightly anxious time for students and their families. As students prepare to apply to, or attend the University of Twente, some of the following concerns about living in The Netherlands may arise:
• Personal safety
• Travel on local and national transport systems
• Sustainable and healthy lifestyle
• access to the Dutch healthcare system
• Dutch work culture and job opportunities
The Netherlands is one of the most stable and peaceful countries in the world, and has consistently low rates of crime and theft. This is particularly true in the east of the country, where University of Twente is located. While students need not be overly worried about their personal safety while studying at Twente, one should always be alert when in public spaces.
The Dutch language is known for being difficult to learn and to pronounce. Fortunately however, almost every Dutch citizen has English as a second language, so making oneself understood is seldom a problem. Communication is especially unproblematic on-campus, however, where almost everyone can write and speak English to a high level. In addition to English, quite a few Dutch people also speak some German and/or French.
Travel on local and national transport systems
For many students, an important aspect of studying abroad is the chance for further travel. Getting around in The Netherlands is easy due to the country's extensive and well-maintained road, rail and bus transport infrastructure. Public transport travellers are well-supported with online route planning and booking systems, as well as security cameras and dedicated security personnel. Inland travel has much to recommend it. Outside of northern Holland’s best-known attractions lie charming and diverse regions containing beautiful beaches, unspoiled forests, rugged dunes and picturesque, historic towns. Looking over the country's borders, many major European cities are within a half day's train travel, including Brussels, Berlin and Paris.
Sustainable and healthy lifestyles
Both at the national and local levels of government, environmental and climate policy is a high priority in The Netherlands. The focus on green and alternative energy sources (such as solar and wind power), as well as on the reduction of pollution from existing sources and recycling, all have their basis in a culture that is 'waste-averse' in many ways. Even though there are excellent bus services throughout the city, many UT students (and staff) choose to cycle to University every day. Dedicated bicycle paths and traffic lights make cycling a safe, inexpensive and convenient mode of transportation.
Students (without internships) from EU and EEA countries, as well as Swiss citizens, are able to access the Dutch healthcare system under their home country's national insurance scheme at no additional cost. For international students arriving from all other countries, insurance coverage is a Dutch visa prerequisite. The International Office assists with arrangements for health and liability insurance. To ensure that all formalities can be arranged on time, please inform International Office of an expected date of arrival in The Netherlands, as soon as possible.
Dutch work culture and job possibilities
The working environment at the University reflects the general work culture of The Netherlands. Most work is project-based and is usually undertaken by a team. Communication between colleagues and with management is direct, informal and open. Mistakes are acknowledged and regarded as learning opportunities. Additionally, Dutch work culture places a high value on punctuality, structured approaches to work, as well as to maintaining a healthy balance between work and private life. While in the Netherlands, international students from countries other than European Union and European Economic Area nations, as well as Switzerland, may work part-time (10 hours/week maximum) during the academic year, and full time in the months of June, July and August. Formally, a TWV work permit must be obtained in order to be allowed to work. In practice however, the rules regarding part-time student jobs are more relaxed. Student jobs are posted at the University’s job bank.
Students from EU, EEA countries and Switzerland may work as many hours as they choose to and a work permit is not required. Interim regulations for students from Bulgaria and Romania do not restrict the number of hours worked, but do require employers to apply for a work permit on your behalf. Graduates may also choose to start their careers in the Netherlands by applying for full-time work. Eleven percent of respondents to a recent (Nuffic) survey of international graduates of Dutch universities either stayed in the Netherlands to continue their studies, or returned at a later stage to work, usually at R&D companies. The study reported the reasons for wanting to return to the Netherlands at a later stage, in order of importance, were: quality of life, attractiveness of the living and social environment and the reputation of the universities.
A recent study of international alumni, undertaken by Nuffic (a Dutch higher education research organisation), found that 94% of the international students were satisfied with their living and studying experiences in the Netherlands and felt welcome.