The unique geography and position of The Netherlands have shaped the country’s people: the Dutch. About 87% of them live in the cities, the most famous of these being of course Amsterdam with its gracious canals and large majestic houses, its coffee shops and liberal atmosphere. Since the Netherlands is the most densely populated country in Europe, there are many equally beautiful cities to be discovered. When studying in The Netherlands you could easily sightsee most of the country. Groningen may be all the way in the North, but it only takes two hours by train from the capital. A long distance for Dutch people since the country is only 300 km from north to south, but almost walking distance for your average German, French or Spaniard...sort of.
When sightseeing The Netherlands after classes, you will notice something: there is no place in the world this flat. Travelling the country by bike, a favourite means of transportation for the Dutch, is an experience which on its own is already a good reason to come over here. You could see the pastures spotted with black and white cows (the breed which today is found all over the world, but originated in the Netherlands), and cycle on dykes with sea on your one hand and reclaimed land on the other. Though don’t expect to see this everywhere, as most universities are in the cities where you’ll usually see buildings. These can be very inspiring too, when taking classes in the Academia building in Groningen you’re sightseeing and studying at the same time!
We could go on about the land for pages, but let us not forget the people who you will encounter when coming to The Netherlands. In other words, who are the Dutch? In the boxes below you will find everything you need to know about them, their legacy and traces throughout the world, traditional Dutch culture, food in the Netherlands, mentality of the people, holidays and, very important for potential students, Dutch study culture.