The university was founded in 1614 and it is still located, with its magnificent Academy building, in the city center. The city was right not to banish the university to a campus at the edge of the city, the vibe of the old city center is without equal. But, they chose the best of both worlds. The university also has buildings at the Zernike campus, making the university both traditional and modern.


The University of Groningen is not just an old institution, it is also an esteemed one. Its ranking is constantly monitored. For example, the university is a member of the Excellence Group of the best universities in Europe, this group comprises the best 1.3 percent of all 4,500 institutions of higher education.

The international character of the University of Groningen is cherished, most people at the university speak English, but this is not the only reason why it will be a pleasant stay. The university has a lot of experience with accommodating international students; there are about 9000 internationals in Groningen. This familiarity with foreigners makes sure they know how to care for you. Literally, as the health guide for international students proves! This means that when you’re walking through the university buildings it’s normal to hear various languages being spoken around you. If you want to study abroad to experience other cultures, then Groningen is the place to be. Don’t worry if you just want to meet Dutch people, there are plenty of them in Groningen too.

Other aspects of this drive towards internationalisation are long-term partnerships with foreign universities from Sao Paulo to Seoul, and a large amount of study programmes taught in English. The university itself has an introduction to the university especially made for foreign students and quick links to the Bachelor and Master programmes offered in English.


Next to the university of Groningen, there is also the biggest university of applied sciences in the north: Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen (Hanze UAS). The broad range of practical-oriented programs has proven to have a magnetic appeal, as the Hanze UAS attracts over a lot of students and employees to Groningen. With several fully English-taught and German-taught programs, and an award-winning International Student Office, Hanze UAS is the ideal way to start your international adventure.

As a University of Applied Sciences, Hanze UAS is especially suited for students who also want to obtain practical experience instead of just attending lectures. Internships or practical research are integrated into the curriculum, so it could very well be that you’re attending a lecture one day and helping a company to develop an application the next day.

Hanze UAS has a strong network of national and international businesses and organizations. As a student at Hanze UAS you will have opportunities to gain work experience, with most programs requiring students to complete two separate work placements. In addition, many lecturers have extensive experience in their professional fields, enabling them to help bring real cases to the classroom. Furthermore, it is a knowledge institute in which applied research and innovation are integrated into its curricula.

International student desk

Hanze UAS has its very own international student team that can help you in the formal application process, but will also bring you in contact with current international students who know from their own experience how exciting it is to study in a foreign country.

The International Student Desk consists of international students of Hanze UAS, coming from all over the world. The team will help you obtain information on the international Bachelor and Master study programs offered at Hanze UAS, the campus, the way of teaching at Hanze UAS and the vibrant student life in Groningen. You can always email your questions to isteam@org.hanze.nl. You might have difficulties in adjusting to the Dutch culture, and it is therefore important for you to know some basic facts prior to arrival. The international student team is there to answer your questions!


The Zernike complex is a true student metropolis. Everyday a small migration takes place when thousands of students travel to Zernike in the north of Groningen. Streams of cyclists make their way to classes and buses drop off full loads of students every ten minutes. Both the University of Groningen and the Hanze UAS have several facilities at the complex. Most of them are quite new, which is clearly visible by the buildings' appearance. Apart from lecture rooms and laboratories, there’s also a large examination room (Aletta Jacobshal), so even if you don’t have classes at the complex there’s a good chance you’ll get to know it. Also, since 2008 the complex has housed an observatory with one of the largest telescopes in the Netherlands.

 With so many students around, there are of course provisions to be found. Like a small supermarket inside one of the University buildings, the first of its kind in the Netherlands. Most students and lecturers need their daily intake of caffeine and this is provided, among other supplies, by the cantinas in most buildings. For those of you who like quality coffee, there’s also a coffee bar where you can get your latte macchiatos, espressos and cappuccinos.

 Did we mention the book store? The ponds where people go ice skating in the winter and sit by to relax in the summer? The Australian Homemade where delicious ice-cream is served? The wide-range of sport facilities, like tennis and squash courts, football and hockey fields, the climbing wall and pool? And if you’d like to make some cash on the side, there’s even a temporary employment agency. In short, the Zernike complex in itself is a small city providing everything a student needs.

Share this page