I visited the beautiful city of Utrecht in May 2023 and spent time at Utrecht University College, the Science Park Campus and also wandering around the many university buildings dotted throughout the city centre. I was impressed by the vibrant and youthful atmosphere of the city, the extensive university facilities and the high quality of life that citizens were able to enjoy.

*Details correct as of June 2023

  • Public research university
  • Established 1636 – one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands
  • 37,000 students – 24,000 undergraduates
  • 115+ nationalities and 4,000+ international students
  • 12 Nobel Prize winners


  • 361,000+ people live in Utrecht – the 4th largest city in the Netherlands
  • Located in the very centre of the Netherlands with easy access by train to the other major cities
  • 67,000 students in total across several universities
  • 3rd most friendly bike city in the world – 245km of bike lanes
  • Main university is spread over two key areas – the Science Park on the outskirts of town and the city centre where many of the humanities and social science buildings are found
  • Beach is close


  • 7 faculties and two university colleges (Utrecht University College and University College Roosevelt – Middelburg)
  • 13 English taught bachelor programmes / 100+ English taught masters programmes
  • Option to study a minor – 100+ to choose from. Students are free to choose any of them, regardless of their major
  • Each bachelor also offers an honours programme that students can enrol in from their first year of study – there is also an interdisciplinary honours programme (followed in addition to a student’s regular bachelor degree and open to all 2nd and 3rd year students)
  • PPE has additional selection procedures and Pharmacy is Numerus Fixus
  • Celtic Language and Culture is the top ranked programme in Europe
  • Learning is very active and student centred: participation is expected
  • Lots of self study – around 55% of time will be spent working independently
    12-18 hours of classes per week
  • Emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and within programmes there is quite a lot of flexibility and choice
  • 1st year more mandatory classes / 2nd more electives / 3rd year thesis or consultancy project – continuous assessment
  • Close relationships with professors – first name basis
  • Academic year runs from September to July – two semesters
  • Internships and study abroad options


  • Apply through Studielink (opens 1st October)
  • General Entry Requirements: IB Diploma, A Level CCC, US High School Diploma + 4 APs with a score of 3 or higher
  • Required documents: passport, transcript, diploma, English Language test results, if needed
  • Students can use the Boswell Centre to make up for missing exams/subjects (STEM) – have until mid June to meet offer requirements


  • There is a housing shortage in Utrecht so finding accommodation is challenging and competitive. Students must start early – do not underestimate the difficulty.
  • The university offers advice through their Housing Office, but students are ultimately responsible for finding their own housing.
  • If students have not found housing prior to the start of their studies they are advised to reconsider enrolment.


  • Tuition fees = EU/EEA students €2,314 / International €11,500 – €24,000 – the university college programmes and PPE have a different fee structure for both EU and non-EU students
  • Other expenses €800 – €1,400 per month (accommodation, living expenses, insurance, study materials, etc)
  • Non-EU students can work a maximum of 16 hours during term time / full time in the summer – a work visa and additional insurance is required to work
  • Students are recommended to not exceed 14 hours of additional work per week – study at the university is demanding
  • Accepts US Federal and Canadian Student Loans
  • Utrecht Excellence Scholarship for international students – between €5,000 and €17,000. Available for certain subjects and is highly selective. Students are automatically considered if they apply before 1st February.


  • 150+ student associations
  • 30+ student sport organisations related to the university
  • Sports Centre Olympos offers 60+ sports
  • Parnassos Cultural Centre offers courses in music, theatre, photography, dance and the expressive arts
  • A wide range of cultural events are held throughout the city
  • Free Dutch language classes are offered by UU and the Language Cafe Utrecht is a meet place for language practice – there are also many options for paid language courses, including the Utrecht Summer School programme
  • BuddyGoDutch is a project that connects international students to Dutch students to learn about culture, language and traditions in a personal way
  • There is also an Academic Buddy Programme and Incluusion is a buddy programme specifically for refuge students
  • Green Office Utrecht is a platform for students and staff to shape and launch sustainable projects


  • Ideal student profile: independent, self disciplined, knows what they want to study, interested in an interdisciplinary approach to learning

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