One in five respondents said they had no idea, and the remaining 20 per cent said they will leave no matter what happens. One notable finding was that, apart from 7 out of 90 students, all students from outside the EU wish to stay in the Netherlands.

Work ethic

One of those students said he/she appreciates the Dutch work ethic, which is ‘focused more on collaboration and creativity’. Another said that cities such as Rotterdam and Amsterdam ‘offer a high quality of life at a relatively low price, compared to, say, the United States’. Furthermore, students like the fact that many Dutch companies are very internationally oriented. However, a student from Vietnam indicated that s/he wishes to return to his/her country, to put his/her newly acquired knowledge to good use there. And another student feels the Netherlands is not sunny enough: “I know it sounds ridiculous, but after four years, you start missing the sun.”

Finding a job will be difficult

However, the non-European respondents in particular feel that finding a job will not be easy. Over 80 per cent of them indicated that they assume it will be hard or very hard to find a job that is in line with their degree.

One hundred and eighty international students took the English-language survey, which they were asked to take by e-mail, through university channels and through social media. In all, EUR has nearly six thousand international students. About half of the respondents were from outside the EU.

More and more international students are finding their way to Erasmus University and to the Netherlands in general. This is resulting in all sorts of changes at the university, from degree programmes increasingly being taught in English to an increasingly severe student housing shortage. This week EM will publish several articles on the international students’ career perspective.


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‘The Netherlands is internationally oriented, but you do have to be able to speak the language’

International Erasmus University Rotterdam​ students talk about their career…