The city of Rotterdam in the South-Holland region of the Netherlands is the largest city port in Europe and 10th largest in the world, nicknamed “the Gateway to the World”. Rotterdam is home to one of the top universities in Europe, and draws international students from all over the world to this multicultural educational hub.
Rotterdam is located close to the Dutch city of Hague. Rotterdam is also famous for its innovative architecture combining a fascinating modern skyline with old historical architecture, that remained after the city was bombed during World War II. The Erasmus Bridge is representative of the Dutch spirit of innovation.
Economic life revolves around the Rotterdam port activity – the largest in Europe, but the city is also home to many multinationals, such as Unilever, Eneco, Robeco, Pfizer, Shell Downstream. The Dutch headquarters of Allianz and Petrobras are also located in the city. Universities facilitate contact between students and potential employers through advantageous internship programmes.
The main industries of Rotterdam include logistics, commerce, chemicals, tourism, or manufacturing. The city maintains good international relationships with all corners of the world, some examples including UK, the United States, Germany, China, Russia, Turkey, Morocco, The Netherlands Antilles or Cape Verde.
Rotterdam is a busy and effervescent, continually evolving urban centre, that can be best described as a multifaceted city. Skyscrapers are just as characteristic of the landscape as the buildings in the old quarters are. Each district has its own distinct character and visitors are easily fascinated by the diversity within. Feast your eyes on the impressive 802-meter Erasmus Bridge, or the huge and busy Port of Rotterdam. You have the chance to visit the oldest fish market in the Netherlands, with diverse seafood and fusion cuisine.
There are many places to visit, such as museums or the zoo, numerous restaurants to dine in and all sorts of festivals to attend. Rotterdam is a vibrant place and there are a lot of places that students can enjoy and have fun in.
Rotterdam features museums devoted to architecture, photography, modern art and much more, such as Kunsthal Museum, the Henk Chabot Museum, the Maritime Museum, or the Netherlands architecture institute. Take in the impressive skyline of Rotterdam from the highest tower in the Netherlands – Euromast. Admire the the cubic houses of Rotterdam, another wonder of Dutch architecture.
Just like most Dutch cities, Rotterdam is a bike-friendly city, offering you an easy inexpensive way of traveling between the university campus and any place in the city.
The second largest urban area after Amsterdam, Rotterdam is a cosmopolitan city, where foreigners make up almost half of the population. It is multi ethnically diverse, integrating various communities, with Muslims of Moroccan and Turkish origin constituting a significant minority but smaller groups, such as Chinese also being present. Descendants of immigrants from the Dutch Antilles and Suriname contribute to the cultural mosaic of the city. Just like most cities in the Netherlands, English is widely spoken in Rotterdam, so you will easily blend in and communicate with the locals and the other incoming internationals.
Due to its position on the coastline, Rotterdam is a relatively windy place. However, the weather there is somewhat milder than inland. Average highs during the summer reach 22°C (71°F), while average lows approach the temperature of 1°C (34°F) during winter.
Popular housing options include:
1. Student residences offered by universities – 5500 EUR/academic year
2. Private rented one-room apartment outside the city centre costs about 540 EUR/month
3. Shared apartment outside the city centre, with other two roommates – amounting to about 270 EUR/month.
3. Homestays with a local family, especially short term to experience the local culture and lifestyle.
4. Budget hostel at 13-30 EUR/night - another short-term option, while looking for yearlong accommodation.
On average, a person studying in Rotterdam spends approximately 1,000 EUR/month. This covers everyday needs such as meals, accommodation costs, study material, etc.
International students can take advantage of the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) for discounts and special offers on travel, shopping, museums, and more.