Are you an architecture student who dreams of studying abroad for at least a portion of your degree? Have you considered the spectacular country of the Netherlands as a potential study abroad destination? The Netherlands is a place of great natural beauty, rich culture and some of the friendliest people in the world. It is also home to an excellent system of higher education, with universities that are ranked among the best in the world for their overall quality.
Located in Western Europe, the Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of twelve provinces and three islands in the Caribbean. The mainland portion of the Netherlands is bordered to the east by Germany, to the west by Belgium, and to the west and north by the North Sea. The country also shares maritime borders with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom; and its territory Sint Maarten borders France in the Caribbean via France’s territory Sint Martin. The Netherlands is a parliamentary republic, organized as a unitary state, and while its government seat is located in The Hague, the capital city, as mandated by the Constitution, is Amsterdam. In its entirety, the Netherlands is often referred to as Holland, although in strict usage this term only applies to North Holland and South Holland, two of the country’s provinces. Nevertheless, the term Holland is widely used when referring to the country as a whole.
Architecture Education in the Netherlands
Architecture education in Netherlands is offered at three distinct degree levels: Bachelor, Master and Doctorate, or PhD. Most of the major universities offer Architectural programs at the undergraduate (Bachelor) and graduate (Master) level, while only a select few offer Doctoral programs in the discipline, the latter mostly reserved for those who plan to teach or direct research studies in Architecture at the university level.
Students participating in Architectural programs gain insight into the design and creation of structures for both residential and commercial areas, using both basic and advanced computer-aided design (CAD) software and freehand drawings, known as drafting.
Similar to the techniques instructed to civil and mechanical engineering students, students in Architectural drafting and design courses learn the fundamentals of creating 2 and 3-dimensionsal drawings to scale. In addition to their practical design courses are lecture courses covering topics in industry standards and practices, which students can then incorporate into their designs.
Technical education and instruction is a crucial component in architectural studies, as students learn theoretical and practical concepts concerning the integration of electrical systems, transportation systems, HVAC, fire protection and water systems. Students also learn about architectural design for new buildings while utilizing technology to design simulated building plans.
Bachelor degree programs in Architecture generally span four years in duration. However, most students will go on to pursue a Master’s degree in the discipline, which generally takes an extra two to three years to complete.
Why Study Abroad in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands, or Holland as it is better known, is a country filled with color and life, from the tulips that crowd the country landscapes, to the vibrant beat of its major cities, the country is a virtual paradise for visitors. Here are just a few reasons to choose the Netherlands for your study abroad adventure.
The capital city of Holland, Amsterdam is a city that is synonymous with culture, architecture and entertainment. Architectural students will love its historic canals and the bevy of famous structures; including the majestic Royal Palace, one of the palaces used by the Dutch monarchs; the Begijnhof; and religious buildings such as the Oude Kerk, the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist temple, the Portuguese synagogue and the El Tawheed Mosque. Amsterdam is also renowned for its parks and gardens, such as the Vondelpark, Hortus Botanicus and the Butterfly Pavilion. For nighttime fun, visit the House of Bol, providing a unique experience for cocktail drinkers, and the world-famous Heineken brewery, where you’ll get an inside look at the country's rich brewing history. For the truly daring, there is always Amsterdam’s Red Light District, where (specialized) theaters, bars and cafes abound.
The Netherlands has a number of unique museums and galleries, most of which can be found in the country’s major cities, including Amsterdam. Among these museums, perhaps the most popular is Amsterdam’s Rijkmuseum, which houses the most extensive art collection in the country, featuring the works of Dutch master-painters like Rembrandt and Vermeer. Rembrandt’s works can also be seen inside the Rembrandt House Museum, while paintings by the famed Vincent Van Gogh can be found at the Van Gogh Museum. More modern art displays can be viewed at the Stedelijk Museum, also located in Amsterdam. In addition to its art museums, Amsterdam also plays host to the popular Anne Frank House, featuring a thought-provoking tour inside the very house where Ms. Frank and her family hid from the Nazi soldiers during World War II.
The countryside of the Netherlands is home to thousands upon thousands of gorgeous windmills, the wind-driven power source considered one of the country’s most recognized symbols. Eleven of these large windmills—and the sites where they are located—have been designated World Heritage Sites by the United Nations. These are scattered throughout the towns of Kinderijk and the Schermer Region, as well Aaanse Schans and Aalsmeer.