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Living in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the creative and cultural heart of the Netherlands, and a city with lots of opportunities and activities for students.

 A great place to live and study

  • Amsterdam is one of the world’s best places to live (ranked 12th in the 2018 Mercer's Quality of Living Survey)
  • According to the The Class of 2020 Amsterdam is the 4th best student city in Europe
  • The 2018 Global Power City Index ranks Amsterdam third in the EU and sixth globally for its comprehensive power to attract people, capital and enterprises
  • Amsterdam is the safest city in Europe and 6th safest globally (Safe Cities Index 2017)

The city is also ranked first for English proficiency, third for innovation and sixth for happiness. Find out more in I Amsterdam's overview of international surveys.

Fietser bij BG-terrein

Language

As a key cultural and intellectual centre in western Europe, Amsterdam attracts students from all over the Netherlands and beyond. The inhabitants of Amsterdam, known as Amsterdammers, are easy-going and welcoming to foreigners.

You can get around the city using English, but we highly recommend that international students also learn Dutch when coming to study in the Netherlands. You can take Dutch courses at our Institute for Dutch Language Education (INTT).

A big city with a cosy, small-scale feel

With some 800,000 inhabitants, Amsterdam has all the advantages of a major metropolitan centre while retaining a cosy, small-scale feel.

Amsterdam boasts beautiful architecture and over 150 canals, lending the city its characteristic shape and atmosphere. It is full of museums, art galleries, theatres, concert halls and many lovely parks, which serve as the inhabitants’ gardens in summer. The city is home to world famous music, opera, theatre and dance companies, as well as many internationally recognised visual artists.