About the Netherlands

The Netherlands, also known as Holland, is a country in Western Europe. It borders Germany and Belgium. Although small, it has a thriving economy (18th in the world). Its inhabitants, the Dutch, are open-minded and almost everyone speaks English.


Population and topography

Over 17 million people live in the Netherlands. That makes it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. And yet it doesn’t feel crowded.  

There are woods, fields, parks, and water. Lots of water. The country has over 500 kilometers of coastline, 3 big rivers and many smaller ones, and 165 canals in Amsterdam alone! 

 

Dutch pioneering

The Dutch are famous for their entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ways. Already in the 17th century, the Dutch were known for their maritime tradition and international trading.  

Today the Dutch are recognized leaders in water management. And Dutch managers often take up top positions in international companies. 

 

Science and the arts 

The Netherlands is also successful in science and the arts. Illustrious painters from the past, such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh, have made Dutch painting famous. Today Rem Koolhaas is known around the world for his architectural designs.  

The Netherlands also has its Nobel Prize winners: Jan and Nicolaas Tinbergen. They contributed to the sciences of economics and biology. 

Dutch ways

Like every other nationality, the Dutch have their own ways of going about everyday life. As a student at HAN, you’ll experience this first-hand. Curious to hear a little more about the Dutch ways? 

The Dutch love cycling. In the Netherlands, cycling is one of the main forms of transport. In fact, the country has some 35,000 kilometers of bicycle paths. People use bikes to get to work or school, to go grocery shopping, or to get home after a night out. 

Dutch people have interesting eating and drinking habits. Traditionally they eat a lot of bread and potatoes, but this is changing somewhat. Raw herring with onions on top is a delicacy by the way!  

In the Netherlands, children get to eat chocolate sprinkles for breakfast. No wonder Dutch children are amongst the happiest kids in the world! 

The Dutch are also one of the biggest coffee drinkers in Europe. When you visit a Dutch person in their home, usually the first thing they say is ‘Coffee?’. 

The Dutch are quite direct. When you meet them, you might feel a little intimidated because they ask you so many questions. Perhaps even personal questions! Don’t be offended though. That is their way of being open and friendly. 

Like to get to know the Dutch better? When you come and study at HAN, you’ll have lots of opportunities to meet them!