9 Reasons Why Studying Abroad in The Netherlands Will Ruin You For Life

When you think of studying abroad, the Netherlands probably isn’t the first place you’d think to go. However, this couldn’t be more backwards! Here are all the reasons studying abroad in the Netherlands will ruin you for life.  

1. Cheese in America will never taste the same.
Did you know that Gouda is an actual city in the Netherlands? I didn’t either until I went there. After eating only authentic Dutch Gouda for six weeks, my cheese life had permanently been altered. Good luck bouncing back to plastic-wrapped Kraft singles after this one.

2. The countryside is unforgettable.
Many people picture Amsterdam when thinking of the Netherlands. Although no credit should be taken away from the beauty of Amsterdam and other Dutch cities, the Dutch countryside is truly underrated. There’s nothing more Dutch than riding your bike through fields of tulips and windmills.

3. Your stroopwafel withdrawals will be never-ending.
Stroopwafels are a major part of the Dutch experience. You’ll never stop craving them when you return stateside. That creamy caramel filling will haunt your dreams.

4. You’ll fall in love with your bicycle (and the body it gives you).
I was terrified of the idea of biking everywhere in the Netherlands because I was never a good bike rider. However, my bike became my best friend in a matter of days. There was just something about getting everywhere by bike that made for a really special experience. And then I didn’t feel as guilty about eating ice cream every day. I must admit, I still think about my Dutch bike almost daily.

5. The museums cannot be matched.
Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Vermeer are just a few of the revolutionary Dutch artists in history. As a result, the quality and volume of museums in the Netherlands are unlike anywhere else. Plus, after visiting the Rijksmuseum, no other museum will seem good enough for you.

6. The term “coffee shop” takes on a whole new meaning.
A common stereotype of the Netherlands is that people are smoking marijuana on every street corner. Although this stereotype is false, you will frequently see coffee shops, which aren’t what you’d think they are. Whether you’re into that or not, you’ll always chuckle to yourself when your friends back home invite you to a coffee shop, which will inevitably lead to nostalgic reminiscing.

7. There’s nothing like a stroll on a canal.
In the Netherlands, the canals are everywhere. You get spoiled by seeing such beautiful scenery every day. When you return, nothing seems as exciting since it’s not done near a Dutch canal.

8. You’ll never again have such easy access to some of the most beautiful cities in the world.
One of the best parts of studying abroad in the Netherlands is the fact that it is so centrally located in Europe. In three hours or less, you can take a train to France, England, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. Needless to say, returning home and sacrificing your ability to take a spontaneous trip to Paris is pretty depressing.

9. You’ll never get through another day without thinking of your home away from home.
Some days will be harder than others, but I guarantee that after studying abroad in the Netherlands you will have frequent pangs of nostalgia for the simpler days.

From the lush Dutch countryside to the luminescent streets of Amsterdam, there’s nothing the Netherlands doesn’t offer. I begrudgingly urge you to experience all this bliss for yourself one day, but keep in mind this disclaimer: Life will never be the same.

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