The Netherlands

Study abroad in the Netherlands, famous for its windmills, tulip fields, cheese markets, and clogs.

Why study in the Netherlands?

Bordering Germany and Belgium by land, and the UK by sea, the Netherlands is a gateway to Europe. The country of windmills, clogs, and tulips is home to 16 million people and hundreds of canals. If you love travelling by bicycle and eating chocolate for breakfast, you’ll love studying in the Netherlands.    

I got more confidence in myself, a greater understanding of other people and parts of the world and I made international friends who I am still very close to today. The experience I had is one which couldn’t be replicated if I was to stay in NZ for those 6 months.

Andrew, Wellington


You can choose to study in the Netherlands for as little as three months or as long as one academic year. Gap year students are welcome to apply but must be no older than 18.5 years upon departure. Academic year and semester students will receive a 5-day/4-night orientation upon arrival, which includes full lodging, Dutch classes, intercultural workshops, and guided tours. There are two organised trips for academic students throughout the programme, and one organised trip for semester students. All students will be given a bike on their exchange and must be prepared to bike to school. Dutch students normally bike up to 16km one-way to get to school.

Placements can be anywhere in the country but are more likely to be in suburbs or rural areas. On the map below you can see where some of our past students have been placed. All of our host families are carefully vetted. We conduct home interviews, inspections, and police checks to ensure our students are placed in a secure and supportive living environment.

NZIIU students have been placed in Hengelo and Voorburg.

Application deadline
January 2021
April 2021
1 September 2020
August 2021
November 2021
1 February 2021
October 2021
January 2022
1 April 2021
January 2021
July 2021
1 September 2020
August 2021
January 2022
1 February 2021
Academic Year
January 2021
October 2021
1 September 2020
August 2021
July 2022
1 February 2021

Covered expenses

Included in the fee:

  • School and family documents for your student visa application
  • Placement in a suitable host family and school
  • Full board and lodging (except school lunch)
  • Pre-departure orientation in NZ and arrival orientation in the Netherlands
  • Meet and greet at the airport in NZ and at the airport in the Netherlands
  • Transfer to your host community from Amsterdam (and back again)
  • Bicycle to use during your exchange
  • Online Dutch course prior to arrival
  • 2 one-day excursions for academic year students
  • 1 one-day excursion for semester students
  • Bi-monthly progress reports to your parents
  • Ongoing monitoring by the host organisation
  • 24/7 emergency assistance in the Netherlands and NZ
  • Certificate of completion upon return

Other costs

Not included in the fee:

Flights You are responsible for paying all domestic and international airfares between your home and Schiphol Amsterdam Airport.
Insurance You will be required to purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance prior to your departure.
School setup Depending on your school and subject choices, you may be required to pay for expenses such as basic school fees, books, and equipment.
Visas If a visa is required, you will be responsible for paying the necessary fees.
Spending money We recommend allocating approximately $450 NZD spending money per month to cover things like transport, school lunches, and weekend activities.
Optional trips It’s a good idea to save some money for optional trips organised by your host family or your host organisation in the Netherlands.


Students must be:

  • Aged between 15 and 18.5 years prior to the programme start date
  • A New Zealand Citizen or hold Permanent Residency
  • Enrolled in a high school
  • Willing to learn Dutch prior to and during the exchange
  • Fit, well, and have a suitable personality profile
  • Academically motivated


Your visa will be arranged after your arrival in the Netherlands. However, you will need to obtain your original birth certificate in New Zealand. This document needs to be sent to the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be legalised, and then sent to the Dutch Consulate to be stamped.


Students are expected to learn basic Dutch (oral and written) and complete a mandatory online language course prior to departure.

The camp at Heino was fantastic, as the representatives of the host organisation were so welcoming and had so many amazing activities planned for us. I think there were about 80 students from countries all over the world. I think the list was Belgium, Brazil, China, Mexico, Italy, Venezuela, the USA, Australia and myself from New Zealand. It was great to be able to interact with so many different cultures.

Tim, Kerikeri

Make an enquiry

Information Days

Online Info Sessions

You don’t need to travel – or even leave your couch – to learn more about NZIIU’s student exchanges and how they work. Register for one of our online informational webinars, and you can find out all you need to know from wherever you are in the country.

‘Meet our Ambassadors’ Day

If you’d like the full lowdown on the student exchange experience, this is the event for you! Our NZIIU Education Perfect Ambassadors are students who have recently been on exchange and are enthused, ready, and raring to share their knowledge, experiences, and stories.’

Learn More »

Need extra pocket money?

NZIIU Scholarships

We know that financing your exchange might be a bit of a challenge but don’t let that be a deterrent! NZIIU offer a select number of scholarships each year to eligible students who require some financial assistance, as well as a fundraising kit.

Explore now »

NZIIU fundraising kit »

NZIIU Fundraising Kit