There are a few very obvious reasons why the Netherlands is one of the favorite destinations for international students. First of all, education is modern, high-quality and in small groups, focused on practical experience. Most universities offer classes in the English language, as the Netherlands was the first country to enable education in English to attract international students. Furthermore, over 95% of people speak English, making it even easier for foreigners to assimilate.

On top of the premium education and the presence of the universal language, the Netherlands offers a multicultural and open-minded society. Along with warm and welcoming people, amazing travel opportunities, and proximity to many European countries that only emphasize the Netherland’s charm. Medical education is especially promoted as one of the best globally, with multiple offers for research and clinical programs.

If you want to study medicine in the European continent, consider going to the Netherlands. You’ll surely gain quality education and training as a future doctor. But what university should you enter? In this article, we will be looking at the best medical schools in the Netherlands.

Can International Students Enroll in Medical Schools in the Netherlands?

Yes, according to the official site of the University of Amsterdam you can enroll in medical schools in the Netherlands as an international student. There are however a few things to remember, most universities will demand a test in English or Dutch proficiency, possibly both, depending on the language that classes are taught in. Most Bachelor’s programs are in Dutch, and Master’s are usually English.

The Netherlands is also a good opportunity for international students to cost vise. The relation between the tuition costs and quality of education is more than fair. Also, in the Netherlands, you can work while you study and even reduce some of the expenses on taxes. Another amazing thing is the ability to be a part of scholarships offered by the government that will cover some or all tuition expenses.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

What is the Medical Curriculum Like in Medical Schools in the Netherlands?

The University of Amsterdam site states that medical education in the Netherlands lasts for (six) 6 years. Three out of those years are dedicated to getting the Bachelor’s degree, and then additional three (3) years are needed to get the Master’s degree and be able to practice medicine.

The Bachelor’s program is usually in the Dutch language, so students have to know the language before applying, although preparatory courses do exist. The first three years are usually focused more on academic education, and the last three years are clinical and research-based, along with mandatory internships.

Best Medical Schools in the Netherlands

1. University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam was founded in 1632, and it’s one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands. It’s also the biggest university with over 30,000 students enrolled, with international students from over 100 countries. This university has  (seven) 7 faculties, and medicine is one of the most popular. With the university’s excellent curriculum, prestige, and success of its alumni, this institution is  considered the best medical school in the Netherlands.

Medical education in this university is oriented around the patient and organized in small groups. With this,  proper learning and transfer of knowledge is achievable, making it even more obvious why this university, in particular, is so popular. The curriculum is divided into three years of theoretical education and three years of clinical education, after which the students receive the Master’s degree and are able to practice medicine in the Netherlands or worldwide.

2. Erasmus University Rotterdam

The Erasmus University Rotterdam was established in 1913, and Erasmus University Rotterdam is one of the best medical schools in the Netherlands and worldwide. Placed on many lists in the top 100 universities, it comes as no surprise that this university is one of the most popular ones for international students.

Erasmus University Medical Center is the official location of the medical faculty and represents one of the most prestigious places to get your medical degree. This is one of the best-equipped and most pristine research facilities in Europe. The university also cooperates with Sophia children’s Hospital and Cancer Institute.

3. Vrije University Amsterdam

The Vrije Univesity Amsterdam was founded in 1880 and today, it represents one of the best universities in the world that always ranks in the top 150. They are more than welcoming to international students and provide Master’s programs in English and preparatory classes in Dutch.

Vrije University Amsterdam is one of the best medical schools in the Netherlands, offering education based on critical thinking and research opportunities. The research is dedicated to five focus areas: cancer & immunology, neurosciences, cardiovascular disease, public health, primary care & long-term care, and movement sciences. Students have the opportunity to learn in the University Hospital, with over 45.000 admissions and more than 400.000 outpatient consultations per year, ensuring high-quality clinical education.

4. University of Groningen

The University of Groningen was established over 400 years ago, in 1614. The same year medical faculty was established, and in 1797, Groningen University Hospital was opened and became a vital part of medical education.

They offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Pre-master Medicine programs, and they are open to international students. The University of Groningen is especially known for its research program, which is considered to be one of the top programs in Europe. As an international student here, you’ll be widely exposed for research and learning opportunities during your studies. Since they have a reputation for research and training, you’ll be widely exposed to an outstanding level of research.

5. Maastricht University

The Maastricht University was founded in 1976, and it’s one of the youngest universities in the Netherlands. This top medical school in the Netherlands has a different approach to education because they are constantly improving the curriculum and rapidly incorporating the latest developments and insights. Maastricht University Medical Centre is the first academic medical center combining the functions of an academic and regional hospital.

Education at Maastricht University’s Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences takes pride in their innovative research and education. They take a multidisciplinary approach in their programs and as they continuously provide education to local and foreign students, they ensure the highest quality of learning.

6. Leiden University

Leiden University was established in 1575, and it’s one of the best medical universities in the Netherlands. The university has seven faculties and over 30,000 students, with medical faculty being one of them. Innovative technologies and a modern approach to education make this university a great place to get your medical degree.

The Leiden University Medical Center focuses on academic care for patients, meaning they are orientated on highly specialized tertiary referral care delivered to patients with severe or rare diseases or disorders that are difficult to treat.

7. Utrecht University

The Utrecht University was founded in 1636, making it one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands. This is a public research university with over 35,000 students enrolled and seven faculties. The education at the Utrecht University is high-quality, as among the lecturers, 12 of them are Nobel prize winners and 13 Spinoza Prize winners.

The Faculty of Medicine of Utrecht University and the Utrecht Medical Center work closely together to achieve premium-quality education. This way, students are a part of clinical research from day one, which offers them a unique opportunity to learn practical knowledge, making Utrecht University one of the best medical universities in the Netherlands. This can mean an upper hand in future job hunting.


With amazing learning facilities and education centers, it is no surprise that the Netherlands is one of the most popular destinations for international students. This multicultural country is working hard on keeping up with modern technologies and ways of transferring knowledge, making the patient the center of attention.

They are known worldwide for top-notch research centers that provide the students with the actual empiric experience. This is one of the reasons why diplomas acquired here are recognized across the globe. Besides, the Netherlands presents a country worth visiting and exploring, with amazing places and great people to meet.


I hope that this article on the best medical schools in the Netherlands was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Programs in Europe for International Students to know more information like this!