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Holland, or the Netherlands

The country’s formal name is ‘Nederland’, meaning the ‘low country’. ‘Low’ because much of the land is at or below sea level. Holland is in fact the name of the western part of the country. In the 17th century, these western provinces were the most developed and wealthiest part of the country. At present, the provinces of North and South Holland are the most heavily populated of

10 Study in Holland

all the provinces, encompassing Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and other well-known Dutch cities such as Delft and Leiden. The name Holland is therefore also used to refer to the Netherlands as a whole, even though the other provinces are sometimes a little unhappy about it. If you are going to study outside of the provinces of North and South Holland, try and use ‘the Netherlands’. You’ll notice you’ll make more friends this way.

Qiuju Wang (25), China

I have made many friends from all of the world

PhD in Company Law, University of Groningen

When I was a child, I read an article about the Netherlands. So I already knew there are clear rivers, many windmills and tulips everywhere. Now I feel so lucky to study in this beautiful and peaceful country, and the Dutch people are really nice and friendly. I like the international atmosphere here best. There is a pleasant study environment, the views are clean and beautiful, I have many close friends, and I have met tolerant and helpful people. The teachers are very responsible and patient, and the course content corresponds closely with the practice. Thanks to the specific Master of Laws programme I completed, I acquired the latest knowledge and information in the fields I am interested in. But to achieve a good result as a PhD student, you must work hard. The whole process is definitely not so easy. Previously, I lived in an international student house. The living conditions were quite comfortable. That period was wonderful. I was surprised to see that people in the building greet each other whether they know each other or not. It contributes to the good atmosphere between people. I have made many friends from all of the world. We played music together, watched movies and went to the pubs. Quite often, we sat and chatted in the living room. Because of our different cultures, we had many topics to talk about, something which broadens my horizon everyday. It’s not only about learning and developing knowledge, but also about becoming more social and open-minded. I feel free here, and I’m very grateful for that. I’m content with the life I lead here, and I have the impression that I’m not the only one. Another thing that strikes me all the time is that although China has a population nearly one hundred times more than that of the Netherlands, I see more smiling faces here.

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