Exchange Student Svenja Helbach writes about life in the Netherlands

International Student life experience in the Netherlands

      Going on your exchange to Breda you will not only encounter Dutch culture but meet students from all over Europe and the world. NTHV Breda University of Applied Sciences offers many English-speaking international studies which attract students from all over, plus you don´t need to be afraid of overcoming language barriers, as most of the Dutch speak English fluently.

I am an international student from Breda, studying International Tourism Management here at Thompson Rivers University and will share some insights with you from my home university. I will be more than happy to help you out, if you have any questions you can contact me via

Life in Breda

Living in Breda is very relaxed and it is easy to get around; biking is the easiest mode of transportation and I recommend buying one as soon as possible. There are separate biking lanes, traffic lights and parking options for your bikes everywhere – just make sure to lock it properly as it may get stolen quickly.  The place in town to hang out is called Inspire – it´s a popular place among students to go for coffee or lunch. It is located in the city center where there are also more cafes and restaurants nearby. The city center also includes the shopping streets, as well as the bars and clubs for your night out. The church is right in the center and therefore, a great orientation point. There is the Valkenbergpark close by which is a nice park to relax and meet up with friends. Bress is the student sport center in town.



The system in Breda works a bit differently as we are divided into classes with about twenty people. In most subjects you will have lectures with everyone once or twice per week. Based on these lectures, most courses have seminars with your own class to discuss assignments. We cannot choose our courses but only choose a program – International Tourism Management and Consultancy or International Tourism Travel Industry.

The first one is more concentrated on the destination and development, while the second one focuses more on the travel industry itself regarding aviation management and tour operating. Your schedule is given to you but will often change from week to week. The semester is divided into two terms, after one term the courses will change and you have an exam and/or project to hand in. There is one big project in one of the courses per term which you will work on with around four people, in mostly international teams. There are two semesters per year, the first from September to January and the second one from Late January to June/July.

(Main campus)


Finding a room in Breda is not easy but NHTV will assist you. There is off-campus student housing available which offers one, two and four person flats. Another option is to try to find a room in a house via facebook or the webpage kamernet for example.

(Main square Breda)

Last but not least Travelling! Explore Europe!

You will have plenty of opportunities to travel while staying in Breda. The train system in Europe is fantastic which makes it easy to travel to other cities and countries. Day trips to other Dutch cities are easily doable within an hour and it is only a 1.5 h trip to the beach. Weekend trips can be done to the neighboring countries of Germany, Paris and Belgium. Compass which is our International student organization organizes usually two city weekend trips per year mostly to Paris and London.

Apart from that we have two one-week holidays in our semester, which gives you the chance to travel to other European countries too.

(Beach of Scheveningen)

Next to the Tourism program NHTV offers Int. Real Estate Management, International Media and Entertainment Management, Int. Game Architecture and Design, Int. Hotel Management, Int. Logistics and Economics, Int. Logistics Engineering, Int. Leisure Management and Int. Built Environment.

Check out the NHTV YouTube channel about student life and the individual study programs:

NTHV website:

Life in Breda:

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