Studying economics or business at Rotterdam Business School
Rotterdam is a funky, modern city in the southern part of the Netherlands, taking less than an hour to travel to by train from the capital Amsterdam. Although Amsterdam might be the more famous tourist destination to those outside of Europe, Rotterdam has an edgy, exciting quality which makes it a highly desirable location for people to study.
Within Rotterdam is a well regarded business school, the Rotterdam Business School, which is a part of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (RUAS). The business school offers bachelor's and master's degree programs as well as summer schools for training specific skills.
Research specialities at Rotterdam Business School
The Rotterdam Business School teaches and conducts all of its business in English, so it has a highly international outlook. As well as programs of study, there are many foreign exchange programs, so you can expect to meet people from all different countries and backgrounds there. There are students from over 50 countries at the school, and it has educational links to Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America.
The focus is on real-life business skills rather than academic research, so the school teaches real business examples in its courses and partners with local and international businesses to teach the skills which are most available for starting out in businesses. There is also off-campus teaching as well as on-campus teaching, in which students are taken out into real business environments to learn directly rather than spending all of their time in the classroom.
The aim is to get students out of university and into the workforce as smoothly as possible, whether the students are starting their own business, working for a small business, or joining a large multinational company. This very practical, hands-on approach may be appealing to those who like to do as well as to think, and who want opportunities to build networks and contacts in business while they are still studying.
Programs at Rotterdam Business School
There is just one bachelor program available, in International Business, which includes the study of languages like French, German, Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, Russian or Dutch as well as business knowledge. That makes it ideal for students who want to travel the world or who are interested in practising their business skills outside of the English-speaking world.
The Business School has more of a focus on masters studies, with programs including masters degrees in Consultancy and Entrepreneurship, Finance and Accounting, or International Supply Chain Management. These courses tend toward being practical skills-based rather than more abstract, so they're great for those who want to start their own business or just into running a business as quickly as possible.
“I like the fact that in my university we have a combination of practice and theory,” a current student at the business school explained. “This combination helps me remember what I need to academically as well as instilling passion in what I am doing. Another advantage of my university is that it offers elective subjects that you can take, many electives are languages but for example, I took Neuro Linguistic Programming and I think it is cool that you can choose by your own extra subjects that can be added to your curriculum.”
Tuition fees at Rotterdam Business School
Tuition fees in the Netherlands are less expensive than in the U.S., but still represent a significant chunk of money. For a bachelor's program, EU students pay an affordable €2,143 per year, but non-EU students must pay a higher €9,620. These prices are comparable to or cheaper than many universities in Europe.
The masters programs, however, are steeply priced. They typically cost around €11,750 for a one-year course, for both EU and non-EU students. There are some discounts available, such as a discount for those who are alumni of RUAS, or a discount to EU student rates for non-EU refugee students.
Accommodation in Rotterdam
One of the downsides of living in a popular city like Rotterdam is that accommodation can by extremely hard to come by. The apartments available are not cheap and are often small, and when trying to secure an apartment you may well be viewing a place alongside many other people. This can be a problem for those who are studying as many landlords would rather rent their apartments to people with full-time jobs rather than students.
You can expect to pay a massive €1150 per month for a one bedroom apartment in the center of the city, so most students opt to share accommodations instead. Even so, a room in a three bedroom apartment in the city center may cost you around €650 per month. You could get lucky and find something for around €450 for a room in a shared apartment which is further out of the city center, but these rooms are often hard to find.
The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences does have some accommodation available for its students, but not many places. It offers around 220 rooms per year through its Foundation for Student Housing, but not everyone is eligible for this housing. The university is aware of the difficulties that accommodation can present to students though, so it offers services like short stay accommodation for when you first arrive and help and advice on how to find accommodation from other housing providers.
An inside student tip is to start looking for accommodation as early as possible if you want to study in Rotterdam, as desirable housing gets snapped up quickly.
Cost of living and going out in Rotterdam
The good news for students is that, unlike the cost of accommodation, other costs of living in the city are relatively low. You can get a great meal for well under €20, and you can expect to pay around €4 for a beer at a bar. The public transportation around the city is excellent, and with a ticket costing under €80 per month you can travel all over the city for not too much money.
The city is also very walkable, and of course, being located in the Netherlands, many people ride bicycles. With plenty of bike paths and many other cyclists on the roads, it feels much safer and more enjoyable to cycle around Rotterdam than it does to cycle around comparable large cities in the U.S.
There is a European cafe culture, with many people spending time getting coffee and sitting outside to walk the world go by. There are similarly many bars and places to go out, and a budding art and music scene influenced by the industrial vibe of the city.
The architecture is one of the most striking things about the city. As a busy port, it sits on the water and has a strong industrial feel. Much of its development has been fairly recent so the building have a very modern look, which is not for everyone but which is exciting and unique.