France vs Netherlands: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination?

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France and the Netherlands are among the top options that come to mind when choosing the best study-abroad destination. However, it can be a bit difficult to choose between France and the Netherlands for international students, both countries offer an astounding quality of education and employment opportunities. In case you are having a hard time choosing the right study-abroad destination, then you have come to the right place. In this blog, we will clear all your doubts and confusion regarding France vs Netherlands. Keep reading to see a detailed comparison between these two nations. Towards the end of this blog, we will finally conclude which one is the best option. 

Parameters FranceNetherlands
Area551,695 KM²41,850 KM²
CurrencyEuro (€)Euro (€)
CapitalParisAmsterdam
Total Higher Education ProvidersOver 3,500 Public and Private Institutes145
Total Indian Students Studying10,00055
Average Cost of Living€918.2 – €3,273.8€800 – €1000 Per Month
Average Cost of Studying€600 – €800 / Month€6,000 – €20,000 Per Year
Popular Job SectorsPharmacy, Psychology, Radiology, Architecture, Journalism, and HealthcareIT professional, Engineering jobs, Finance sector, and Healthcare jobs.
Permitted Part-Time Working Hours20 Hours Per Week16 Hours Per Week

Top Universities: France vs Netherlands

Choosing a good university is crucial for building a bright career. So, we have given below a list of the best universities in France and the Netherlands. We will give a score of +2 points to the country with the higher-ranked universities. 

Universities in France

The table given below shows some of the top French universities:

Top Universities in FranceQS World University Rankings 2024Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024
Université PSL (Paris Sciences & Lettres)24 47
Ecole Polytechnique38
Sorbonne University5975
CentraleSupélec138
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon184
Ecole des Ponts ParisTech192 401–500
Université de Paris236
Sciences Po Paris319501–600
Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne328801–1000
ENS Paris-Saclay7158

Universities in the Netherlands

Have a glance at the table below to see some of the best universities in the Netherlands:

Top Universities in the Netherlands QS World University Rankings 2024Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Delft University of Technology4770
University of Amsterdam5360
Utrecht University10766
Eindhoven University of Technology124201–250
Leiden University12677
University of Groningen13975
Wageningen University and Research Centre15159
Erasmus University Rotterdam17680
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam207121
University of Twente210251–300
Radboud University222139
Maastricht University256145
Tilburg University371251–300

Which Country is Better?

As it is clear from the tables given above, the universities in France are ranked higher than the universities in the Netherlands. As a result, we will grant +2 points to France in this round of France vs Netherlands.

Also Read: UK vs France: Find out the Best Study Destination for Students

Admission Requirements

It is very important to understand the criteria for admission to the universities in both France and the Netherlands before you decide in which nation you wish to study. In this section, we will understand the admission criteria in each country and deduce which one of them has an easier admission process. 

Admission Requirements For France

The eligibility requirements for admission to the universities in France are provided below: 

  • The applicants need to make sure that they are at least 18 years old before applying to the university they desire. 
  • Students are required to receive a short-stay visa in case they participate in a training program that continues for less than a duration of three months. 
  • Candidates will be granted a temporary long-stay visa in case their training course concludes after a duration of three months or six months, and they don’t have to do any further paperwork when they finally come to France. 
  • Students have to provide a long-stay visa, which is equal to a residency permit if their training goes on for over six months. 
  • The students also need to give the documents listed below: 
  1. Two passport-size photos
  2. Evidence of monetary means for covering all expenses during the period of study
  3. If you have enrolled in a course taught in French, you will need a proficiency certificate for the French language
  4. A visa application form for a France study visa
  5. Evidence of payment of Visa fees
  6. Documents that state the arrangement for accommodation during your studies
  7. A valid passport and copies of your previous visas if any
  8. Medical insurance can cost around 30,000 Euros yearly
  9. An official Letter of Acceptance/Enrolment from the University in France
  10. Air flight reservation/ticket with the date of departure
  11. If applicable, proof of civil status

Admission Requirements For Netherlands

There are certain documents that you need to provide if you want to get admission o the universities in the Netherlands: 

  • Motivation Letter,
  • Mark sheets of Class 10, 12, and the bachelor’s degree (if applicable),
  • TOEFL results (at least 550 for paper-based or 213 for internet-based) or IELTS (minimum score of 6),
  • GMAT (minimum 550) or GRE (minimum 310 to 330) score,
  • Proof of funds,
  • The student must score a minimum of 75% in class 12, 
  • Results of Dutch language test Staatsexamen NT2 only for enrolment for programs in Dutch,
  • Two letters of recommendation (LOR) from the employer/manager (if you have work experience),
  • Portfolio (in case of students applying for art and design courses or architecture programs),
  • Others (Certificates/achievements at the state and national level and extracurricular activities),
  • Resume,
  • A copy of your passport, and
  • Health insurance.

Which Country is Better?

The above comparison shows that the admission process in Netherlands is comparatively easy than France. Hence, Netherlands will get +2 points in this section of France vs Netherlands. 

Also Read: Part-Time Jobs in France

Tuition Fees

We will find which country has the lowest cost of education in this section. We will compare France and the Netherlands in terms of tuition fees and deduce. The country with the lowest educational cost will be awarded +2 points. 

Tuition Fees in France

The average annual tuition fees according to the websites of French universities are shown in the table given below: 

Study Program Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate €600 – €30,000
Postgraduate€3,770
Doctoral€380 – €30,000

Tuition Fees in the Netherlands

The average yearly tuition fees in the Netherlands according to the websites of the universities in the country are provided in the table given below: 

Study Program Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate €6,000 – €15,000 
Postgraduate€8,000 – €20,000
Doctoral€6,000 – €20,000

Which Country is Better?

The tables above show that the tuition cost in France is lower than the tuition cost in the Netherlands for the most part. Hence, France will get +2 points in this section of France vs Netherlands. 

Also Read: UK vs France: Find out the Best Study Destination for Students

Living Expenses

It is crucial to take into account the cost of living in your destination country before you make up your mind to go there. In this section, we will compare the living expenses in France and the Netherlands. 

Cost of Living in France

The cost of living in France according to Numbeo is shown in the table below: 

Monthly Rent €589.50 – €1,408.42
Average Apartment Price (Price per Square Metre)€4,231.83 – €5,813.26
Average Cost of an Inexpensive Restaurant Meal €15
Average Transportation Cost (Monthly)€61.37 
Average Cost of Utility (Monthly)€229.03

Cost of Living in the Netherlands

The cost of living in the Netherlands according to Numbeo is shown in the table below: 

Monthly Rent €967.26 – €1,817.26
Average Apartment Price (Price per Square Metre)€3,669.49 – €5,044.22
Average Cost of an Inexpensive Restaurant Meal €15
Average Transportation Cost (Monthly)€80.95
Average Cost of Utility (Monthly)€277.51

Which Country is Better?

The tables above show that the overall cost of living in France is lower than in the Netherlands. Hence, we will grant +2 points to France in this section of France vs Netherlands. 

Also Read: Bonjour! Learn the 10 Best Ways to Say Hello in French!

Work Permit and PR

Students often pursue education in a foreign country with the goal of finding a job and eventually obtaining permanent residency. Let’s understand the easiness of obtaining a work permit or permanent residency in France and the Netherlands. 

Work Permit in France

Have a glance at the process of receiving a work permit in France:

Eligibility Criteria for a Work Permit in France:

The candidates are required to fulfil the eligibility criteria listed below to become eligible for a France Work Visa. 

  • Having a valid passport is mandatory. 
  • The applicants must have been offered a job in France.
  • One is required to possess all the mandatory documents that are written in the application form. 
  • The applicants can only work within the scope of work time specified in their respective work permits and cannot surpass the specified time. 
  • One will also be required to submit the documents mentioned below: 
  1. A duly filled France visa application form,
  2. CV of the employee,
  3. Copies of all education qualifications,
  4. A valid passport with expiry at least 3 months beyond the intended duration of stay,
  5. Company’s appointment letter,
  6. A photocopy of the first and last page of the passport,
  7. Employer’s reference letter, 
  8. Recent colour photographs,
  9. Past employment testimonials, and 
  10. A detailed description of the type of work to be performed by the applicant in France

Steps to Apply for France Work Permit

Follow the steps mentioned below in order to apply for a France work permit: 

1st Step:  You have to first figure out the type of permit you are applying for, in accordance with the job role and duration of employment. 

2nd Step: Then, finish the application form for the work permit. 

3rd Step: Gather all the documentation that is mandatory for the France work permit.

4th Step: After this, schedule an appointment to provide the Biometrics and required documents at VAC (Visa Application Centre).

5th Step: Then, you have to wait for the embassy’s or consulate’s decision. 

It takes usually around 5 to 20 working days for the work visa to process once you have submitted the documents to the French Embassy/Consulate.

PR in France 

If you desire to live in France for an extended duration, or even permanently, you can be eligible for a France permanent residence permit or French citizenship after five years. This time period can be shortened in certain situations like marriage to or becoming a parent of a French national. 

Work Permit in the Netherlands

The work permit in the Netherlands is granted as follows: 

Eligibility Criteria for a Work Permit in the Netherlands:

  • The applicant should have a valid employment contract with a Dutch employer.
  • The employer of the applicant needs to show that the post could not be filled by a Dutch or other  EU/EEA national.
  • In case the applicants are above the age of 23, they have to earn at least the minimum wage. 

Apply for a Work Permit in the Netherlands:

You need to apply for a visa in person at the Dutch mission, embassy, or consulate in the country of your residence. You can reach out to a Dutch mission in another nation if this is not possible. It typically takes about 2 weeks to 90 days for the Netherlands’ work permit to process. 

PR in the Netherlands

Those non-EEA residents are able to apply for permanent residency who have stayed in the Netherlands for over a period of 5 years. 

Which Country is Better?

The above comparison shows that receiving a work permit and permanent residency in the Netherlands is easier than in France. Hence, the Netherlands will receive a score of +2 points in this round of France vs Netherlands. 

Also Read: Study in France for Indian Students 2023

Average Salaries: France vs Netherlands

The average salary of a graduate in France is €39,800 per year as per WeAreDevelopers, while it is €48,058 a year after postgraduation as noted by Glassdoor. The average wage for a graduate in the Netherlands is €46,665 per year, as per WeAreDevelopers. But after postgraduation, the average annual salary is €56,870 in this country according to Glassdoor. 

Which Country is Better?

The above comparison demonstrates that the average salary in the Netherlands is more than the average salary in France. As a result, the Netherlands will be awarded +2 points in this round of France vs Netherlands. 

Also Read: Best Countries to Study Abroad

Other Major Elements

Let’s understand some of the other major considerations to keep in mind when deciding where to pursue education. These are the significant elements you should consider:

Climate

France experiences wet winters and dry summers. On the other hand, the Netherlands have a  mild maritime climate. The country experiences warm winters and chilly summers. The Netherlands doesn’t experience any dry seasons, and witnesses precipitation throughout the year. 

Safety

Crimes such as narcotics and murder are extremely rare in both France and the Netherlands. Both countries are known for being very safe for international students. So, safety is the last thing that you should worry about when you are studying in any of these countries. 

Culture for International Students

French people are known for being very friendly and welcoming to overseas students. Coming to the Netherlands, the country is famous for being open to international students. Its culture is very diverse and its residents are known to be very kind. 

Also Read: Part-Time Job Opportunities In Netherlands

Conclusion

After comparing the total scores of France and the Netherlands, we discover that both France and Netherlands have scored equally. Hence, in this competition, no country has won. 

However, please note that both countries are amazing study-abroad destinations, offering world-class education and employment opportunities. Before you choose the country for pursuing education, make sure that you assess its educational facilities and the financial aid available for the program of your choice. Doing so will allow you to make a better-informed decision. With that being said, both France and the Netherlands are excellent study-broad destinations. 

Also Read: PhD in the Netherlands

FAQs

Ques 1. Is France a good destination for international students?

Ans. France has become one of the best destinations for international students who wish to pursue higher education. It is home to some of the most prominent universities in the world. 

Ques 2. How many Indians stay in France?

Ans. There are about 65,000 who are staying in France. 

Ques 3. Is Netherlands cheap to study?

Ans. The cost of studying in the Netherlands is relatively low in comparison to other popular countries. However, the cost of studying in France is lower than in the Netherlands. 

So, this was all about France vs Netherlands. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad

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