Study in the USA
The United States of America offers many study opportunities. If you are currently enrolled in a Dutch or other non-American university, you may consider taking part in an exchange program through your institution.
If you are still a high school student or have already graduated from university, then you must arrange for admissions on your own. You may also consider taking part in an exchange program offered by a private organization or by using the services of a commercial placement organization. Whatever option you choose, basic knowledge of the U.S. system of higher education is necessary. Look at the FAQ in the menu on the left for basic Frequently Asked Quesions about studying in the US.
The Fulbright Center is well prepared to help you along the way, offfering a wide range of services, such as a well stocked documentation center, referral services and professional advice. Basic information is offered for free, advanced services for an affordable price. Click on the menu on the left for further information.
Transfer information for the Dutch to the U.S. education system
A VMBO diploma will grant you entry into a two-year junior or community college, which leads to an Associate's degree and is comparable to the first two years of undergraduate study. A HAVO, VWO, or MBO diploma will grant you entry into a college or university for four years of undergraduate study, leading to a Bachelor's degree.
If you have finished HBO (higher professional education) or university in the Netherlands, you may apply for graduate study in the U.S.. Some American universities require that HBO graduates take a number of undergraduate courses before being admitted to a graduate school. In principle, all disciplines are open to foreign students, except law, medicine, veterinary science and dentistry. You must have an American Bachelor's degree to enter into any of these fields. If you have completed your study in one of these fields in the Netherlands, it is possible to do a residency or to specialize in the US.
Bilateral Exchange Programs with American Universities
Many Dutch universities and 'hogescholen' have bilateral exchange programs with American institutions, which enable juniors and seniors to study for a semester or sometimes a year at an American university. Usually, the exchange students will take undergraduate courses, although it is sometimes possible to study at the graduate level. Taking part in a bilateral exchange program has many advantages. Often it is possible to transfer credit points from the American university to the Dutch university. The application procedure is less complicated, and total costs are also less because you will pay tuition to the Dutch institution instead of to the American institution. Your faculty or International Office at your current institution, can provide you with more information on the opportunities for students.
If the institution where you are currently enrolled does not have any bilateral exchange programs with American universities, you have to arrange for admissions on your own. Generally, you will be enrolled as an undergraduate student and will have to pay full tuition. There is no guarantee that credit points will be recognised by your home institution.
English Language Tests
To gain admission into an American university, almost all institutions require scores from an English language test. Some employers may also want to see these scores in order to get a job or an internship. The results of the test will show the institution or employer how well you can communicate at an academic level or in a working environment. As a student, it will also show you how well you know the language, which can heavily influence your grades and understading in class.
The TOEFL is The TEst of English as a Foreign Language. This is one of the most widely used English language tests in the U.S.
It is recommended to take a practice test to help better prepare for the TOEFL. The Fulbright Center sells The Official Guide to the New TOEFL iBT (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009) for €27,50. It also includes an audio CD ROM. There are also practice tests on websites. See the links below.
The IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. It is accepted by more than 3.000 American institutions. There are two locations where testing is held in the Netherlands: Amsterdam and Utrecht. Click on the links below for testing dates and more information.
Practice tests are highly encouraged. Websites where you can find these are listed below.
- Scott's English Succes Practice Test
- Exam English Practice Tests
- IELTS Test Samples
- IELTS Help Now Practice Tests
Some institutions may also offer the option to take a class at an English Language Center near the campus. Many students study English up to a year before attending university. Be sure to check out the admission requirements for each American institution you are interested in.