Hogeschool Utrecht

Utrecht, Netherlands

The exchange agreement

The exchange agreement between the University of Lethbridge and the Hogeschool Utrecht was signed in 1996.

Semester dates

Fall semester
early September – late January (students can arrange to write their exams prior to leaving or after their return home, please discuss with coordiantor)
Orientation: late August
Suggested arrival: late August
Spring semester
early February –  late June
Orientation: late January
Suggested arrival: late January
Summerschool Utrecht
Dates vary dependent on courses selected

A complete academic calendar can be viewed at on the HU website.

The country

The Netherlands is a small monarchy in the Northwest of Europe, between the North Sea, Belgium and Germany, known for much more than cheese, windmills, and tulips. The Netherlands is easy to travel in, many towns are still surrounded by canals and castle walls, and the locals are friendly and speak excellent English. The endlessly flat landscape which inspired the nation's early artists still stretches unbroken to the horizons, and the dykes still occasionally threaten to give way.

Most historic town centers in The Netherlands date back to the Dark Ages. In Amsterdam, Leiden or Utrecht you can see the big 17th century mansions once owned by the commanders of the Dutch fleet and those of the rich merchants who financed the wars with their overseas gains. Apart from the glory days of the 17th century there is much in the Netherlands to attract the present day visitor. Visitors will find a very open, relaxed and international atmosphere.

For more information about The Netherlands see sites such as en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands.

The city

The Hogeschool Utrecht is located in Utrecht, approximately 30 km south of Amsterdam. The Hogeschool Utrecht is one of the larger academic institutions in The Netherlands.

The Hogeschool van Utrecht (now Hogeschool Utrecht) was founded in 1995 through the merging of three other institutions: Hogeschool Utrecht, Hogeschool voor Economie en Management, and Central Netherlands Polytechnic. The merger of these three institutions has created a university with a student population of 25,000.

The university is divided into six separate faculties and offers over 60 different academic programs to its students.

The Hogeschool Utrecht (HU) is also one of the most internationally focused universities in The Netherlands with a well-developed international network for students and staff mobility. To be accessible to foreign students, the university offers programs in English in each of its faculties.

For further information, visit the Hogeschool Utrecht’s homepage or their international page in English.


The Hogeschool Utrecht academic calendar is based on a quarter system, meaning each semester will contain 2 quarters. While most courses will run for 1 quarter only, others will run the duration of two quarters (or the entire semester). We require U of L students to study over the full semester period (2 quarters).

University of Lethbridge exchange students studying at the Utrecht Business School, HU choose their courses mainly from the International Business and Management Studies (IBMS) and International Business and Languages (IBL) programs, as courses from these two programs are taught in English. Students must select one area of study and will be restricted to the courses offered within that program, so be sure to consult with your Academic Advisor as to whether or not those courses offered in the particular program will meet your U of L program requirements. Students can select Communication and Journalism, Economics and Management, or Natural Science and Technology.

There are two mandatory courses for all exchange students attending HU: Dutch Language and Culture, and Intercultural Management for Visiting Students. INTOPIA, a computer-based management simulation game is very practical and hands-on course, which comes highly recommended. This course runs over two blocks.

As the European university academic structure varies greatly from the North American system, courses completed at a European exchange partner will not be transferred back to the U of L on a course-for-course basis. Rather, exchange course transfer is based on the number of ECTS (European Transfer Credit System) credits earned by the student while in Utrecht.


Utrecht is a city of higher education, and students make up a considerable part of its population. This has a very positive effect on the atmosphere in the city, but it also means that the demand for student housing usually exceeds the supply, and finding a place to stay in Utrecht can be a real challenge. Hogeschool Utrecht wants to assist its international students as much as possible in finding suitable temporary accommodation.

The Netherlands have the highest density of inhabitants per km2 in Europe. In big cities like Utrecht it is hard to find accommodation. Student accommodation in Utrecht is usually situated at students’ houses or houses with a landlord and is located in Utrecht or in one of its suburbs. Be aware of the fact that most students in Utrecht live together with more students in a student’s house. Most likely, you will have your own room with at least a bed, a desk and a cupboard. Usually you need to share a bathroom and kitchen with more persons.

Student accommodation usually consists of a single or shared room in a house or flat, where kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared with the other occupants. A limited number of independent accommodation is available (with its own kitchen and bathroom facilities). All accommodation is situated within travelling distance from the various educational institutions: on the University campus the Uithof, in the city of Utrecht or its suburbs. Rental fees are between € 375 and € 655 per month and include utilities (water, heating, electricity). The accommodation is fully furnished and supplied with cooking utensils and cleaning material. Bed linen can be purchased from the rental office upon arrival.

Hogeschool Utrecht does not own any housing or accommodation. Instead, Hogeschool Utrecht has an agreement with SSH Short Stay Solutions, a local housing corporation that offers temporary furnished housing. They reserve a range of furnished accommodation especially for international students. However, the number of reserved accommodation is limited, and the sooner you apply, the better your chances of finding accommodation. We therefore advise students to apply before the 1st of June (1st semester) and 15th of November (2nd semester).

Short Stay Solutions charges a €175 mediation fee. You must pay this fee in advance to the International Office of Hogeschool Utrecht to process your application.


Utrecht has a convenient public transportation system consisting of buses and trains. An average journey in Utrecht costs 2 strippen (one zone), a bus ride to the Uithof costs 3 strippen (2 zones). Tickets for travel by train must be bought from the ticket office at the Central Station in Utrecht. Most students ride bicycles around the city. Second-hand bicycles are widely available to buy for a small fee. Bikes are your cheapest bet for transportation.

Visa requirements

Students in possession of a valid Canadian Passport going to the Netherlands for an exchange do not require a visa, however, you must apply for a Netherlands residence permit (pdf)and pay a fee of €41. For further details about this visa, contact the Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Vancouver.

For more information: http://international.hu.nl/Study%20Programmes/Exchange%20and%20Non-Degree.aspx

Consulate General of the Netherlands in Vancouver
883-595 Burrard St
Vancouver BC V7X 1C4Phone: 604.684.6448
Fax: 604.684.3549

Email: info@netherlandsconsulatevancouver.ca

Monday to Friday from 09:15–12:15, except on Wednesday when the office will be closed.


Based on comments from our previous exchange students to Utrecht, the costs for the exchange are approximately as follows:

  • Housing: €400–600/month (off-campus flat)
  • Housing registration fee: €175
  • Textbooks: C$150 – 300
  • Food: C$250–300/month
  • Flight: C$1200/
  • Transportation: approx. $50–100/month; cheaper to buy a bike
  • Visa: residence permit €41

Videos and photos

To view an online video clip of a Dutch exchange student as well as the talk about the Utrecht exchange at our February 2005 U of L International Program Info Sessions, see: crdcserve.crdc.uleth.ca/movies/exchange/Nether.mov (MOV, 00:03:09).

Student contacts

"Loved it! Great experience in Europe!"

Dorothee Van Dijk, UofL exchange student to Netherlands

Former and current U of L exchange students to the Hogeschool van Utrecht, as well as our current incoming exchange students from the Netherlands are happy to talk to students interested in the exchange. To request their contact information, please email int.programs@uleth.ca.