The Netherlands is a country of stunning landscapes: fields of tulips, rows of windmills, and snow-covered canals. Perhaps the country’s beauty is the reason it has produced so many of the world’s most treasured artists.
Rembrandt and Van Gogh are among the most famous, and each has their own dedicated museum in the capital city, Amsterdam. The city is built on rings of concentric canals, and in fact boasts more individual canals than Venice. Yet the Netherlands is probably best known for its liberal social policies. It was the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage and it draws much of its tourism from the legality of some recreational drugs.
Some coffee shops in the Netherlands sell marijuana along with cappuccinos. While Amsterdam is the capital, the Dutch seat of power is actually The Hague, where the country’s parliament is located. The Hague is also the home of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.
The Netherlands is a prime destination for students of engineering, computer science and mathematics due to the Delft University of Technology, one of the world’s top specialist universities. The University of Amsterdam is a notable generalist university in the country’s capital, ranking highly in global comparisons across a broad spectrum of subjects. Many of its degrees can be taken in English, and Dutch people have a reputation for speaking English fluently as a second language.