Utrecht University

Utrecht University
with accommodation for their students since 2014

Get to know this university
its surroundings and accommodation

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  • Founded in 1636

  • 30,000 students

  • 1,500 international students

  • 3,000 staff members

  • Offers international degrees

  • Has partnered with Housing Anywhere since August 2014

  • University Ranking: 69

General Information

Campus facilities

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University offers students an innovative, high-caliber learning system, making it one of Europe’s most well-known and respected research universities.

Locations: Utrecht University has school buildings spaced across the entire city. However, they are centered around three major locations in the area: the International Campus Utrecht (ICU), Utrecht Science Park ( De Uithof) and Utrecht City Center.

ICU is just 12 minutes from the city center on bicycle, just before arriving at de Uithof. It offers a few student housing buildings, as well as the school of Economics.

The Utrecht Science Park is located just 20 minutes to the east from the city center on bicycle. It offers a large, modern campus with plenty of facilities, including buildings for faculty and student housing for more than 25,000. The sports center, the Olympos, is also located here, along with cafes, shopping, the hospital and much more. There is a strong, vibrant feel in this area, with many students of all nationalities and student associations.

Lastly, the historic city center hosts many of the university’s buildings, including the faculties of Law, Humanities, Governance and Economics. Everything is in close proximity here, mostly within a three-minute walk. Expect restaurants, shopping and diverse activities.

Learn more about the university’s home city in our Utrecht City Guide.

Libraries: The university is proud to boast two separate libraries at two different locations. One is at the city center, with the other at the Uithof. They both offer wonderful facilities to both the students and the staff, including a large number of volumes, study space and computers.

The Uithof location opened in 2004, with seven floors and an inspiring, modern design. It was even nominated as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world by the CNN.

The city center location, called the UB, which is Universiteitsbibliotheek Binnenstad in Dutch, is housed within the former palace of Lodewijk Napoleon. This library was relocated in 1930 to its current home from Janserk, due to a lack of space. It now offers a bicycle parking lot with over 700 spots.

Both libraries are definitely popular places to be. In fact, students often wait for study space during exams for over an hour!

Students will find that there are no bars located on campus. Yet, Utrecht is a young, captivating city, with a large number of bars within a ten-minute walk. You can find many in Dom Square, Neude Square and Janskerkhof Square. They are also scattered along the canals, which means that you can find a place to have a cold drink almost anywhere in the city of Utrecht. Tourist and visitors love Olivier, which is housed in a former church still preserving the architecture, offering a large variety of specialty beers. Plus, students are offered discounts at local bars and cafes, like Hofman and Walden, with their student cards

Supermarkets: If you are planning to cook at home or to bring lunch into the university, there are many supermarkets to choose from, including Jumbo, Albert Heijn, Plus, Lidi’s and Aldi’s. There is also a supermarket that specializes in biological products called Eko Plaza, which has locations in the city center.

Food and Restaurants: There are many different types of restaurants located in Utrecht, truly offering something for anyone’s tastes. Expect to find Indian curry, Spanish tapas, Argentinian meat, Italian pasta, Surinamese cuisine, Asian restaurants, Dutch snacks, great burgers and delicious fries. Be sure to use the FEBO, a wall-bending machine that offers freshly made Dutch snacks like Frikandelen, Kaassouflés, Kroketten and Bitterballen. Also try some Dutch sweets like drops, poffertjes, pannenkoeken, stroopwafels, oliebollen and the ever-popular appeltaart.

Learn more about other dining options, and check out our Utrecht City Guide.


At Utrecht University, expect to find a large number of courses taught in both Dutch and English. They are divided into seven faculties: Humanities, Geosciences, Law, Medicine, Economics and Governance, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Science. Therefore, students find that they offer a wonderful selection for those pursuing Bachelor and Master degrees.

For international students, some courses are even offered regardless of the faculty, with one of the most popular being Dutch Present Day Society. This course is typically offered by the Humanities faculty, but as that it is an exclusive exchange student course, the background of study is irrelevant. Other popular classes sought after by international exchange students include European Law, Marketing, Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship, European History and many more.

International dimension

There are over 30,000 students who attend Utrecht University annually, represented by over 100 countries with 1,500 new international students, 1,200 of which are studying on exchange programmes. They typically choose to follow one of the many programs offered in English or one of the over 200 courses taught in the English language.

In short, you are sure to be surrounded by other international students, working and learning together to develop a vibrant international environment. This is very important for those scholars and scientists at Utrecht University hoping to become part of a global market.

For more information on being an incoming international student in Utrecht, read on in our Utrecht City Guide.

How to get to the university

From Utrecht Centraal station to De Uithof:

When traveling from Utrecht Centraal station, take bus line 12 toward Uithof UMC AZU. Exit at the De Kromme Rijn bus stop (see the map on the left, with the bus stop at "A") and make a right to Platolaan. Travel on this road for five minutes until you see the entrance to the International Campus Utrecht on the left.

From Utrecht Centraal to ICU:

When traveling from the Utrecht Centraal station, take bus line 8 toward Wilhelminapark. Exit at the De Hoogstraat bus stop (see the map on the left, with the bus stop at "A") and go South. Turn left at Prins Hendriklaan. Travel on this road and under the bridge until you see the entrance to the International Campus Utrecht on the right.

From Utrecht Centraal to City Center:

When at the Centraal station, you can find buses and trams with routes to the faculties. However, you can also opt to walk or ride a bike.

If you’d like to learn how to get around the city like a local, read more in our Utrecht City Guide.

University Accommodation

Student neighborhoods

Utrecht has all that you might expect from a true university city, with many lovely neighborhoods offering student housing. However, all students should still begin their search for available housing as soon as possible. While the city centre is a very popular locale amongst the university students, the pricing for rooms is generally more expensive. Some of the surrounding neighborhoods are easily accessible to the city centre, but also offer lower pricing, making them a perfect choice for those trying to stick to a budget.

Check out the best neighborhoods to live on our Utrecht City Guide.

Common housing practices

There’s no wonder that Utrecht is typically known as one of the Netherlands’ greatest cities, which makes studying and living there an unforgettable experience. Let’s take a look at a few useful tips when looking for accommodation.

  • Students should begin their search for housing as soon as possible, as early as two to three months in advance. As that Utrecht is such a popular city, the demand for housing can sometimes be very high.

  • Be sure to contact several advertisers with listings for rooms. Since the demand is so high for student housing in Utrecht, it is always a good idea to have several backups, just in case another student is chosen to rent the room that was your first choice.

  • Check out our website and find your place today!

Student Associations

As that Utrecht is such a popular university, you can expect to find a variety of student associations to choose from. There are student associations related to each study programme and faculty. These associations organize events and activities for all students, but are especially helpful to international students who are hoping to meet new friends and mingle with local students. There are a myriad of events scheduled, including trips, parties, celebrations, career workshops, guest lectures, conferences and much more.

You can look forward to events such as the ECU ’92 from Economics, SGS from Social Sciences, UFSW Alcmaeon from Psychology, URIOS from International Law and more.

However, there are also organizations and associations that do not pertain to a particular field of study. There are Greek fraternities and sororities, as well as organizations for sports, like AEGEE, ESN, SIB and more. There are also associations specifically for international students, such as IAESTE, AIESEC and Unipartners. There are also organizations for career orientation, along with other cultural, religious and spiritual topics.

If you are studying at Utrecht University as an international student, you may be interested in joining one or more of these organizations. This will offer a wonderful opportunity to engage in amusing activities and meet unforgettable new people. Click to check out ESN’s events.

Don’t just take part in only the university’s activities, but be sure to learn more about Utrecht’s city events in our Utrecht City Guide.

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