Canadian applying to med school in the Netherlands: advice needed


New Member
Apr 23, 2012
  1. Pre-Medical
    Hello everyone -

    Before I delve into my (admittedly very long) post, I'd just like to thank you - yes, you - for taking the time out of your day to open this thread and read through what I have to say. Unfortunately, I don't know of anyone else in my own life who is in the same situation I am in, and thus I don't really have anyone to consult about these things. That's why I just wanted to say, in advance, that I really will appreciate any info. you fellow posters may have to offer.

    Now, to give you a bit of background information:
    I am a Canadian citizen currently studying Neuroscience at university. I have just finished my first year of my bachelor's (undergraduate) degree, and have 3 years remaining in my program. After that point, my goal is to apply to medical school and ultimately fulfill the (cliché alert!) life-long dream of becoming a MD.

    There is, however, one additional complication to that plan: I want, more than anything, for that medical school to be in the Netherlands. In order to make this happen, I know there are a great, great number of obstacles to overcome, but that is why I have come to all of you 3 years in advance to figure out how I should organize/plan this in-between time so that I can make this happen.

    Things that you should probably also know:
    -- I am not yet fluent in Dutch. I understand perfectly well that you have to be 100% fluent to even think of applying, and that is why I have begun working on learning the language already. Languages come fairly easily to me (I'm fluent in English, Serbo/Croatian, French, Russian and am conversational in German), and even though Dutch may not be the "easiest" language to learn, I am not too worried about this specific aspect. Given my will and immense motivation for this (and simply knowing that it is something I have to do), I really think that I have enough time left to learn the language. It'll be hard, of course, but not impossible. When not impossible, it's doable.

    -- Although I am a Canadian citizen, I was born in Europe and also have a passport/citizenship of a EU country. I don't know whether this matters at all because my Bachelor's diploma (the one I am applying with) will still be from Canada/non-EU country, but if this means something - please let me know. I believe I read somewhere that applicants are considered differently based on where they are applying from, and although I can only imagine that means it won't be in my favour, I would still love to know any specifics you might know about this aspect. That is: will I still be considered a non-EU applicant? Will the tuition fee be significantly greater? Is there a far lesser chance of being accepted?

    Finally, just to give you a general idea of what kind of applicant I would be:
    - Academically, I'm a great student; I'm consistently at the top of my class, and I don't foresee that changing in the 3 years to come. I am planning on completing the MCAT exam next summer, just to ensure 100% that all of my academic credentials will be up to par.
    - I have already begun volunteering at a hospital (in the ER), and will continue doing so for the next 3 years. I also volunteer at a seniors' home for those with Alzheimer's; volunteer coach children's soccer camp during the summer; am a student member of the Society for Neuroscience and am a director on the board for my city's AIDS committee. I don't know whether this is the case for a Dutch medical school, but schools in Canada place quite a lot of emphasis on how many extracurricular activities, etc you can list in your application. Those are the ones I have so far, and I will do my best to ensure there are more to come.

    I'm afraid this post is already getting a bit too long to read, so I'll refrain from saying much more until any of you reply! I know I haven't asked too many questions yet, but I just wanted to give you some perspective on my situation/know what your initial advice and comments may be.

    If there's any additional information you would like to know, please don't hesitate to ask. And of course, any and all advice you have to offer (however brutally honest you want to make it), is absolutely more than welcome.

    Again, thank you so much for your time.


    Full Member
    Jul 13, 2011
    1. Non-Student
      To my knowledge:

      1) EU citizenship drops many problems. EU citizenship+EU degree is the best route for a future in EU.
      2) In many EU schools for EU citizens generally the fees are either very low or zero (I think its a Boblogna process thing), so it must be that way for you too. But I dnot know how it is specifically in Dutch schools.
      3) The demand/supply trend makes things harder in Netherlands, they dont get foreign MDs or immigrants, but with EU citizenship+EU degree+a profile like yours, opens the doors in general.
      4) In EU med education system, med schools admit directly from secondary school, which means high school graduation is enough, they dont demand undergrad degree and MCAT. So instead of spending 3 more years for undergrad, you can directly start next year.
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