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Nijmegen is a small city in the south of the Netherlands with a long history stretching back to the Roman era. Located on the Waal river, Nijmegen is a popular student city with two universities: Radboud University Nijmegen and the HAN University of Applied Sciences.
Nijmegen lays claim to the title of the oldest city in the Netherlands, having been originally established by the Batavian tribe in around 15 BCE and then fortified by the Romans as an army camp the following century. Nijmegen was eventually granted city rights by the Romans, becoming a thriving commercial outpost.
In the Middle Ages, Nijmegen was part of Emperor Charlemagne’s Frankish kingdom. The city’s Valkhof park still contains the ruins of a castle constructed on Charlemagne’s orders in the 8th century, which was destroyed first by Vikings and then, in the 18th century, by French revolutionary soldiers.
Masters students in Nijmegen will find the city a vibrant and friendly place, with plenty of cultural events throughout the year. Examples include the Honigcomplex, an organisation based in a former factory building by the river that hosts workshops, concerts and local artisans.
Unusually for a Dutch city, Nijmegen is rather hilly (indeed, it is among the countless places that profess to be built on seven hills). There is an ‘upper city’ (the medieval centre) and a ‘lower city’ (the waterfront area), each with its own distinctive character.
Both universities in the city offer their own accommodation options, while private housing is also available. However, due to its small size and popularity with students, it can be somewhat difficult to find housing in Nijmegen so it’s wise to begin your search as soon as possible.
There are two universities in Nijmegen, which give the city its sizeable student population of just over 54,000. Radboud University Nijmegen is a public research university with many Masters courses offered in English.
The HAN University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen) offers vocational courses, with a selection of English-taught Masters.
Major business sectors in Nijmegen and the surrounding region include food, health and energy, with companies such as Kraft Heinz, Arla and Novartis based in the area.
Nijmegen occupies an important position on the river Waal, which is a busy transport route between Germany’s industrial Ruhr region and the port city of Rotterdam. This makes Nijmegen a key location for cargo ships.
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