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Rotterdam is a city in the Netherlands, situated on a large delta formed by the confluence of several major European rivers as they flow into the North Sea. There is one large university in Rotterdam, as well as a number of smaller higher education institutions.
The Netherlands’s second largest population centre and one of the world’s busiest ports, Rotterdam is an important European city.
As its name suggests, Rotterdam’s origins do in fact lie in a settlement associated with a historic dam, controlling water flow in the delta area. It soon became an important trading hub and shipping centre and continues to be linked up with a substantial road and rail network, making it an important gateway into the European mainland.
Though it lacks the picturesque reputation of Dutch cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam has a vibrant nightlife and was a European Capital of Culture in 2011. Postgraduate students in the city have access to a wide range of entertainment venues as well as extensive modern shopping areas.
Famous landmarks in Rotterdam include historic buildings associated with its port district, as well as many impressive high-rise structures built during the 20th century (including some of the tallest buildings in the Netherlands). The Markthal is one of Rotterdam’s unique landmarks, a cavernous horseshoe-shaped market hall in the centre of the city. Rotterdam’s exceptional transport links also make it very accessible for international students and an ideal base from which to travel to other parts of Europe. Amsterdam is under an hour away by train, while Brussels is only an hour and a half away.
The principal university in Rotterdam is Erasmus University Rotterdam, named after the famous humanist philosopher and local resident, Desiderius Erasmus. It was founded in 1913 and is usually ranked as a world top 100 institution. Rotterdam is also home to a number of smaller higher education institutions, including three Universities of Applied Sciences, offering vocational and professional postgraduate programmes.
Rotterdam has a thriving, innovative economy that benefits from its proximity to the busiest port in Europe. Major companies based in the city include Unilever, Shell and Pfizer.
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