AD International Hospitality Management

Ad Hospitality Management, Associate’s Degree, Full-time

Do you enjoy an exciting and dynamic environment? Can you keep your cool even under great pressure? Do empathy and a service-minded attitude come naturally to you? If this describes you and you also happen to enjoy working with people from all over the world, you'll find that our Hotel Management School ticks all the boxes!

  • Receive a fully recognised higher education diploma within two years.
  • Practical work experience up to supervisor level at the Notiz Hotel in Leeuwarden, or Restaurant Café Stones in Emmen, the Netherlands.
  • 95% of students in Emmen (NL) would recommend the study.
  • Top rated programme according to the Keuzegids Hbo 2021 and 2020.


What's in store for you

This two-year management course at the Hotel Management School covers hospitality, gastronomy, catering, events, human resources, marketing, sales and finance. It’s an international programme so the language of instruction is English and your fellow students come from all over the world.

You will work on assignments from real companies in each year of the course, often collaborating in small groups and coached by lecturers with relevant practical experience. This method of working means you learn to draw on feedback to adapt your ideas and become more flexible, while also developing your teamwork and leadership skills.

You will also work in our own hotel and/or restaurant. This gives you the chance to not only experience how hospitality works in practice, but also learn how to think strategically at a management level and how to carry out research. The diversity of the programme means you’ll experience everything from lectures in the theory of business management to tasting the most delicious wines in a wine class.

If you’d like to know more about our curriculum, click on Study Overview in the menu on the left. 



  • Associate degree

Study start

  • September


  • Emmen
  • Leeuwarden


  • English

Standard duration

2 years


  • EU students (per year) € 1.084,-
  • NON-EU students (per year) €8,350
View all costs

Application deadlines

EU students: 17 January
non-EU students: 1 November
More information


Why we need hospitality professionals now more than ever? These are challenging but exciting times for all of us, holding many new opportunities for the future. A future, that calls for resourceful professionals who understand the dynamics of the hospitality industry, and dare to think out of the box to find innovative solutions. 

An Associate degree from the International Hospitality Management Programme puts you on the fast track to a career in the global hospitality industry. You can choose from any number of career paths, ranging from a supervisory position at a hotel or restaurant, theme park, conference center or event planning company to any number of roles in corporate services. Your degree will open up a range of career opportunities, whether you decide to stay in the Netherlands after you graduate or choose to work in another part of the world.

Careers open to graduates include:

  • Restaurant Supervisor
  • Sales and Marketing Coordinator at a Hotel
  • Project Coordinator at an Event Agency
  • Event Manager Assistant

Admission requirements

Academic Requirements

To be admitted to one of our 4-year bachelor programmes, you will need to meet the admission requirements as outlined in Dutch Higher Education law. For a 4 -year bachelor programme at NHL Stenden, you need a diploma that is at least equivalent to an NLQF 4/EQF 4 level (Dutch/European Qualifications Framework)* and comparable to the required Dutch diploma.

The Central Student Administration at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences carries out an assessment on every individual application to our 4-year bachelor programmes. It generally recognises the international qualifications listed here**

If the qualification you will obtain or have obtained is not listed as a recognised qualification, you may still be eligible to study at NHL Stenden and should also apply for the programme through Studielink. Your qualifications will be assessed by an Admissions Officer at the Central Student Administration (CSA) department at NHL Stenden once you have submitted your application.

If it is unclear what the equivalent level of your secondary school diploma is within the Dutch education system, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences will have your diploma evaluated by Nuffic, a Dutch organisation specialised in the assessment of international qualifications. For an indication of how your educational system compares to the Dutch system, please visit the Nuffic website.

* The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a tool for understanding and comparing qualifications awarded in different countries and by different education and training systems. Its eight levels are described in terms of learning outcomes: knowledge, skills and competences. The levels of the Dutch Qualification Framework (NLQF) are linked to the levels of the EQF.

** All applications are assessed on an individual basis by the Central Student Administration (CSA) even if your diploma is listed as a recognised qualification. Although this document has been composed carefully by NHL Stenden, rights cannot be derived from this overview.

All non-EU/EEA applicants are required to submit an English proficiency test with their application to show that their English language skills are at a high enough level to succeed in their studies. 

Exceptions can be made for students who have had their preparatory education in a country where English is the only official educational language. 

If you are applying for an associate degree and hold a diploma from a European institution listed here, and English was included as part of the final exam curriculum, then the additional English language test is not required. The same applies to students who have attained General Certificates of Secondary Education (enough O and A/AS levels with the sufficient score), the European Baccalaureate Certificate, International Baccalaureate Diploma, or an IB career-related programme taught fully in English. 

All other applicants need to submit a valid and adequate English language test result with their application. 

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences accepts four kinds of official language tests in accordance with the Code of Conduct International Student in Dutch Higher Education:
• Academic IELTS 6.0 ** (with an advised minimum of 5.0 for each skill) 
• TOEFL 550 ** (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 80 (internet-based). Original test results must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to NHL Stenden. The TOEFL institution code for NHL Stenden is C652. 
• Cambridge ESOL score FCE-C (169, or higher). 
• TOEIC *670 (Listening and Reading) and 290 (Speaking and Writing). 

*We only accept TOEIC® certificates from public programs and not from institutional programs. Public programs are organized in public centers and delivers an official score report which is recognized worldwide.
** IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC certificates more than 2 years old (at the start date of the study), will not be accepted. 

View the comparison of the different scores

Please note: If you do not yet have the necessary level in English, you may enrol in our Preparatory English Language Course.

Additional requirements

You are required to write a motivation letter (300/400 words) based on the following guidelines:

  •  What are the characteristics needed to be a good manager in your chosen field?
  • Why are you interested in a career in management (in your chosen field)?
  • Why should NHL Stenden accept you as a student in your chosen management programme?
  • Please elaborate on how you have researched your choice of study and how you have prepared for studying in the Netherlands.
  • Please include your résumé/Curriculum Vitae.

About the course

The International Hospitality Management course is where you will learn all about hospitality, culinary arts, catering, events, human resources, marketing, sales, and finance. During this two-year course, you will be trained as a specialist in these areas.

At NHL Stenden Hotel Management School, you will get the personal attention you need as you set out to discover your own world views. With Real World Learning, we will help you find your place in the Hospitality branch. You will learn to act in a smart and deliberate way, even when facing setbacks. There will be a lot of opportunities for you to deal with real guests from actual companies, while growing into a strong-willed and resourceful professional. You will be encouraged to take initiative and to work on innovations in Hospitality, together with others. When, where, and with whom you do this, is up to you for the most part. One thing is certain: you will collaborate with people from all over the world.

Studyprogramme Overview


The curriculum is roughly set up as follows: each level has 2 periods of 20 weeks [semesters]. During each period, you will attend theory classes, work on a practical research topic (Design Challenge) and attend practical classes. At the end of each period, you will be graded on your course work.

Semester 1. Basics of Hospitality
a. Foundation of hospitality: Understand and experience the hospitality industry
b. Host of the World: Become a true host
c. Unlock yourself: Gain insight into your own strength and take responsibility

Semester 2. Hospitality the next level
a. The HRM monitor: Deepen your understanding of human resources and recognize talent
b. Market your business: Set up (online) marketing campaigns
c. Cultural Awareness: Work with different cultures

Semester 3. Future of sustainable hospitality
a. Start up your own business: Position your own business
b. Quality Keeper: Monitor the quality of your service
c. Your Future Career: Plan your career

Semester 4. Business Research and development
a. Business Development & Research: Innovate and improve business processes and products
b. Be an advisor: Become a professional partner at the management level


If you decide to continue with the bachelor's degree after the associate degree, you can specialise yourself in different areas of the hospitality industry. Classes at the International Hospitality Management programme cover all facets of management. You will have the option to specialise by taking a number of minors. These are electives in which you focus on a specific subject or expand your knowledge by taking an additional subject. This allows you to truly take charge of your education by ‘customising’ your course.

You can take these minors in the Netherlands or at one of the international campus sites located in Qatar, South Africa, Thailand or Indonesia (we call this the Grand Tour). You may also choose from minors offered by other courses and universities of applied sciences – this is all part of broadening your academic skills.

Some of the minors that you can choose from are:

  • Gastronomy (Netherlands)
  • Food and Beverage Management (Netherlands)
  • Advanced Wine Studies (South Africa)
  • Lodge Management (South Africa)
  • Event Management (All NHL Stenden branches)

Practical learning

International Opportunities

Education concept

Problem-based learning (PBL)

Problem-based learning (PBL) is a style of active learning in which you learn by solving problems, as well as develop your practical abilities, including cultural skills, management skills, and meeting and presentation skills.

Design Based Education

All NHL Stenden programmes are working towards a system of Design Based Education (DBE), which puts co-creation with professionals in the field front and centre. You will be working in small teams of students, teachers, researchers, and industry professionals.