Students of the bachelor's programme International Business Administration have the chance to go for a study programme abroad in the third year. See for more information the studying in the third year page.
Many of our students choose to study abroad or do case studies and research in an international company. On this page some of them will tell you their experiences.
Study abroad experience at the BINUS in Jakarta, Indonesia
Written by: Annique de Greef
Jakarta is a very busy city with traffic 24 hours a day! It is very different from the Netherlands and as well as from the other Asian cities I have seen during my travels before I came here. The street food is delicious for dinner, though I cannot get used to rice for breakfast.
There is an enormous gap between the upper-income and lower-income people. On the one hand you see villa's, but in the same street are as well little 'houses' of wood and corrugated irons. Besides, the people here just don't care for the environment, every moment you see people throwing their trash on the streets and in the rivers.
In general the people are very friendly and helpful, though their English is not really good (except for at the university). Moreover, they are often really interested in me and I am often asked if they could take a picture with me ('the white girl with blond hair').
The courses I follow at the university are interesting with much project work, though so far the level I think is a bit easier than at the UT. However, the exams have of course yet to come.
In the weekends I sometimes make trips to other places in Indonesia. For example next weekend I will climb the Rinjani mountain on Lombok! Even though it is about 30 degrees here, I bought gloves and ear warmers for this trip as it is quite cold on the way to the summit.”
STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE AT THE UNIVERSIDAD POLITÉCNICA DE VALENCIA, spain
Written by: Rasha Dierckx
While writing this short experience about my Erasmus Exchange, I am already halfway of my exchange abroad. It means that time is flying and that I should enjoy every moment that will cross my path. I am writing this story in my room in the center of Valencia in Spain, while it is still 20 degrees and too hot to wear a winter coat.
Valencia is a city in the east of Spain, located next to the Mediterranean Sea and very well connected to other big cities and islands in Spain. Buses and trains run many times a day, and Ryan Air even has a basis in Valencia, which makes travelling around quite attractive. Possibilities to travel around are extensively available, since there are a lot of holidays, a few hours of lectures per week and mostly these lectures are not obligatory. I could choose between Spanish and English courses, and I mixed them (2 Spanish, 2 English). The English courses are easy, but the Spanish ones are more challenging. The university also provides Spanish courses, of which the only problem is that more than 40 students attend the same class. This makes it hard to practice! However the university is beautiful, since it is a very big campus and you will find many restaurants, bars (you can drink during lunch break!), hairdresser, sport facilities, etc.
Being on Erasmus means that you are moving to a new place on your own and creating new social contacts therefore is super easy. In my first lectures I have met my new friends who I meet several times a week. A lot of activities are organized by different organizations (Language exchange, beer pong, parties at clubs, tapas tours, travel tours, etc.). The only pity is that it is hard to find friends from Spain. Most of the Spanish students do not like Erasmus students, since they think we don’t speak Spanish, we only drink beer and we don’t study. Although many students think like that, there are some who like to practice their English and that is the reason I made some Spanish friends and we normally have lunch together to practice Spanish and English, which is very interesting!
I know this story sounds very positive, but you should realize that it is not always like that. I am already waiting 2 months to receive my student card, I am sometimes annoyed by the “manaña – tomorrow”-mentality, and I totally miss the Christmas feeling (no hot chocolate, no cold weather)… But still, this exchange is a once in a lifetime experience and I didn’t want to miss it!
STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE AT THE university of Strathclyde, Scotland (UK)
Written by: Aline Lindenblatt
Glasgow is quite a big city and completely different than the rest of Scotland. You find the nicest landscapes, islands and villages in Scotland; however Glasgow is the biggest city in the country with many opportunities for leisure activities, shopping, cultural sightseeing and clubbing. What I like about the city is that it combines old buildings like the University of Glasgow and modern architecture mostly around the river Clyde.
At the very first day I came to Glasgow, I was surprised about the kindness and openness of all the people. Whether they are cab drivers, supermarket cashiers or mentors at my university- everybody asked about my well-being, wanted to help me out or just tried to do small talk. Although I was afraid (and still am a little bit) about the Scottish accent of the Glaswegians, I began to adapt to it and even learned a few typical Scottish words.
The University of Strathclyde and my accommodation on the campus are located 5 minutes away from the city centre and I could walk nearly everywhere. Although Scotland is popular for the rain, I have to admit that I had many sunny and also warm days (considering it was September to January) and I had many opportunities to see the whole country and even some parts of England and Ireland.
I would totally recommend coming to Scotland and I will definitely come back again.
STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE AT THE essca school of management, angers, France
Written by: Svenja Johannsen
I have spent my semester abroad in France, to be more specific in the small city of Angers, only 1.5 hours away from Paris (direct TGV connection). The university has been very different from the UT, as ESSCA (École Supérieure des Sciences Commcerciales d'Angers) is considered a private university in France and therefore has some differences from the public universities.
I have taken a French language course (3 different levels were offered), Mythes et Fondements 1 and 2 (in French), Intercultural Dynamics, Contemporary European Politics and International HRM & CSR. The workload was much less than at the UT, so enough time to enjoy my stay here and travel a lot through France ;-)
Housing was easy to find, as ESSCA offered assistance in that in advance, all offered rooms are completely furnished and in the middle of the city (I lived in Residence de la Maine, 10 minutes walking distance to the city center). I chose a house with 4 students, and was in the end living with 3 different nationalities, which I enjoyed very much. Although the price of housing might seem high at the beginning, it actually is not, as you will be eligible to receive French housing subsidy (CAF). A welcome team and the international office helps you with the application for it, and as well the welcome team picked me up when I arrived, helped to open a bank account, get a mobile phone contract, etc., which was a great aid in the beginning.
Getting in contact with French students was difficult, but I met great friends in the group of international students from all over the world. However, if you want to study in France, it definitely helps a lot if you have a basic knowledge of French! ;-)
Overall I enjoyed my time here, got to travel quite a lot, met many students from all over the world and definitely improved my French language skills significantly.
STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE AT LINNAEUS UNIVERSITY, VÄXJÖ, SWEDEN
Written by: Hazar Turkmen
After all the excitement about my Erasmus exchange programme in Sweden, I found myself in a little town called Växjö where I had to spend the next 5 months of my life. This small town brought me great memories, not particularly the city but the international students and the campus life are the biggest contributors that made this experience unforgettable and fantastic. The diversity of students is really high. I have met people from almost 20 different countries! Most of them are also part of the Erasmus exchange program, just like me, meaning that the majority of these students have common interest in making friends, exploring the environment, making parties and participating in many activities. Shortly put, there is no single day where you have nothing to do. On the other hand, I did not feel comfortable with the culture in Sweden. People are very distant and are somewhat afraid to talk to you. I still do not understand if I should regard this as Swedes being shy or just unfriendly.
There is also a clear division between international students and Swedish students. This was not only the case in Växjö, as I found out from other international students that were studying elsewhere in Sweden, that they were having the same problem. It is rather hard to find Swedish friends or get into their network, because they show little or no interest in international students and are only focused on themselves. I could not find any explanation for this behaviour and I just attributed Swedes as being cold, like their country.
The University also surprised me at some point. The level of service is quite bad. There is too much bureaucracy and no one really knows what to do, so they just keep referring you to someone else, where at some point there is a dead-end and no one can help you. I was not used to this, because in my country there is a solution for everything and people are prepared to put extra effort in solving problems.
If you come to Sweden, don’t hesitate in bringing a little extra cash, because you practically have to pay for everything, even as a student. In order to party and participate in activities you have to become member of all kinds of different student organizations, which will not be for free! The general price level of the country is also much higher than in the Netherlands. Housing companies in Sweden offer terrible terms, exploiting their position on the market because there is a high demand for housing and little supply.
Apart from these difficulties that I encountered, I still enjoyed my time in Sweden. I have visited 4 different countries (Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia) and their capital cities. I did a road trip with friends across Sweden to Stockholm. I participated in a trip to Lapland, above the arctic circle, and I have seen the Northern Lights, Reindeers, the ‘real’ Santa Claus and much more interesting things!
I was present on a cruise(party) ship with 2500 International students and I have witnessed the most crazy stuff.
Sweden did offer me a very International experience, thanks to the great mobility between the Nordic countries. Of course this experience wouldn’t have been so great without all the wonderful people that I have met during my stay in Växjö. I hope to see them again sometime in the near future, somewhere in the world.
STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE AT UNIVERSIdAd AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA, SPAIN
Written by: Dyonne Bolks
I decided after viewing the list of possible countries to visit with the Erasmus partnership that I would really like to study in Spain. Barcelona was my first choice and I am really happy I got selected to study there. So far, after more than two months, I still do not regret this decision. Barcelona is really an amazing city to live in. The housing prices aren’t even that high right now after the collapse of the housing market in Spain. The rent for a normal room is comparable to the rent of rooms in Enschede if you search well (200-400 euro).
The university offers several business administration courses in English, because there is a business administration studies in English at the UAB. I am taking one course in Spanish to get my language class accredited. The problem was to find an appropriate course, because a lot of courses in Barcelona are taught in Catalan instead of Spanish, which is an entirely different language. Catalan is about 60-70% of the courses, but teachers are allowed to decide their language, so you are never sure if the course you selected is really taught in Spanish.
When I arrived in Spain I did not speak Spanish yet, and now I am more or less between the beginner and intermediate level. I really recommend you to learn Spanish while or before you travel to Barcelona. People here speak some English, but not enough in order to easily get around all the time. So learn at least a few basics as I did before travelling. Learning Catalan is not really necessary as most Catalans speak Spanish as well.
Making new friends in Barcelona is really easy. There are 8 universities in the city which all receive a large number of international students. So you are definitely not alone here. There are a lot of offers for international students in bars and restaurants. I met my closest friends through the Erasmus meetings they organize here at the beginning of the semester. We met, decided to go out the same night and never stopped getting together. And that is how most people meet. Everyone is searching for new friends.
STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE AT TEC DE MONTERREY, QUERÉTARO, MEXICO
Written by: Carolin Mehrtens
It’s July 28th, 2012, and I am leaving Germany and the Netherlands behind for my study abroad in Mexico. I have almost 32 hours and 10.000 km of traveling lying ahead of me.
The whole way to Mexico was really exhausting, and I was glad that I wasn’t alone, because I traveled together with two other girls and one guy from the UT.
When we arrived at the bus station of Querétaro, we took two cabs which were supposed to bring us to the center where our hotel, where we were planning to stay for the first days, was located. At that time one of the girls and I experienced our first adventure in Mexico because our taxi driver brought us to the wrong address. Suddenly we were in a very unsafe looking area, right next to us some men were in a fight and there was a police car and an ambulance next to them.
We were standing in front of a really run-down hostel which had the same name as our hotel we booked, so we went in for the check-in but quickly recognized that this was definitely not the one we booked. Fortunately, our friends from the UT were already searching for us and found us. So we grabbed our bags and left this unsettling place. After 15 minutes walking, we finally arrived at the right hotel. After 32 hours with more or less no sleep this was enough for the first day. The next days we went exploring downtown and met with some of the other internationals.
From 1st August until 3rd August we had the orientation days at the Tec where we got our student cards, information about housing possibilities (for the people not living with a host-family), information about living in Querétaro, registered for our courses, got a guided tour around the campus, etc. The experience was already really exciting because everything was new, and I already felt quite comfortable in my new environment.
August, 2nd I met my host-family for the first time. I was nervous because I knew that my host-mom cannot speak English, and at that time, I couldn’t speak hardly any Spanish. But she turned out to be an open and friendly person who welcomed me warmly. The first days at my new home, we sat at the table, both of us with a dictionary, trying to build up a conversation. However, after my first classes of Spanish I ambitiously started to try speaking Spanish with her which was difficult in the beginning, though nowadays I can speak Spanish with her almost fluently.
My life in this family was always pleasant, we built up a good relationship, and they were always ambitious to teach me their culture and about their country.
The Tec organized a lot of excursions especially in the beginning of the semester. It was cool because all the internationals were together, having adventures and parties. We got to see a lot of special and wonderful places. In addition to these excursions, my friends and I also did some on our own. It is really comfortable to travel by bus and still possible to pay for being a student. In Mexico there is so much to see and to visit that it is difficult to choose where you want to go next. Therefore, it is definitely not becoming boring around here. One can do something different every day.
During my semester in Mexico I also experienced a lot of Mexican holidays. For example, the Independence Day, day of the dead, day of the revolution, etc. My favourite celebration day is the day of the dead, November 2nd. It lasts for 3 or 4 days and the people are, compared to Europe, really happy these days and celebrate even more than they do on normal days. They adorn the graveyards with special yellow flowers and typical Mexican decorations. They have breakfast at the graveyards of their dead relatives or just go to church and pray. Moreover, every family builds an altar in front of their house to honor their dead relatives. It is important to put pictures of the deceased loved one, lots of food, candles, water and wind (shown by really thin paper waving in the wind) and cloths on the altar to offer the dead people everything they need when they are coming back to earth during these days.
I went to the state of Michoacán to celebrate the days of the dead. It was one of my best experiences here because it is just overwhelming how everything is decorated and how the people are acting during the days of the dead. I went to an island called Tzin Tzun Tzan which looked like a mountain full of candles in the night. There I visited beautiful decorated graveyards and a wonderful church in which I sat for 20 minutes just enjoying that I was there.
Next to the Mexican celebration days I also had the possibility to celebrate a German festival. Here in Querétaro there is a Beer garden, called “Biergarten Eder”. The owner, an Austrian, organized an “Oktoberfest” with German folk music and German food, namely sauerkraut, potatoes, dumplings, pretzels and original German sausages. It was really funny seeing Mexican men in German folklore cloths singing German folk music.
The other weird experience I just had yesterday: I was sitting outside at the campus in the sun with 27°C and suddenly a choir started to sing German Christmas songs. You really have to hear it twice to believe it!
To sum up, I can just say that, for me, Mexico is joy and happiness, flowers and colors, community and cordiality, sun and warmth. All in all: Mexico is the best decision you can make!
STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE AT universidad de les illes balears, palma de mallorca, spain
Written by: Laura Klaver
Studying abroad at the University of the Balearic Islands is quite a challenge and differences between the Netherlands and Spain, culture wise, but also at the university become very clear. Mallorca is a beautiful island and Palma is a great place to stay in for 6 months, but at university you have to have a proactive attitude to make sure you get all the information you need. We don’t have an Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and the coordination of the international students isn’t always flawless. Therefore you have to stay in touch with your study coordinator, International Office and your teachers to make sure they don’t forget you.
Furthermore the level of education is quite low and the way of educating is different from what we are used to at the UT. But that doesn’t mean that studying in Mallorca is not worth it. It is a beautiful island, the landscapes and beaches are gorgeous, the residents are extremely nice and it’s perfect to study Castellano (Spanish) at this Catalan speaking island because the residents master both languages.
Finding a room is easy and there is a group of coordinators (former Erasmus students) that is willing to help you with stuff as housing, getting your bus card and residency card etc. This group also organizes parties, cultural trips and activities as paintballing and barbecues. Mallorca appears to be famous for its tourism school, so it attracts lots of students from all over the world.
I’m having a great time over here and I recommend an international experience to anyone to experience new cultures, make new friends and to develop yourself. What you learn here isn’t something you can learn from books or when you stay in your home country, an international experience gives a different perspective on life.
STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE AT linnaeus university, Växjö, Sweden
Written by: Katharina Wittenberg
I spend my semester abroad in Växjö (vɛkɧø…yes it is as difficult to pronounce as it looks). I lived in a student house in the city called Vallgatan. It was a dorm room, sharing a kitchen and living room with 15 other international students. This sounds much at first but was awesome. Since most of the students came alone we quickly grew together to some kind of big family. Växjö is the city of lakes, so directly in front of our house, and along the way to the university are lakes located in which (when it is warm enough or if you don’t mind freezing) it is possible to swim and “touch the discoball” (standing in the middle of one of them). After a 15 minute bike ride (or bus) you are at the university offering a lot of facilities like a big gym, restaurants, a library, two clubs etc. The buildings are all really new and modern.
Getting in contact with Swedish students can be a small challenge, since you live and mostly interact with the international group of students. BUT, if you are not afraid to make an effort talking to them for example when visiting the club Sivans for one of their legendary Wednesday or Saturday nights they are really fun to be around and always up for a crazy party. (Though clubs close at 1am on weekdays/ 2am on weekends; an after party is usually not hard to find!)
The Swedish system is different than the Dutch one, it is only one course at a time for a few weeks (usually 4 to 5) followed by an exam or paper. My courses were a lot of work but there was always enough time to socialize and travel as well. The lecturers were mostly good and interesting to listen to, which of course always depends on the course choice.