HOW DID YOU FIRST LEARN ABOUT THE UT?
I wanted to study in the Netherlands after graduating from secondary school, but at the age of 15 I was too insecure to take that step. So I started a course in Germany and quit after a year, simply because I didn’t like the formal atmosphere and the course’s lack of practical relevance. This apparent failure turned out to be a great experience in the end, as it encouraged me to do what I wanted to do in the first place: study in the Netherlands.
Why I decided to apply to the UT? Actually, it was a friend who told me about the UT. She was a total sports addict and, well, to be honest, I’m more a lazy type of person. However, she got so excited every time she spoke about this university, that back home I decided to find out more about the UT. I really liked the huge campus; my former university was just one big solid block of concrete. I also enjoyed reading up on my study of choice. Finally, it was the UT’s international flair that convinced me to apply. Thus far I’m loving it. It’s like studying at Center Parcs.
HOW HAVE YOUR STUDYING AND LIVING EXPERIENCES BEEN SO FAR?
So far, I’ve learned so much that I’m sometimes impressed of myself. To be honest, I never considered myself as a particularly keen student. But by participating in group assignments or preparing presentations, you learn a lot more than you think you’re learning.
I’m currently living in a Dutch/German shared flat. We often watch movies together, or go bowling. We try to cook together every evening, but of course we all have busy lives, so it’s never a problem if someone opts out. It’s great to end the evening by having some chitchat or by having someone ask you how your day was. It just makes you feel appreciated.
Sometimes in my free time I meet up with friends. We go out, play games or visit the ‘Vestingbar’, a students’ café. I have had so many great evenings on campus. I especially love the fancy-dress theme parties organised by students living in shared flats. The fun really makes up for any difficult patches in your studies.
WHAT FEATURES OF THE UT DO YOU PARTICULARLY LIKE?
I really like the way in which the UT tries to make technology attractive and accessible to everyone. I’ll never forget the lecture held by Adam Savage, one of the Mythbusters, on physics and how it applies to our everyday lives. I was euphoric by the end of it, it really made an impact on me.
WHY WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE UT TO OTHER PEOPLE?
Oh, that’s easy. As I’m studying international business administration, it is a great experience to study abroad in another language and to be surrounded by international cultures. Of course, the UT is not the only university offering these things. What makes the UT unique is its close ties with so many market leaders. For instance, we had lectures by the marketing director of Grolsch beer company.
We worked on the concept of a website and its impact on revenues. I gained so much insight in just one year, that by the end I had a broad and detailed understanding of what economy is all about. I also like the way in which the courses during each quarter are interconnected. It helps you realise why you have to understand a certain topic – and that makes even bare statistics more doable.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS?
Especially if you’re going to do an English-language programme, I would recommend doing a Dutch language course on the side. There is a simple course you can do in the first quarter that is cheap and fun. You get to meet other people outside your programme. And being able to order tea at a café in Dutch all by yourself makes you feel so much more comfortable and satisfied.
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE YOU INVOLVED IN BESIDES STUDYING?
As I’m a fairly lazy girl, sports are not my cup of tea. So I mostly meet up with friends, drink coffee at the theatre café, study in groups at the library or just hang out with other people and play games. I also go shopping in the city and I love the huge market there on Sundays. Sometimes I go there just to watch the hustle and bustle of it all. Oh, and I mustn’t forget the bike rides we sometimes do. The Netherlands is a perfect country for cycling.
CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES REGARDING THE CAMPUS?
I have this thing that during my exam phase, when I study long hours, I love cycling around the campus. You always get to see something, like a late-night football match on a floodlit field. One summer, my friends and I did a treasure hunt on campus, it was so much fun. You get to see parts of the campus you’ve never noticed before. Ah, and of course the cultural celebrations are great. Once a year, there is a food festival, where everyone can come and try out traditional food from different countries for free. At the end, you get to vote on the best food.
WHAT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO DO IN THE FUTURE? WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM?
One day, I hope to work as a procurement officer for a global corporation. That would definitely be my biggest dream. I would also like to be part of the change going on in purchasing. I mean, just look at Amazon – it revolutionised the way in which customers buy books. There is so much unused potential in the market and I’d love to support a company interested in adapting new ways of reaching customers.