Hello everyone, my name is Margarite Schindler and even though the name doesn’t suggest it- I’m born and raised in Bulgaria! Currently I’m a second year IBA student at the University of Twente. In the following, you will read more about my interests and what made me come to the UT.
WHY DID I CHOOSE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION?
After finishing elementary school my interest was predominantly in physics. Therefore I applied in the national gymnasium of natural sciences and mathematics and got accepted. Throughout my 5 years there, the main thing I learned is that physics is not what I was supposed to continue with. I found myself actively participating not so much in the physics classes but rather in the behavioral ones, such as ethics and law. This led to the decision to study Business Administration.
Bulgaria is small, with great past but not so promising future. The educational system that Bulgarian universities offer didn’t suit my needs and wishes and the risk of not being able to find a job and provide for my family scared me. This is why I realized in high school that I should get out of my comfort zone and study abroad. The idea of getting an international degree in a combination with exploring new countries and cultures was something many people wanted to do but not many had the chance to. So, when my family supported me with my decision fully, it was time to start considering the indefinite possibilities universities abroad offer.
HOW DID I END UP IN THE NETHERLANDS?
Finding the right place to study was a long process. I started my search at an international fair which brought students from different universities from all around Europe together in Sofia. At the fair, I could gather a lot of information about what to expect when applying and arriving to the different options. I found out how many great possibilities the Netherlands has to offer.
On top of this, I found that the Netherlands is a country where the nature is preserved and the culture is not being erased from the everyday life. The prices are affordable and way of life is calm and secure. It’s a country where more and more international people come to study and/or work each year. Also, the level of English of an average person is sufficient to be able to communicate without the need of a sufficient command in Dutch.
After seeing how beautiful the country is, it was time to make a decision regarding the university. It is important to choose a university that will fit your needs and would make you feel like home. I did not want to go to a university of applied science (HBO) as those don’t have Master’s degree and in order to obtain one, a premaster is needed.
WHY DID I CHOOSE THE UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE?
A selling point of the UT was the Twente Educational Model. It’s an educational model that is made and being used only by UT. It spreads the exams throughout the whole 10 weeks of a module and allows students to study for a couple of small exams instead of one large on at the end of it, which then brings positive attitude towards regular studying. As a person that was only studying at the last 2 days for my high school exams, this taught me how to manage my time efficiently and gave me the opportunity to be always on track with what’s happening in my study.
The campus was also a reason. It is not just the only real campus in the country, but is incredibly beautiful as well. It feels like a forest and is like a small city. Only here you can cycle past trees, gardens, cows, ducks while at the same time have a barber, dentist, supermarkets and just in general everything a person might need.
LEAVING THE KNOWN, DIVING INTO THE UNKNOWN
I know whoever is reading this right now probably thinks going so far away from home is something that you don’t have the strength to do, but trust me, it isn’t. If there was something I would have liked to know when I was still researching and making my decision, it would have been that it won’t be easy. Might sound obvious, but when leaving, your family is trying to be so supportive they sometimes fail to show you what the real world looks like. Even though all the information about the study itself and the university were on point as well as the deadlines, no one really prepared me for that day when I first sat on my bed in my new house 2000 km away from home and I thought to myself “What now?”. However, the first day ends and so does the second, then the tenth and at some point, faster than imagined, you have built a new family which is just as strong as the one waiting for you in Bulgaria.
I hope this testimonial gave you an insight on why I made the decision to move here and leave everything known and why you might want to consider doing the same!