Emma Schoenmakers, Australia

Where are you from?

My name is Emma Schoenmakers. I just turned 18 at the beginning of this (school) year. I was born in Melbourne, Australia and have lived there until I was 11 years old. My parents are both Dutch so I’ve always been able to speak Dutch as well as English. When we moved to The Netherlands, we moved to Delden, which is about 20 minutes by car from the University of Twente. I still had half a year of primary school to do here and then I went to high school for six years in Hengelo and now I’m at this beautiful University.

Why did you choose to study here?

At high school my subject profile was Natuur&Techniek (Nature and Engineering) and Natuur&Gezondheid (Nature and Health) with Economics. So I have a very technical background and this University is also a technical university. “High tech, Human touch” was something that drew my attention.

First, I didn’t know what I wanted to study, there were so many choices! I’ve always wanted to do something with business or economics but I have a technical background, so I was thinking of studying Technische Bedrijfskunde (Industrial Engineering Management) and the University of Twente is one of the few universities that offer this study in The Netherlands. Also, it’s one of the best, which is why I chose the University of Twente in the first place. But that is a Dutch study and I’ve always wanted to do an International study where I could meet many different nationalities; that’s why my final choice was International Business Administration.

IBA is next to that a very broad study, which was another important criteria for me.

Moreover, this university is beautiful. All of the buildings are located in one specific area: the campus. And this university is quite small comparing with the RUG (Groningen) or other universities, but they think big. The students are very creative and are very stimulated, to set up businesses for example.

What is your most exciting experience so far? Why?

These past few weeks have been very different. Even though I still live at home, it’s so different from your high school. We started with the Kick-in, which I recommend to participate in: we made many friends and got to know the city of Enschede and the university. It was so exhausting, but so much fun. Most of the people who attended the kick-in knew each other and found friends even before the year had started.

Then the school year started and it shocked us all. The amount of information and work we had to do was not like we were used to. But that is part of being at a university: to learn new things. After two weeks you know how to schedule your time and how to cope with the amount.  We were also divided into groups of six to do the project: the study of a company. In the second week we already had a company visit with our group to receive information for the project. It’s so exciting that we are already practicing the theory that we have learned.

What is the most interesting thing you have learned so far? Why?

The most interesting thing I’ve learned so far is probably the different types of structures an organization can have and how to have the best structure for your organization to be effective ( to reach the organization’s goals).

But I’ve also learned how to schedule my time, which is important as well. You have much more free time now and your school doesn’t schedule your time for you.

Also during the Kick-in, I have gotten to experience Enschede as something I’ve never experienced before. I’ve known Enschede for practically all my life but now I see it as a different city.

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