After finishing my pre-university education (vwo), I wanted to study something technical.
I chose the Bachelor’s in Embedded Systems Engineering at a Dutch university of applied sciences (hbo in Dutch). I finished my Bachelor’s well ahead of schedule and started my pre-master at the University of Twente (UT), while still working on my minor. I chose UT because of the good vibes I had experienced during the Open Day.
My hbo-years had always been smooth sailing. That was one of the reasons for me to prolong my studies by taking a master’s programme in Embedded Systems, another reason being the fact that I wasn’t too sure yet about my career plans.
The transfer from hbo to university was tougher than I expected, particularly the pre-master, which took a lot of effort on my part – 40 hours a week or even more, especially for mathematics. Fortunately, the transfer from the pre-master to the master’s programme turned out to be a step down in intensity. This is when you really get involved in research, working in groups as well. The great thing about working in groups is how you help each other along, for example by spotting things that others overlook. This way you can achieve results together faster.
I would recommend every hbo-student to do a master's degree. However, if you decide to do so, be prepared to take the pre-master very seriously from the start. If you fall behind at that stage, catching up will be quite hard to do. Calculus A, especially, is a serious obstacle for most. Once you’ve tackled that, things will soon become easier, and you’ll get into the flow that will take you right up to your master’s degree.