A little about me Hello everyone! My name is Lucia, I am 21 years old and I come from Slovakia. Currently I am studying International Business at HZ University of Applied Sciences. In this blog I am going to tell you why I chose to study in the Netherlands, what advantages studying at University of Applied Sciences bring and what does the life in the Netherlands look like.
Why the Netherlands? In Slovakia, I have studied at a Bilingual Business Academy and most of my subjects were in English. That was one of the main reasons why I decided to study abroad. The most important thing for me when choosing a university was the opportunity to get my hands on the practical side of business since I already had a fairly good theoretical background from my high school. Considering the fact that the universities in the Netherlands are famous for its great combination of theory and practice, my road led there.
What it’s like to study at a University of Applied Sciences?
If I had to choose again, I would make the same choice. Why? It’s simple. The education in the Netherlands gives me many opportunities to use my knowledge during different projects. From the first moment I started studying at HZ, we were working on real-life projects. I had a chance to meet and work with many people from different companies and to make friends from different countries. Right now, I am running a student company with 6 other classmates and it is a whole new experience which I will certainly carry on with me forever. Next year, I will go on an internship and minor which means I will spend the whole year outside HZ. Since I study Spanish my next steps will lead to Murcia to learn the language. In the fourth year, there is another internship waiting for me. Although the bachelor program at HZ is 4 years long, I will actually spend just 2 and a half years at HZ, the rest of the time I will be away on my minor and internships. It is amazing that after 4 years of studying I will already have one and a half year of working experience.
What about exams?
In the Netherlands the school year is divided into 2 semesters. Each semester has 2 blocks. Of course, it’s not just about working on projects. You need to have a bit of a theoretical background to be able to create a project and that’s why after each block there are exam periods. You should study a little each week if you don’t want to spend your nights before exams learning the theory that you were supposed to study weekly. By having these blocks, time can pass very quickly, trust me. The advantage of this is, that you never get bored because you have new subjects every 3 months and the materials to learn are spread over the time period.
What it’s like to live in the Netherlands?
For me as a mountain lover, it was a bit hard to get used to living in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, living by the beach is also great and all the sunsets that I have seen made up a bit for the mountains that I can’t hike here. However, living by the sea is great only until the wind starts to blow. The weather in the Netherlands can change very fast so be prepared for that and don’t trust the weather forecast, like never. Your bike will become your best friend. I mean, of course, you can walk but driving a bike is much faster and there are biking lanes literally everywhere. The Netherlands is a very multicultural country and a lot of people speak English. However, you might encounter few problems when dealing with the Dutch governmental agencies, not every customer service employee can speak English. Not to forget that all the documents that you will receive from them will be in Dutch. But don’t worry! That’s why we established Simpler to help you. We are here to make your lives in the Netherlands easier whether you are already here or just preparing to come.
I would certainly encourage everyone to study in the Netherlands since the education here has a lot to offer and it will prepare you for your professional career in the future. So, what are you waiting for?