Étaín Dobson

University: Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (RUAS)

Course: International Business and Management Studies

Which year you are in: 1st Year

Home Town in UK: Bath, Somerset

1. Why did you choose to study abroad?

As university is all about new experiences I never limited my options to only Universities in the United Kingdom. After attending the Student World Fair in London and hearing about some students amazing experiences and opportunities they offered I decided on coming to the Netherlands. From there it was just the choice of which Dutch university. It is safe to say I am incredibly happy in my choice to come abroad to Rotterdam and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is considering it.

2. How would you rate the assistance of the university before you arrived (the application process, finding accommodation, sorting out financial matters)?

In comparison to the English system, UCAS, Studielink the Dutch Government site was a breeze. The application process is much simpler and deadlines are easier to adhere to both on the application and finance side. Accommodation is more of a struggle but the University does offer some assistance and if you start early it shouldn’t be a problem. RUAS has an office dedicated to aiding international students, namely The Centre of International Affairs.

3. How would you rate the assistance of the university when you arrived (orientation etc.)?

Once you have arrived they guide you both with registration, letting you know what documents you need and take you to the city hall as well as helping with bank accounts.

4. Did you feel prepared when you arrived and/or what surprised you?

They make everything as simple as possible. In this sense, I felt prepared.

The only aspect I wasn’t prepared for was the Dutch culture, they are more blunt in their approach than us Brits, but once you know it, it is easy to adapt and learn to appreciate the extreme honesty. This is the key to studying abroad, being prepared to meet and interact with different cultures so you can appreciate and embrace them. This will lead to you being able to make the most of you experience and learn things you never thought you would. This is the true value that a university abroad offers, a new perspective of the world. The only thing I have regretted not doing, and would recommend to anyone going abroad, is learning some of the native language of the country. They always appreciate someone who tries and it makes it easier to interact as they seem less intimidating. Nevertheless I still have a few more years to pick up the basics even if within Rotterdam about 90% of residents speak English.

5. How would you rate the learning environment (teaching style, studying with other international students, non-native English speaking lecturers)?

The learning environment is very flexible. The teachers provide you with the core aspects of the courses and are willing to offer extra help and assistance if that is what you want or you can be completely independent. The teaching styles varies with each teacher, but they will consult you on their approach at the beginning of the year and allow you to make adjustments. Many of the teachers themselves are international so the environment feels safe for internationals both in class and group work, and rarely do teachers speak in Dutch during class.

About Study In Holland

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