University: HAN University of Applied Sciences
Course: Automotive Engineering
I originally decided to study abroad due to the rising tuition fees in the UK and my desire to experience living in another country and integrating in to a foreign society. It was always my intention to study engineering and among other universities which I considered, the HAN was the one which stood out as the best.
It has certainly been an experience deciding to study outside of the UK. It is a different mid set at a European university, (if the HAN can be compared with others of course). The studies take number one priority and the emphasis really is on the fact that we are here to get a degree. This was contrary to my original expectations as for many people in England, the hard work is done at high school and university is a chance to relax, party and do the occasional hour of work. I speak from experience, having visited my friends who study at home. Although the program is full-on and sometimes stressful, the institution is great and there is also good preparation and guidance for a future career which is of course, the reason we are here. It feels like it will certainly be worth it at the end of the four years.
For prospective students, especially coming from the UK (as I cannot speak for any other countries) this is something they must bear in mind. The opportunity to leave university with a top quality degree is there but one has to put the hours in. The language or culture has never been a barrier for me or anyone I have spoken to and it really is a great way to meet people from all over the world, I only have a handful of British friends here in the Netherlands.
Overall it has been a great experience and I would recommend studying abroad to anyone. The choice of university naturally has a huge bearing on your experience and there is an obvious divide between studying in Arnhem and Amsterdam for example so I would strongly recommend visiting the institution first. However, when I step back and look at the bigger picture, think of the friends I have made and the travelling I have done as a result of being here, I believe leaving your home country to study is well worth it.