University: Rotterdam Business School, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences
Course: Master in Finance and Accounting
Which year you are in? 1st year
Home Town in UK: Harrogate
1. Why did you choose to study abroad?
While studying at undergraduate level in England I was able to attend an Erasmus exchange at Rotterdam Business School which showed me the international possibilities in education which were available to me as a student. So when I wanted to move my education beyond my Bachelors Business degree it seemed natural to consider universities beyond the UK.
2. How would you rate the assistance of the university before you arrived (the application process, finding accommodation, sorting out financial matters)?
The RBS assistance system is geared towards international students as a core principle because RBS has a large international student population which functions well. There seems to be a well-organised and planned system for the many possible pit falls of university life.
3. How would you rate the assistance of the university when you arrived (orientation etc)?
We had an orientation meeting where we were given information about the study programme and had activities to bring the group together. I did not need too much assistance as I was already familiar with the university and city. As a European student you have less hurdles and problems than students from outside the EU, mainly due to the smaller amount of paperwork required. I would rate the assistance 9 out of 10.
4. Did you feel prepared when you arrived and/or what surprised you?
I was already used to big moves as my home town is far away from my university and I undertook a year-long exchange to Rotterdam. Therefore I felt well prepared when I arrived from a logistical perspective. I was surprised by the workload and requirements at Masters level. After taking a year out of education my mindset needed to become accustomed to student life again.
5. How would you rate the learning environment (teaching style, studying with other international students, non-native English speaking lecturers)?
I find the environment of working with so many different nationalities a fantastic learning experience as each activity can be profoundly influenced by their behaviours, attitudes and backgrounds. It is very fulfilling. Having lecturers which are active academics or active business people creates a diverse number of teaching styles. You will need to master self-driven studying, group work, assignments, tests and in-class participation to survive studying but it is well worth the experience!
6. Would you recommend studying abroad to a 17-18 year old Brit who might never have thought about it before?
I would definitely recommend it for a number of reasons. The downturn in the economy is currently making the graduate market very hostile so students must try even harder to find ways to differentiate themselves in a positive way from the crowd of other students trying for the same jobs. So why not show that you are willing to go the extra mile and are willing to think outside the box? Studying abroad is a very different experience to visiting other countries on holiday. By studying abroad you learn much more about a country and about yourself.
7. Is there anything you wish someone had told you at the time you applied?
Yes before you go make sure you have everything ready to get your citizen service number (BSN) and book an appointment early to get it as there is a long waiting list.
8. Would you recommend your course, university, city to British students?
If you are looking for an undergraduate degree Rotterdam Business School has a great International Business and Management Bachelor degree. At Master level they have Logistics management, Finance & Accounting, and Consultancy & Entrepreneurship. I can definitely recommend the Master in Finance and Accounting which I am studying. If you want hands-on experience with business cases and learning how to apply theory in the real world RBS is the place to be. Rotterdam is a great city to live and study. English is also widely spoken outside the university. The Dutch education system means that it is also spoken at a high level. So if you are looking for a multicultural, intellectually changing and fun learning experience with high standards of teaching you should look at Rotterdam Business School.