EI: Hello! Tell us a little about yourself. How is it that you ended up in Holland? If you chose between the Netherlands and other countries, and if so, why did you prefer this country?
Hello! My name is Catalin, I'm 21, I'm from Republic of Moldova. I'm a third year student at Inholland University program international Business and Innovation. I considered several options for training in different countries, yet in the end I chose the Netherlands because of the innovative course.
EI: In what year were you enrolled at Inholland University of Applied Sciences? What attracted you to this University?
I went to the 2014th year. Since high school I knew that I will engage in business and Economics, and analyzing the opportunities in the West and in the East, I found the course BBA International Business Innovation Studies, which intrigued me. It differs from others in that it focuses on large, sweeping changes that happen in the economic system and in society. Also, the University is working in partnership with various Dutch and international companies, in order for students to prove their expertise working with specific clients. At first I looked very skeptical at this program, as expected, only knowledge in theory - I thought I would memorize the books and then to pass the exams, but it was the opposite: 60% of learning is practice, and every item has a specific client or situation for which we develop a business plan.
EI: How did you enter University? How long did the process of preparing the documents and filing? Tell us about your experience.
I started to apply to different universities in the last year of study in high school. In the Netherlands applications can be submitted through the portal studielink.nl but each University has its own guide on the website where you can find out all the steps for enrollment. Students without EU citizenship have to learn everything and apply as soon as possible, as this process is quite long, including more and visa. It usually takes a few months.
EI: if you are Faced with any difficulties when entering University as a foreign student? If so, tell us about it in more detail.
I would advise foreign students to ask questions and to ask about the details directly from the Institute through their website or by email. They are always open and happy to help everyone! Personally, I met some difficulties, but formalities can create some inconvenience. For example, on the website of the Inholland University usually answer the questions the students 2 or 3 courses that can help to settle the formalities, give advice or even to tell about life in the Netherlands. They can also explain the benefits or drawbacks of the program, which asked the student and what to expect from studying and living in Amsterdam.
EI: what program are you studying? What are your impressions of the program? Do you have a favorite subject, teacher?
I teach international business and innovation, and very happy with my choice. In the second year I went on exchange program to London, and now doing a 6 month internship at a company in Amsterdam. I really like the Dutch approach to learning, as learning here is a process that is responsible for the students themselves. There are some very interesting items and the company for which you work and do projects. To date, most liked the course “Social Innovation”, because with his help, I saw the work of the enterprise with different eyes. There is an erroneous concept that entrepreneurship focuses on profits, but more and more companies give priority to a positive impact on society. Thanks to the numerous debates, discussions and analysis of the different situations I have deepened my knowledge of the ethical and social aspects of the business. Can't name one favorite Professor because they are all special in its kind and experts with their field. I like that almost all teachers are entrepreneurs and are well versed in the subject that I teach.
EI: Who is learning with you in your program? A lot of foreigners, Russian-speaking students? Were you able to have close friends, and who they are – Russian-speaking foreigners, the Dutch? With whom it is easier to find a common language?
It might sound rather ironic, but I was able to make friends and create strong relationships with students from Eastern Europe (from Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia). I have very good friends the Dutch and English, but between us, in any case, there is a certain barrier, which I haven't been able to cross because of the strong differences in our cultures and values. The advantage is that the program is international, and it has allowed me to meet new people from different corners of the Earth. It's an amazing experience, I was able to look at different things from different points of view, to see the world through different eyes and become more tolerant.
EI: What do you do in your free time at University? Are you in any student clubs? What are your impressions of student life at Inholland? Tell us a little about it.
Student life is very beautiful. In the first year I lived in a Dorm, and the people around me were in a similar situation. It helped me to overcome homesickness and adjust to new surroundings much faster. At my University there's student clubs, but there are many communities of students from different universities, which can be found in social networks. Amsterdam is an international city, and that means you are sure to find compatriot. In free time doing sports, meeting with friends, and discover new places in the city.
EI: Tell us a little bit about the city. What are the pros and cons you see for yourself? Easy to find housing, jobs, convenient transportation, and rich if night life?
The city is magnificently beautiful and diverse, so it is suitable for everyone. People are very open, even for a hobby, diversity allows everyone to find something to taste. The drawbacks are that the city is very expensive, and for foreign students there is a limit when applying for a job. Amsterdam is always crowded, and to find an adequate apartment at a good price is very difficult, so I suggest anyone who wants to study here, to start looking as early as possible. Public transport is also diverse: metro, tram, bus; but of course the cheapest and most effective is the Bicycle. Whether rain or snow, — the Dutch and the people of Amsterdam always prefer to use bikes.
EI: You're going internships or work part time? How difficult is it for foreign students to find a part time job in the Netherlands?
At the moment I pass a 6-month internship in a startup in Amsterdam. Actually in Amsterdam it is very easy to find a job, this is the home of startups, innovative ideas and technologies. As for internships, there are so many opportunities in so many different ways, and to find something suitable no problem at all. Even if the competition is great, there are many options like in big companies and in startups.
EI: What are your plans after graduation? Where would you like to live and work in the future – in the Netherlands, at home or somewhere else?
I'm still not sure what I'll do then complete the University or where you're going, but one thing am sure of is that I want to use the gathered knowledge and apply it in my home country. I would encourage all students who go abroad have returned home and used his knowledge of the house. I often think that it is easy to leave and to go abroad where the standard of living is better, how much talent is losing my country. Even if it is difficult still want something to improve in Moldova.
EI: Thank you so much for this interview! What would you like to say in closing to our readers?
Doesn't matter what country you choose, I think that to study and live in a completely new society is a wonderful experience. It's hard, but at the same time fun, meet people from around the world and start seeing the world differently. Those who are interested in business, then I would recommend the path that I chose (International Business Innovation), as this course specializiruetsya on enterprise of future trends and the improvement of the qualities of the 21st century.