We started off the new semester by talking to Cole about his experience studying abroad in the Netherlands last semester. Cole is a second-year business administration student focusing on marketing and the development of creative business ventures. Cole notes that he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to learn new things as well as explore the world through studying abroad. He chose the Netherlands because of the beautiful canals, environmentally friendly culture, and cheap Heineken, he says with a laugh. Cole decided to study abroad at Rotterdam Business School due to the modern architecture of the campus and the ability to learn in more of hands on environment.
When asked what school was like for him in the Netherlands he replies that “The program that I was in revolved around solving business cases. So it was a little difficult for me because I of my lack of experience with solving these types of cases prior to attending the Rotterdam Business School. I had no idea that a business case had to be solved in such an intricate, step by step process. However, I adapted quickly by studying the structure in depth, and consulted with the helpful staff at the university that we’re eager to ensure the success of the students in class”.
In regards to life outside of classes Cole notes that there was a couple things that surprised him about life in the Netherlands. First, he was “surprised by the amount of people that cycled as a primary mode of transportation in the Netherlands! Many teachers and students would bike to school and back, as the roads and design of the city are structured in such a way to allow a feeling of ease when biking in the city”. He notes that he was also “surprised by how similar Rotterdam is to Vancouver, due to the modern buildings, multiculturalism, and a young/hip city lifestyle”. Cole was also able to do some traveling outside of the Netherlands, and explore a bit more of Europe. His favorite experience was travelling to Barcelona during his semester break. He says that “I had a great time sightseeing and taking in the beautiful architecture in the city, as well as engaging with the locals that give the city a great name!”
In conclusion, we asked if he had any advice for students thinking of studying abroad. Cole responded by saying “My advice is to fully immerse yourself in the local culture as much as you can in order to get the most out of your experience”. He also noted that it’s good to “research the background information of the country to avoid strong culture shock once you arrive”. And finally, “to keep track of your spending by using an excel spreadsheet to allocate money to what’s important every month (food, rent) and then see what you have to left to spend on leisure activities every month”.
~If you would like to study abroad in the Netherlands like Cole, or any other location, go to the ‘contact us’ section of the blog and we’ll get you started on your own adventure!~