It all started in the winter of 2010 when I decided that the next step I would like to take to complete my studies is a master program abroad. I then started asking my friends what they think and if they could give me a good advice in that matter. Couple of weeks later, a friend suggested me to check some international study programmes portals. I found a complete list of international universities, but my first choices were The Netherlands and Denmark. I checked University of Twente website and found sufficient information of my options in this university and the application procedure. I’ve chosen to apply to University of Twente right away I’ve seen the promo video of the university campus which comprises dormitories, library, classrooms, laboratories, supermarket and many possibilities for different sports and leisure activities.
So far, my living experiences in Enschede are very pleasurable. I have lived just in the campus were I easily found new, clean and furnished accommodation and I was always surrounded by students like me. Studying in University of Twente (UT) is not that easy as it looks. I have to say that the requirements are quite high and even when you feel like you have put all your effort into one assignment, you will not be surprised to have just a passing grade, which in The Netherlands is 6. Anyhow, I can easily say that I had good experiences studying at UT as the professors are really supportive and open to help and coordinate you in any matter.
To put it in a nutshell, what I like most of studying in UT is living in the biggest campus in The Netherlands and having a great international community and a multicultural environment. As I mentioned before, the campus gives you the opportunity to practice various sport activities such as: horse riding, climbing, indoor and outdoor swimming, zumba, beach volleyball, basketball etc. Another special thing about the university campus is that quite often there are special events organized by the students. There might be big festivals or weekly movie nights, country presentations, poker nights and many others. Sometimes you will be quite busy with your studies and there will be not much time left for hobbies but, from my experience, besides my studies I always managed to do sports at least 3 times a week and also attend some of the social events organized by different associations in the university.
Nevertheless, prospective students coming from Romania should be aware of some cultural differences. Be prepared to ride the bike! Every student living in The Netherlands should have a bike. It will be quite difficult to join different social activities or reach some places without a bike and regardless of the humidity and windy weather, everybody rides the bike. The public transportation is not cheap and neither reaching all the places you might need to go. You should also keep in mind that you will be going to be more exposed to cold weather and in case you are getting ill, Dutch doctors will not easily prescribe you strong medicines. Other than that, you will not have big cultural shock as long as you are used to live on your own and to the things that relate to it.
I would definitely recommend UT as one of the best universities. It gave me the chance to grow, to consider many other options, to discover opportunities and more important, to aim for more. If you are studying, or you will be studying in the same field of study as mine, you will for sure see a different approach to your future career. When struggling to accomplish your studies in UT you will find yourself more competitive, eager to undertake more. From my own experience, after I finished the courses of the Double degree Master in European Studies, I have started an internship programme at the Eurojust institution, in The Hague and I am aiming of writing my master thesis in the same direction with my work area. All in one, I can easily say that being a student at UT has opened new horizons for me, and even if at this moment I can’t say which is my biggest dream, neither which will be my added value to the society, I know for sure that living in The Netherlands and studying at UT is the first milestone in of my future career.
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