Claire Mulder

Claire Mulder
“The open day gives you the opportunity to compare a range of study programmes.”
Claire Mulder
student European studies

Claire Mulder (21) decided to swap croissants for Frisian sugar bread after her gap year in France.

From the Netherlands to France

“The drawback of liking a lot of things is that it can be difficult to make a decision. Especially when it comes to your study choice. Because how do you know you're making the right decision? I struggled a lot with that when I was in secondary school. While trying to decide on my future studies, I could no longer see the wood for the trees. Even after consulting my student counsellor, I still had serious doubts. One thing I did know for sure was that I wanted to learn French. So after having my exams and hearing I had graduated, I hopped on a plane to France.”

One big question mark

“I had a great time in France and learned a lot about myself. During my time there I became very independent. I was suddenly faced with having to make all my own decisions about how to live my life. But towards the end of my gap year, I started to get an itch. I sensed that I was ready for university life. I said goodbye to my friends in France, packed my bags and returned to the Netherlands. Exactly which course I should take, was still one big question mark for me. And again, everything seemed to ‘look good’ to me, until my best friend said: “The course I am taking is just the thing for you too” and that sparked my curiosity.”

Trial study

“I decided to try out the European Studies programme for a day and it felt good right from the start. I noticed how easily the students interacted with each other. I also noticed that there were many international students there, which I found very interesting. I am a fan of different cultures, so I don't shy away from having a chat. During the course of the day, I realised that contact with the lecturers differed from that in secondary school in that lecturers and students communicated on the same level. Everyone is equal. Consequently, I feel there is nothing stopping me from asking for help should I need it.”

A sense of coming home

“I am now in the third year of my studies and I can honestly say that the school has become a kind of second home for me. There are plenty of cosy places to sit here and so I often plop down on one of the chill couches. In any case, it’s where you will mostly find me in my spare time. I also belong to a study association and I occasionally help during the open days. When I was deciding on a study programme for myself, I did not visit one of NHL Stenden’s open days. I wish I had, though, because now I can see from my new standpoint how beneficial open days are. You really get a good impression of the atmosphere at NHL Stenden. And you also have the opportunity to speak with both lecturers and students of the various study programmes. That’s very useful if you are still finding it hard to make a decision.”