“I grew up near the Danube river and I have always loved nature and animals. I really wanted to be a vet but during a school exchange to Germany, I stayed with a host family in their rural family hotel – and totally fell in love with the concept. I knew I wanted to study abroad and that I was good at organising, so I started looking for international study programmes where I could use my skills, keeping that rural hotel concept in the back of my mind. I saw the NHL Stenden brochure at school and was really drawn by the green wall on the side of the building. At an educational fair soon after, I spoke to the ambassadors from NHL Stenden then went home and pitched the idea to my parents.”
The Open Day
“I signed up for the open day on campus and came to the Netherlands with my mum. We made a short break of it and stayed in a studio in the city centre so we could see a bit more of the place while we were here. On the Open Day, we were collected at Leeuwarden train station with other students and came to the campus by bus. There was a Hungarian student on the bus and that was really reassuring. It made me feel more comfortable and it helped my mum as she didn’t speak much English.
The programme for the open day was packed and there were loads of presentations on student life, financing, accommodation, and, of course, about the degrees themselves. We picked up some really good tips, like being advised to stay in StudentStay in at least the first year so that you can easily meet other students. In retrospect, it was actually the best decision I made. The tour of the campus was also really good, taking us round all the buildings and everyone was really nice.”
“It was a really full day and although we had plenty of breaks too, I remember I was exhausted at the end of the day. The campus was buzzing and although my social anxiety was sky high at the beginning, I’d done my research and my fears just fell away because everyone was so welcoming. I just switched to speaking English and started asking questions. At one point, we were listening to a presentation in the auditorium and one of the presenters was Bulgarian. My mum whispered that she could really see me standing there in the future. Believe it or not, I am now a student ambassador and I do give presentations to new students in the auditorium.
I’d really recommend students come to the open day, but I especially recommend that when they come, that they’re open minded and brave enough to ask questions. And remember to have fun! Oh, yes, and come with your mum!”