“ Make sure you have fun with your course but don’t worry too much about being stuck with it”
Friederike Reese
International Business student

Friederike wanted to spend a semester studying at a different university abroad but had her own ideas about where. It meant that her exchange semester studying a minor subject wasn’t spent at one of NHL Stenden’s partner institutions but at Flensburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany’s most northern student city. 

“An exchange semester involves a lot of planning to be well prepared and you need to keep taking the initiative. I had my own ideas about my exchange and I really wanted to go to Flensburg in the far north of Germany. The university isn’t a partner institution so I had to apply to the university as a free mover – and I had lots of talks with the international office and my study coach to sort out the application. The whole process from thinking about which courses I could choose to actually registering took a long time, but if you start on time, then there’s no problem and you can look forward to your semester abroad.”  

Explore your interests 

“I chose my courses about two months before the start of the semester. I did a lot of research into which courses sounded interesting and which ones matched my field of study. I then discussed all the courses with my study coach so we could be sure they fitted in with my degree programme and my interests. It’s a good tip to really think about your interests and use your time abroad to try out something new. Make sure you have fun with your course but don’t worry too much about being stuck with it – you can usually swap courses at the beginning of the semester if you really need to.”  

Prepare well 

“Once I’d got the confirmation that I could go to Flensburg and got the confirmation from the university, I started looking for an apartment. I actually found something really quickly through instagram posts and friends. It’s the same wherever you go to study: you need to start early so you’re not under time pressure. I also took part in various webinars before the semester started and that made things easier once I got to Flensburg too. It was a chance to get to know fellow students and exchange numbers. And when we finally started, the first two weeks were intro weeks in which we got shown around the campus, did various activities together and got to know each other well. It all made it so much easier to make friends. Volunteer activities were also planned on the weekends, so there was no chance of getting bored.”  

New perspectives 

“I’m now halfway through my time and still very happy with my decision. I’d make it again if I had to. Getting to know new people, getting a new perspective and dealing with different learning methods at another university are all really beneficial. I’m challenged each day and although I have a little more learning material than at NHL Stenden, I’m super happy because I can take it with me. It’s an opportunity you really should take. Even if it feels a little bumpy at time, you should take the plunge.” 

Find out more about International Business on the course website and the Exchange opportunities