Ioana followed in her uncle’s footsteps by leaving Romania to study in the Netherlands. From what he’d told her, she knew that she would enjoy high-quality education but she hadn’t expected the diversity of her programme to provide a foundation that has already put her well on her way to becoming an IT professional.

“I chose to study at NHL Stenden for a number of reasons,” Ioana says. “Because of my uncle, I already knew the Netherlands was a good place to live and study, and that most Dutch people speak English very well, so that was a good selling point. I visited open days at a couple of Dutch universities of applied sciences but it clicked with NHL Stenden. The atmosphere felt right and the people were helpful. Those were enough reasons for me to opt for NHL Stenden.”

”I could go anywhere with the skills I’m learning”

Ioana Cojancaru, 3rd year student of Information Technology

Learning the ropes

Ioana did her internship in an IT company, where she got the chance to work with Oracle Cloud. Ioana: “I’d never worked with this software before, so I knew it was going to be a real challenge but I figured the worst thing that could happen was that I’d learn something! For the first two months, I didn’t really know what I was doing and though the company supervisor was there to help, I wanted to figure things out on my own - that’s just how I am. Obviously, I had to ask for help with some things, but it was nice that they gave me a lot of freedom to do what I thought best. This meant I decided to push myself even further and also learn Python, a programming language I didn’t yet know how to use. And why not? I had six months. Besides, Python and Oracle are used in medical research too, so that would expand my career prospects as well.”

A boost in confidence

“I’ve also learned that communication really is a major thing, even for someone in IT. Being able to open up to people and talk more freely, to be able to give presentations and ask for help if you need it is important. I didn’t have the nerve to give a presentation when I started my studies, but in the first year we had to take a module in communication. It kind of scared me, but now I see how useful it was. My confidence has gone from 0 to 100 percent in 3 years. The programme and Dutch culture have helped me open up more than I would have in Romania.”

Career opportunities aplenty

A confidence boost is just one of the things Ioana got from studying at NHL Stenden. “IT in the Netherlands is pretty well taught,” she explains. “The degree doesn’t just cover programming, but there’s also front-end IT, design, working in teams. We also learn different programming languages and we’ve covered Photoshop too. With all these skills and possibilities, I could go almost anywhere after graduation and I know I like big companies. But at the moment, I’m actually thinking of doing a master’s in artificial intelligence. For my final assignment, I’d like to go back to the IT company I did my internship with. And after that, who knows? I really see myself staying in the Netherlands, I just have to learn Dutch!”

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Full magazine

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing your degree and the best place to do it. You can find inspiration for your choice by downloading the full magazine on the 6 reasons to come study at NHL Stenden.

Your decision process may flip back and forth, which is all the more reason why you should, without a doubt, download the full magazine on the 6 reasons to come study at NHL Stenden