Andrea Ritler, 24 years old, from the little village Ried-Brig in the Swiss mountains, studies
at the HZ University of Applied Sciences since September 2006, 4th year of International Business and Management (1 semester theory and 1 semester work placemet /double degree).
The reason why I have chosen for the HZ Zeeland in the Netherlands:
I finished my studies at the Swiss School of Tourism in Sierre, Switzerland. This school is a partner school for further studies abroad with the HZ Zeeland. After graduation, we have had the possibility to go to the Netherlands to follow the program of International Business and Management (to get a double degree). I decided to leave Switzerland and to do this studies to learn more different business tasks.
One other reason why I have chosen this program was its duration of 1 year included a work placement. Furthermore, the lessons are given in english and opportunities to learn other languages were given. Naturally, I wanted to learn more about the NL culture and also dutch.
Moreover, I did not want to work directly after my degree of the Swiss School of Tourism. I wanted to travel around in Europe and to live in a foreign country as a student. One year before my studies began here, I have already visited Vlissingen and the HZ Zeeland to get some information about it.
My impression about the HZ and the program I am following:
My impression about the HZ University of Applied Sciences is positive. I liked to go to this school for all different lessons and also to have contacts with international, but also dutch students. The buildings and class rooms are modern and invite to come in. I appreciate a lot the library and the HZ sport activities. Moreover, the HZ have some computerrooms and wireless internet.
The theoretical part of the program for International Business and Management studies was interesting, the lessons were given in english and teachers have given attention to all questions. I remarqued, that the planning of the week gave still a lot of spare time to do other activities.
My stage is not yet finished, because I have still to do the presentation of the final thesis next month. I have learned a lot during the work placement and I know now, how manager do their work. I have also seen what I would do better as a mangager in different situations. My supervisor of the HZ Zeeland helped me a lot during this traineeship.
My experience abroad and the international atmosphere of the HZ:
Until now, I have seen some different places here in the Netherlands. At the begining I thought that the cities will be bigger and that the Netherlands have less free or unused land. I like the beaches here and I do not really miss the Swiss mountains. In addition, I like the special caracter of dutch people and its country.
I live in an international atmosphere in school, but also at home. My roommates since some months are from Germany and Africa. Last year, I lived together with French and Spanish guys. As you can see, international contacts are there in my daily life. At the school lessons, the classes were mixed and at my work placement I have had to handle different assignements with dutch, but also other international people.
The HZ Zeeland creates a lot of national and international activities. Moreover, there are some groups of students which organize nice events and/or activities. I was at the Multi Culti Day in Vlissingen and it surprised me which nationalities live in the Netherlands. All this activities and events gave me the opportunity to make contacts to others and to explore more about different cultures.
What do I intend to do when having been graduated at HZ:
After June, I will not longer be a student of the HZ Zeeland and I will go to England for a summerjob. I will work for a Swiss language company who send their young students to Brighton and organize and animate the afternoon and evening program. We will also have some different activities, sports and events. I am looking forward to it.
In August, I return to the Netherlands to stay another 3 months, because my boyfriend works still here. I want to find a work place to learn better dutch and to do something useful this last months in the Netherlands. After, my boyfriend an I want to go back to Switzerland to do some business there. We will manage it.
On this way, I want to thank my boyfriend Christian for all he has done for me. He gave up his work in Switzerland and came with me to the Netherlands for my studies. I really appreciate this and I will never forget the time of my life in Vlissingen.
We thank Andrea Ritler for sharing her experiences.