Tomás Simões who studies International Business at the HZ University of Applied Sciences, shares his experiences in this interview.
Hello! My name is Tomás Simões and Im an international student from Portugal. Im 19 years old and I study International Business and Management Studies (IBMS) at HZ University of Applied Sciences of Applied Sciences (HZ).
I decided to study abroad and be an international student because I always liked to know different cultures, visit different places but the main reason was improving my English, which would be a difficult task if I decided to stay in Portugal. I can say that only in this 7 months that Im here, my English ( writing and speaking) improved a lot but of course, I didnt achieve the perfect English yet.
How did you find out the possibilities for a study in Holland?
I found it trough a presentation made by a Portuguese organization called Global Plaza with the coordinator of International Relations of the HZ, Mr. van der Mark.
Why studying at HZ in Vlissingen?
After this presentation, I thought a lot about study abroad and I realized that probably this would be one of the best experiences in my all life, that I could grow up as a person and as a professional .I really liked the program that the people from HZ had presented to me. Moreover, Vlissingen is a great place to live with beaches, bars and a lot of young people, giving the perfect environment for the adolescents to having a wonderful experience.
What about the level of your English, how did this work?
As I said before, Im only here for 7 months and I can say that I already see an evolution in my English. The Netherlands is a great country to improve your English because everybody knows how to speak even if it is just a little bit. So if you think your English need to be improved this is a good opportunity for that.
How did you apply? Did you also apply elsewhere?
I applied through an agency called Global Plaza and yes, I applied for 3 more universities in Portugal. I did it just because I didnt know if I could enter in HZ. When I knew that I was in HZ I just stop thinking about the universities in Portugal. Not because they are bad universities but because I had the opportunity to know a different country, different people and to study in one of the best programs in the Netherlands (IBMS).
How did you get accommodation?
I got accomodation through the HZ website. I t was really a peace of cake to do it and when I came to the Netherlands I got my key and I just went to my appartment. It is important to say that the people from HZ picked me up in the trainstation and put me in my appartment.
What are your first experiences in the Netherlands?
So far so good. It is a wonderfull country with a lot to see. Ive visited Amsterdam and Roterdam( in the Netherlands, because I went to England and Belgium too) and I just have good things to say about it. The people are quite nice and educated and they always help you if you need.
What are the advantages for a study in the Netherlands?
I think the advantages are:
- Develop your English;
- Interact with different cultures
- Visit a different country
- Learn how to leave alone
What are the disadvantages?
The thing that I dislike here is the weather. Its not the best country to have summer vacations but its not as bad as they say.
What would you advice to pupils from secondary school who are interested in study abroad?
I would advice to think in the advantages/ disadvantages of studding abroad, see the rankings of the universities in the world, see if those universities have contacts with other universities that you are also interested and just be ready for an incredible experience. Moreover, I advice everybody to have the same experience that I am having even if its not in the Netherlands.
What are the experiences with the study now compared with your expectations?
I have to confess that my expectations were really high and so far Im really impressed with the level here. Im in the second semester now and I can see that IBMS its a great program with subjects such as Management, Financial Management and Marketing, which are really teaching me what I really wanted to know since Im in High school.
How do you see your future now?
In the near future I want to study abroad in the 3rd year to a country outside the European Union which has the English as a main language (USA, Australia, or Canada, for example). I also want to have my work placement abroad, but I steel have to choose what country and what company I want to work for.
Would you choose again for HZ?
So far Im really enjoying my time here. I met a lot of people and I really like my school program (IBMS). I think that HZ its a great place to study and Vlissingen to live. So, If I would choose it again? Definitely.
We thank Tomás Simões!