Oct 12, 2021

The honest truth about studying abroad

Studying abroad is not an easy step to make. Many questions arise at the moment of making the decision: 'will I like my studies?', 'am I ready to move out of my parents house?' and 'will I be able to adapt?'.  Well, the only way to find out is by doing it, but it might be helpful to read how others before you handled this. Because many, many people before you already made the step!

A whole ocean away from home, but it turned out to be alright
Coming from Latin America myself, my biggest concern was if I would be able to socialize with people from different cultures. Moreover, I was scared of not being able to adapt to the lifestyle of a country a whole ocean away from home. However, all these fears faded away during the first month of the big moving away. I made international friends right away and found myself quite comfortable with living away from home. But not everybody experiences moving to The Netherlands the same as I did. If I have learned something as an international student, is that people from different cultures tend to handle situations differently. That's why I asked around how other international students experienced their moving away.
Would you like to read more about studying in the Netherlands?  Download our  free whitepaper

Meeting new people

One of the hardest things about moving to a different country is meeting new people. When you move to Vlissingen (or any other place in the world) you will have to build up your social contacts again. Luckily you can meet lots of other international students during your classes, events or you might even live with some of them! Even though it will be hard to miss your friends from home, you'll quickly find a new group of friends when studying abroad.

Missing your parents

You'll also have to learn how to be away from your parents. Whether it's their advice, company or just them doing the chores around your house. It will be a big adjustment to not have them around anymore. In the beginning it might be difficult but they're only a phone call or text away, if you do need some reassurance from home.
Being away from your parents can also be a good thing. You'll learn to become a lot more independent and how to organise your life on your own. 

Different cultures

Another thing is the culture in a country. You're very used to the rules, culture and people in your own country, but when you study abroad you'll have to relearn all those things. Besides learning about the culture of the country you've moved to, you'll also learn a lot about the cultures from your new international friends. It can teach you so much about the world and how everyone is so different, but still alike.

Weather

The weather can also be very different for every country. It can get quite stormy and cold during autumn and winter in the Netherlands, and the summers are warm and humid. Just make sure you have a raincoat before moving here and you'll get used to it quickly enough!


Advice from students for study in The Netherlands

I've asked some students what their best advice is when you decide to come and study in The Netherlands:

  • You're gonna have a great time and might even learn how to text and ride a bike at the same time
  • Learn how to cook and how to organize your stuff
  • Have an open mind about facing other cultures
  • Learn how to ride a bike
  • Don’t limit yourself to Amsterdam, everyone knows Amsterdam. If you look further into the country you realize it has so much more to offer, which is more reflective on how the country really is. There are many beautiful cities and towns that are very nice to visit, and you would definitely miss something if you don’t.
  • Just take the step: you are not going to regret it. The worst case scenario is that your study programme is not what you wished for. However, you will still gain a lot of experience by just being all on your own. 
  • In the end, the experiences you get overweight’s the fears you might have!

I hope sharing experiences from me and my friends will help you make a decision!

Samuel

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