Vivien Czidlina – Business Management – Level 3
Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
Greetings from the Netherlands!
As part of my studies at Queen Margaret University, I decided to go on exchange to make the most out of my studies and learn more about other cultures and myself.
I decided to go to the Netherlands because I have never been there before and I heard about its beautiful natural setting. I did not have any information about the culture itself, so I was really curious to discover it.
Luckily, my receiving institution, Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Deventer, offered a wide range of courses, from among I had one that totally grabbed my attention. Back then I was studying Events Management but when I found the course named “Doing business with China”, I was like that’s it, that’s the one! There was no one who could change my mind about it and I even changed my major to Business Management to be able to do this specific course.
In the Netherlands, I was living in quite a small town, and as the chosen course was quite an inclusive one, I only had 13 classmates, which actually I preferred because I could get to know the people better and I received a lot of help from my lecturers individually as they all knew everyone personally.
For international students, the university also organizes programmes like visiting the Tulips Garden in Keukenhof but you are free to travel across the county too, of course. I personally went to the Hague and Amsterdam but visiting Utrecht, Maastricht and Rotterdam are still on my list.
I personally managed to find a room to rent but it was outside the accommodation organized by the receiving institution, and it was also half the price then other international students were paying, so if you have an opportunity, then it worth getting into contact with people living in the Netherlands to see if they can offer a cheaper place to stay.
I consider myself very lucky because I also managed to find a part-time job in town in a Mexican restaurant, where they have hired me without speaking any Dutch and without any previous experience in the bar. Well, now I am the leader of the bar team, so things have changed.
As part of the course I started learning Chinese as well, which I am still passionate about and I will continue studying this language even after the exchange is over for sure!
We had very practical classes as well, from among the “business case” is the one that I will be able to make use of in the future too. This subject was based on cooperation between the university and a Dutch dairy company, and we were all divided into groups and had to carry out research projects for that company. For this reason the whole class went to China too for field research as the dairy company has a partner company in Shanghai.
I personally have never been to Asia before, so it was amazing and unforgettable. We have not only been to Shanghai but to Beijing and Huangshan as well, we visited the Great Wall of China, the Yellow Mountain in Huangshan, the Oriental Pearl tower and Disneyland in Shanghai, and many more. We were attending Chinese, arts and taichi kungfu classes during our stay and of course we had several meetings with Chinese business professionals that I also contacted on Linkedin, maybe I can even use these connections in the future.
So, all in all I hit 2 birds with 1 stone in terms of visiting 2 countries in one exchange.
Some pictures from the Netherlands:
And from China:
I would like to thank QMU for the opportunity, for me it was truly a life changing experience :)