Laura Court-Jones

Laura Court-Jones undergraduate student st NHTV

University: Breda University of Applied Sciences

Course: International Media & Entertainment Management

Year: 1st year

Home Town in the UK: Worcester

1. Why did you choose to study abroad?

I wanted a complete change. I wanted to experience a new culture and meet new people whilst completing a degree.

The course fees are cheaper than in the U.K, it’s easy to get by speaking English in the Netherlands and I am happy to learn Dutch whilst I study. It’s also less than an hour’s flight home and I can get the train or even the bus back home.

2. How would you rate the assistance of the university before you arrived (the application process, finding accommodation, sorting out financial matters)?

It’s not as clear as it would be in the U.K. I had to do research on lots of different websites to find out about loans and grants etc. The NHTV site has some links to other sites but it’s not very detailed. It is time consuming to figure out practical matters but it’s important to get them right.

I applied for accommodation easily, although you’re not told what you will get in your room. Overall the applying process was quite complicated but do-able if you are well prepared, organised, put aside time to research and your parents can advise.

3. How would you rate the assistance of the university when you arrived (orientation etc)?

Orientation was great fun and well organised and you only pay for your flight pretty much! Assistance from the university here is great and if you have any questions you can approach a number of desks. At camp there were older students made me feel welcome and gave me some useful tips and advice. I had to be proactive in finding out about grants and loans myself – something that’s very important to do in advance if you can.

4. Did you feel prepared when you arrived and/or what surprised you?

I felt pretty prepared. I did not buy all my books beforehand because they were quite expensive. It would’ve been useful to be told in advance which books were needed when so I could plan ahead and spread-out the buying costs.

5. How would you rate the learning environment (teaching style, studying with other international students, non-native English speaking lecturers)? 

Lectures and tutorials are similar to the U.K. 

Being British you have an advantage, you understand everything since it’s in English. Other local students often ask me to explain and help if they don’t understand. I don’t mind though as they help me with my Dutch! Some teachers have a stronger accent which is harder to understand but you get used to it. You have to be aware of other people’s cultures, and be open. It’s great though as I’m always learning.

6. Would you recommend studying abroad to a 17-18 year old Brit who might never have thought about it before?

Absolutely! Here are my tips ...

Take time to research it and find a course that suits you and make sure you are happy to leave home and the UK.

Find the university you like online and talk to other students who are also thinking of applying there as it’s useful to discuss practical matters with them.

GO to the orientation day as it gives you a taste of the country and study.

Visit an open day or a stand at a fair as again you get a feel for the university.

Give yourself time to prepare - I took a year out.  

If you can try to learn some Dutch beforehand it’ll come in handy. I have already found a job and it wasn’t too hard so don’t be put off by the fact that you can’t speak Dutch. You pick up phrases quickly. If you get a job you can get loans and grants like a Dutch student so it’s great.

7. Is there anything you wish someone had told you at the time you applied?

The one thing that would’ve been useful to have in advance were more details on which subjects I’d study in each semester. I was a bit surprised as in the U.K the information is very detailed per year, so you know exactly what you’ll be studying each year. Also the grading system and the use of credits is different so it’s worth looking into this beforehand.

8. Would you recommend your course, university, city to British students?

YES. It’s hard work but fun! You learn such a broad variety of skills that you need in the Media Industry. The assignments are very interesting too.

I have found Dutch people are much friendlier than English people so there aren’t any cliques or groups. No one in my class is left out and it’s a great atmosphere to learn in.

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