Country of origin: Taiwan
Assistant Brand Manager, Fisher Outdoor Leisure
Stefy decided to study abroad at Rotterdam School of Management for the second year of her degree. Here she talks about the wealth of experiences that that year offered.
Being an exchange student in Holland absolutely gave me more exciting experiences than I was anticipating. From the first day at Rotterdam railway station, my 'buddy', Dayenee, greeted me enthusiastically and gave me loads of useful information about living in the Netherlands. This buddy system provided by the Erasmus University helps exchange students to quickly adapt to the Dutch lifestyle.
Exchange students can attend the international orientation weekend, which is organised by the international office and the 'buddies' who are studying in their second year at RSM. The weekend along with other activities held between terms allow students to easily meet people and make new friends. Moreover, exchange students also get three weeks of free basic Dutch lessons from early August. These events really helped us from the very beginning and equipped us to start living in the Netherlands.
The academic system was different at RSM compared to Lancaster, as students have four-five modules each term and final exams at the end of 15 weeks of lectures. The weighting for final exams is usually quite heavy and so there wasn’t as much as essay-writing as at Lancaster. Also, the schedule was a bit tighter than the one in England since students do not get one-month holidays during Easter.
RSM students have a wide range of choices regarding where to stay, including a building on campus (F building), houses near the campus, and accommodation close to the city centre. Likewise for the modules, exchange students can choose any modules they are interested in, ranging from first- to third-year courses.
During my free time, I socialised with students from all over world: Finland, Poland, Austria, Turkey, USA, Peru and so on. We visited different Dutch cities and beaches, as well as travelling to other European countries.
The exchange year really gave me a fantastic opportunity to explore the unique history, religion and culture amongst European nations. The experience has increased my confidence and broadened my horizons, which allows me to communicate and work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. In fact, it has already helped me to quickly become friends with my colleagues who are from different European countries during my current work placement.
I would recommend to Lancaster students to go for a Study Abroad programme as it really offers amazing unexpected surprises that can last a lifetime.