It was the right choice for me

Hi, I am a Master’s student of Business Administration with specialization in Management Consulting, at FEWEB. After I finished my Masters in Urban and Regional planning at Berlin University of Technology, quite different I know, I had the strong desire to obtain a more Business related studies. With Urban planning or Architecture, you are always put in a ‘box’, that is how I felt at least, and thus it was not an option for me. When I looked for study programs in the Netherlands, the one at VU University Amsterdam was the most appealing. Additionally, the outstanding service and support of the Faculty’s International office supported me even more in my decision to study at VU. Throughout my entire study they always provided quick solutions for any kind of problem. This is also my intention of this blog, to give you an advice how to deal with problems: go to the Faculty’s contact persons (International Office of GSEB). You will find a way together.

My start at VU was not smoothly due to I had a heavy surgery and had to go back to my home country. Thus, I could not participate in some lectures and seminars. As this one-year program is quite dense structured and work loaded, it is very difficult to keep up on the same level as your fellow students if you miss even only one week of studying. I was failing the first two exams and felt misunderstood by the lectures. There are also study advisors at VU to support you if you have any problems regarding exams etc. But also they cannot always understand the full picture of issues foreign students have to deal with. Thus, I recommend you to go to the IO of GSEB, where you can always knock on the door and they will help you to find a solution.

Apart from knowing now what to do if problems occur, the study can be described as a great experience. Although stressful I really enjoyed working with my fellow students on projects and at the same time finding new friends. You might have some problems in understanding the Dutch grading system. I had and I think all my other foreign fellow students had. But this is part of the cultural experience. Studying abroad is always a challenge but this differentiates you from others. VU is internationally highly regarded for its research and teaching quality and was the right choice for me.

Last but not least, Amsterdam is a great city to live in with cozy little Café places and a beautiful old center. Thus, it is not a big surprise why Amsterdam is ranking second in the list of the best cities to live in, published by the Economist.

Sebastian Engelmann

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