It is not mandatory for most study programmes, but the idea of completing part of your studies abroad is attractive to many students. This proved to be the case again this afternoon at the Go Abroad Fair in the Laurenskerk.
Student placement agencies, educational institutes and volunteer organisations, amongst others, will still have their stands up until half past seven this evening. Students following various study programmes are being informed about studying and doing placements abroad.
For example, by Maaike, who works in international relations at the IFM (financial management) school. ‘As a school, we are here because the criteria for going abroad may vary; for us, whether you may go depends primarily on your study progress.’ Unlike the RBS international economics school, going abroad isn’t that common at the IFM. ‘About ten percent do something international, but that could also involve one week,’ explains Maaike. ‘We believe it has added value for your personal development and your overseas experience gives you an advantage in the labour market.’
Sara is studying HRM (human resource management) and views doing a placement overseas primarily as a journey of discovery. She is visiting the stand of student placement agency SVS (Stage en Verblijf in Suriname – Placement and Stay in Surinam), but Suriname is not her first choice. Sara: ‘My friend is Surinamese.’ That friend and fellow student is Nova and the idea of a placement in her homeland appeals to her. ‘Yes, I would like that. Besides, I think overseas experience increases your employment options.’
A list of reasons
Madel, IBMS (international business and management studies) student and now field expert, did a placement in the financial department of the Marriot Hotel and has a whole list of reasons for opting to go overseas and to Suriname. ‘It is informative, fun, the food is delicious, you learn about a different culture, the landscape is beautiful and the travel costs to get there are reasonable.’
Not everyone is able to find what they want straight away at the Go Abroad Fair. Like logistics engineering student Marnix, who is considering going to study in Germany for six months in a year’s time. Marnix: ‘I’m still exploring my options, but haven’t found anything yet, not even a RBS brochure with the university locations. The Netherlands has many logistics connections with Germany,’ explains the student. ‘And I think it’s a great country.’
Where is ISO?
Annemee and Kiki, pedagogy students, are also a little lost. Kiki: ‘Our school, ISO (social studies), doesn’t have a stand. The Center of International Affairs, which organises the fair, says not all schools attended. Not many ISO students go overseas, according to the two students. Annemee: ‘We are the only two from our class here this afternoon. I think it’s good for pedagogy students to go overseas too. It broadens your perspective and teaches you to look for alternative solutions.’
The ladies do not yet know to which country they would like to go. It does not matter so much to them. Belgium? ‘Well, rather not,’ Annemee responds. Kiki: ‘Unless it’s something really spectacular.’
Jos van Nierop