Julia: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

 As the quote says, although it may be hard to step out of your comfort zone, it will enrich your life. An example for this is studying in a foreign country. This could be a step out of your regular environment. At first you need to get used to the foreign culture, but hopefully in the end you are glad that you went abroad.


I also learned to step more out of my comfort zone. I am Julia Vos, a third year student studying International Communication at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. The first big step I took, was when I started studying International Communication. As the course is taught in English, my classmates are from all over the world, which was totally different than in my Dutch high school. Suddenly, I had to talk in English and learn how to work together in groups with different cultures. The studies got me a different perspective of myself and the world around me.

Other things I learned at my studies were related to marketing, entrepreneurship, communication and businesses. There were practical aspects, for instance learning how to network, designing visuals, debating and working with real companies. Especially the last aspect is useful, together in a group you need to carry out an assignment for a real company. I worked for Ikea, Energy Challenges and Friesland Campina. This will be an advantage for me in the future, since I am used to work with real companies. There were also academic aspects, such as learning about communication theories, budgeting and setting up your own business.

If you may be thinking about studying in the Netherlands, I highly recommend it. At most universities, there is no hierarchy between the students and the lecturers. At my studies for instance, I can call my teachers by their first name. They will be open to answer any of your questions, especially during the class. I like this openness and flexibility, this makes me feel more connected to my teacher.julia-vos-pic-2

The best part of my studies is the third year, as I have the opportunity to spend a year abroad: one semester studying and one semester doing an internship. I got the opportunity to study in Paris. This was one of the best experiences in my life. I learned more about myself, especially I was away from my ‘comfort zone’, which is my family and my friends, but I also increased my knowledge on topics I did not study before.

Now, I am working for Dream Foundation for 5 months and I am always willing to answer any of your questions regarding the Netherlands and my experiences (my email is julia.vos@dreamfoundation.eu). You can come to see me at the Dutch Days on the 7th of February in Tallinn and on the 8th of February in Tartu. You can get more information and register for free on: http://www.dutch-days.com/#study-in-holland

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