Why did you decide to study in the USA?
It had always been my dream since I was 12-years-old to play field hockey for a college in the United States. At home, there are no campuses. That’s why I love it here, since you’re around people all the time; you get to know everyone so quickly. In addition, you get easily involved in campus activities and sports. It’s great to be able to watch games of various teams on campus!
Why did you choose Manhattanville College?
This college is so close to New York City and I preferred to go to a small college so that nobody is just a number. The professors know the students and the students know one another well too. The class size is small, so you actually learn a lot and there’s a lot of interaction between professors and students.
What do you like best?
I love that there is a center for career development that will help you with anything related to grad school, internships, jobs, etc. It’s very helpful and useful to have someone guide you through the process of going forward and determining your future.
What do you miss most?
I miss my friends and family, but also the food. I sometimes bring some food from home though, for example, the famous Dutch cheese, or my parents send something through mail.
What was your biggest surprise?
My biggest surprise was that the education here includes giving lots of presentations and group discussions or group projects which have to be done during class time.
... your biggest disappointment?
A disappointment is that it’s not safe to travel by bike or scooter and that it’s sometimes still hard to find real healthy food.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
I think that every international student has experienced struggles when it comes to language differences sometimes. However, once you’re living on campus and get to know more people, you quickly learn how to adapt and you get used to speaking English.
Especially in my freshman year, I noticed that there was such a big difference between the English I learned in school and how people spoke English here.
Luckily, I got offered a couple of scholarships.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
For me, it was easy actually. The system is not that different from home, but the level of education is definitely a little lower here. I like that there’s interaction between professors and students. Furthermore, I also like that there is contact between students themselves and that it’s not only based on individual effort.
What are your activities?
I have played field hockey for four years here at Manhattanville College. I also perform community service organized through the school every semester, which is a lot of fun!
How easy or difficult was making friends?
It’s so easy! Especially, at a small college. Everyone is open-minded and it’s common to invite people you just met to, for example, have lunch with you and your friends.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
After graduating from Manhattanville College, I will go to Florida in order to pursue my master’s degree, probably an MBA. U.S. education gives me more opportunities than the education system at home. The U.S. education requires students to come up with their own thoughts and individual input. In addition, in the U.S., so many extracurricular activities, such as community service, are planned for students to do, which looks good on your resume, whereas in the Netherlands it’s not very common to do such activities. Moreover, students in the U.S. often get rewarded with awards or scholarships when they get good grades or do something good for society. This really motivates people to take that extra step.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
Definitely consider studying in the U.S. It’s a great experience and it has a positive influence on the rest of your life!