28 October 2021

‘It is super diverse here’

“Coming to the Netherlands is my first international experience. Although I have been abroad, I have spent my whole life living in Mumbai. I just finished my high school this year. The differences between high school in Mumbai and university here are immense. Mumbai is an extremely chaotic city with millions of people. It is just massive. So, this is very different from here in the Netherlands. This was a big adjustment for me when I came here. I thought, Amsterdam is a city, so there should be some similarities. But I was wrong, there are none.

'In my study there are people from at least seven or eight different nationalities'

Another thing that was shocking, was how international the international experience is. It is super diverse here, in my study there are people from at least seven or eight different nationalities. Even the teachers are sometimes non-Dutch. You don’t see this is Mumbai, I guarantee you. It does take me time to get used to this. All the different communication styles, different ways of talking and eating.

I also had to get used to the study style here. I knew there was a lot of self-studying, but we have to do more work by ourselves than I expected. The professors don’t spoon-feed what we need to learn, which I’m fine with. But to what extent this happens, was something I had to get used to.

'We have to do more work by ourselves than I expected'

In high school I was sure of one thing, I really wanted to study abroad. Although I will eventually return, I did not want to live my whole life in Mumbai. So, I started looking into my options of studying abroad, and I could choose between the UK, the US and somewhere in Europe. But the UK and the US are extremely expensive, while the Netherlands was a place where I could get a good quality education for a decent price. I did not expect to end up here in the Netherlands, because it is not a place that you first think of when you think of studying abroad. But now I think that the Netherlands is a very good place to study at.”

BY ROOS VAN LEERDAM, STuDENT-REPORTER

Rishi Ahuja replaces Emma de Jager, she has stopped her studies due to personal circumstances.

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