Belgium almost feels like the friendly neighbour; a country with a common mind-set, the same spoken language and a shared love of ‘Belgian Fries’, or as we like to call them: ‘Belgische patat’. Even though it feels as if there is little difference between the universities of The Netherlands and those in Belgium, Tabita Reitsma tells us otherwise. She compares NHL Stenden to Hogeschool Ghent.

Written by: Tabita Reitsma

Hi! My name is Tabita Reitsma and I am currently studying Small Business and Retail Management at NHL Stenden. In the second academic year of this course I spent six months on exchange to Ghent (Belgium). Despite the fact that the same language is spoken here and even though it is only a few hours of travelling, there are a number of big differences that I would like to share with you!

For example, the NHL Stenden classes consist mainly of small groups of students. In some programs, classes rearrange every period. This offers the opportunity to get to know everyone from the program. A big advantage to NHL Stenden is that there are fewer contact hours and that a lot of work can be done at home. Also the food is very good, because it is partly made by the students of the Hotel management school. There is plenty to choose from, like free coffee, sandwiches, soup, smoothies and so on. For a lover of food this is of course a plus.

The biggest shock for me when I started at Hogeschool Gent, was the school rhythm. The days started at 08.00 and they often ended at 17.00. This applied to the entire semester and at the end of the semester the students have three weeks off so they can prepare for the exams. The whole school also has a break at the same time and it is customary to eat a warm meal at school (including the choice of pizza). Although I had to get used to the school times, I was very happy with the canteen at school. As a student this is not only useful because you do not have to cook it yourself, but it is also a lot cheaper! And money is scarce, especially for a student.

So as you can read above, despite the ‘short’ distance, there is a world of difference between my school in The Netherlands and the one in Belgium.

Check the link below for the previous episode:

Episode 2: Linnaeus University vs NHL Stenden

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