Hi, my name is Alexandra and I study Communication at NHL Stenden. In my third year I have decided to do a pre-master called Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Groningen.
Written by: Alexandra Harteveld
I experienced the first few weeks in Groningen as a big culture shock. From the schedules to all the new buildings, I didn’t understand any off it. At NHL Stenden everything was very simple, we have our own department where almost all the classes take place. The University of Groningen has several faculties. And although each program has its own faculty, it sometimes happens that you have class at another faculty. During the first few weeks, I became really good friends with Google Maps.
What I love about NHL Stenden is that it feels very village-like. Teachers are easy to find, always open for a chat or a question. The university in Groningen feels more like a bigger city where you do not just go to a teacher’s room to ask a question. You have permanent moments with teachers. Questions can be asked then. There is a little more independence expected from the students. A problem with an assignment? Then you look for ways to fix it yourself.
What I have experienced as quite difficult is that I started in February. As a result, I already had a disadvantage in terms of class but also subject matter. Everyone already had their own club and it was quite difficult for me to intervene. The first few weeks of university I have experienced as very lonely. I was present at the lessons, but did not really have contact with anyone. At the end of the day, I was happy to be back home and to be able to chat with my parents and friends. After a few weeks of loneliness, I started to participate in a group assignment. Which meant that I quickly made contacts, gotdded to group apps and regularly invited for dinners and other cozy parties.
Although NHL Stenden has a new cafeteria with great food, the University of Groningen remains my favorite in terms of food. Mainly because I like very simple food and do not like too much fuss. I often think about the sandwiches and soups at the university. NHL Stenden, unfortunately, can not match the university in terms of tasty things with coffee. Especially the Milka chocolate muffin was a big favorite, what I think of quite often. Time to introduce this at NHL Stenden!
My year at the University has been an unforgettable experience. Especially memorable because I had a lot of homesickness and now I know that the ‘big school and big city’ are nothing for me. And even though the food at the university was great, after a year of absence, I am glad that I am back at my own familiar school. With familiar faces around me, a slightly lower workload and especially the personal contact with teachers and students.
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