What US school did you go to and what did you study?
First I went to Skagit Valley College to get my associate’s degree in business administration. From there I went to City University of Seattle to get my bachelor’s of science in business administration with an emphasis in general management. I am currently in my third quarter and have three more to go after this one.
Did you play a sport when you were in the US? And if so, which one(s)?
So I did not play in any competition but I did play a few sports only just with a bunch of friends. My American roommates taught me how to play baseball (they were baseball players) and American Football. Besides that, I played tennis and enjoyed running and you could often find me in the gym.
Why did you want to study in the US?
I wanted to leave the Netherlands, experience different and new cultures, and start something new. As it was a spur of the moment choice for me to study abroad I wanted to study in a country that spoke English and England was too close. I ended up choosing the US mainly because they spoke English of course. But also, growing up here (in the Netherlands) we would hear and see a lot of things about the US and I wanted to experience those things for myself.
What was the hardest part about settling in as an international student in the US?
Apart from the initial jet lag and getting accustomed to the language, it was living in the dorms and being exposed to many different cultures in class and outside of class – understanding how to interact with students from different countries. The toughest challenge is to find connection, make new friends, and not to isolate yourself. I had luck with that and quickly became friends with my two American roommates. The college also offered events where you can try and connect with other international students.
What opportunities has studying in the US offered you since you finished your studies/returned home?
I am still studying and I am hoping to graduate in June 2018. I’m currently working in the university’s library. This is mainly because of my background of having worked with students from all over the world. I am sure that because of my study abroad experience I will not have any difficulties finding a job here.
What were some of your highlights when you were in the US?
The whole experience of doing the study abroad is one big highlight, and I love traveling and outdoor activities and living in Seattle, Washington is the perfect place for that. And the many great people (including my girlfriend who I am living with) I have met here and the new friendships I have made and built.
How do you think studying in the US is different to studying at a Dutch/European university?
It is very different. Here you do not necessarily choose to study just your major – you can pick out your own classes which is awesome. My major is Business Administration but I have taken photography, psychology, nutrition, philosophy, and many other classes. This allows you to see and experience what else is out there, and get a full experience of the subject matter and see if you like it. I did multiple philosophy classes as I find that interesting but you can also follow music, arts, or others classes. This is at college level though – when you go to a graduate level there is less leeway. Another difference is that you can be in class with students who are way younger or older than you. I have had classmates the age of my dad or grandpa for example and that is great because you are never too old to learn. Also you are on a campus, which is more than just a building, and it can sometimes resemble a small town.
What did you think about the application process of getting into a US college or university? How was UStudy helpful to you?
UStudy guided me throughout the whole process and supported me with the application process so that I did not forget anything (or do anything wrong). This was very helpful as you need a lot of documents and forms and it can take time to acquire them.
They also helped me find the best college based on what I was looking for: small college, good international program, no extreme weather, outdoors
What are you currently doing?
Still attending City University of Seattle till June of 2018 and working at the library.
What are some of your goals for the future?
I am planning on staying in the United States, get a job related to my field of study, and move to the next country in a few years.