Martijn van Dooren
What US school are you attending and what are you studying?
I’m a sophomore at the Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois. My majors are Business Administration and Economics.
Are you playing a sport in the US? And if so, which one?
Yes, I’m part of the Men’s Tennis team.
Why did you want to study in the US?
After high school, I wanted something completely different. I wanted to combine a good study with playing college tennis. After a presentation at UStudy, I felt like the US would be the perfect place for me to study.
What was the hardest part about settling in as an international student in the US?
Definitely missing my family and friends at home. It was hard to be the only one from the family in another country and I do miss my friends, but luckily I’ve met a great group of people here at IWU who help me get through the hard moments.
What opportunities has studying in the US offered you?
Studying in the US has already provided me with great opportunities. In the US, studying at a university is so much more than just studying. There are unlimited opportunities of participating in extracurricular activities to build your resume. Right now I’m the Resident Assistant of my residence hall and I’m president of two student organizations, which will give me a great advantage in the internship and job market.
What are some of your highlights in the US?
Traveling to Orlando, Florida with my tennis team for Spring Break. Every year we drive by bus (17 hours!!) to Orlando, but it is definitely worth it. Even the ride there doesn’t seem that long when you’re in the bus with your friends from the team. We play several teams from all over the US in Orlando and still have free time to enjoy Orlando at the beach, the city or Disney. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget.
How do you think studying in the US is different to studying at a Dutch/European university?
There are a lot of differences between US and Dutch universities. I’m currently studying at a small liberal arts college so that will be different from other colleges in the US as well. A liberal arts college like IWU gives you the opportunity to really connect with your professors and fellow students, because of the small class sizes. I really got to know the people around me, which really benefited me. Always being able to go to my professor during office hours, improved my understanding of the course work in a way that I would never get in huge classes at a bigger university in the US or a Dutch/European University.
What did you think about the application process of getting into a US college or university?
The application process is long and difficult, especially if you’re not familiar with the system of US universities. UStudy was of great help to me providing checklists of what I would need to do at certain deadlines to get me ready for applying to the university and to get me offers from tennis coaches at the same time.
What are some of your goals for the future?
For the coming 6 months the goal is to get a summer internship. I’m hoping to be an intern at the ATP 1000 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. After my undergraduate studies, I would want to pursue a Master’s degree in Business Administration and get a job in either banking or sports management.