It has been 3 weeks already since the start of the new academic year; our first year MIC students have had the opportunity to explore and settle down at our partner universities. Here at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the programme has already begun with several lectures and seminars in the past weeks but the students are still busy adapting to the new environment, city and country that they, for at least the coming 5 months, call ‘home’. Whilst these newcomers, who have 10 different nationality backgrounds, are trying to get into study-mode, we wanted to ask them about their first impressions of the Netherlands and the Master International Communication programme. We talked to multiple students and asked them about their current experiences to find out how they are managing.
The overall first impressions were positive. Despite the short amount of time, our students seem to have had a smooth start into the courses. This year, especially a high number of Vietnamese students found their way to Groningen. Coming from such a different background, our Vietnamese students had to face some new and exciting cultural differences.
‘Oh gosh, that’s way too many bikes!’
Despite some funny incidents and cultural misunderstandings, our Asian students seem to be embracing the Dutch culture more and more. Many say that they appreciate the local directness and the Dutch way of living with an easy-going attitude. It is clear, that our new students are already in the process of developing their intercultural competences, which is a huge part of the MIC programme itself.
‘I keep saying to my Dutch classmates that I was born Dutch and my parents never told me. Besides the consumption of milk at lunch and the rainy weather, I can say I can really fit in well in this culture.’
The partner universities do their best to make the, sometimes complicated, migration and application procedure as easy as possible for our Master students, and it seems to pay off. Most of MIC students described their journey to the Netherlands as very smooth and uncomplicated. The majority already started preparing weeks in advance, which made the process rather stress-free. We recommend any future MIC student to do the same!
So why MIC?
Some might ask why one should pursue the MIC programme. We had the same question for our newcomers and the responses were very clear: the international environment is what appeals the most to our students. The MIC is known for its multicultural flair and countless connections within the business and research world. With dozens of corporate partners from the Netherlands and abroad, the programme offers a broad variety of opportunities for our future communication professionals. Numerous of our new students are hoping to find a job through the connections that they are going to establish throughout the programme.
On top of that, many pointed out the fact that the MIC programme has the unique feature of getting a double-degree by studying in two different European universities/countries under one year. This adds a massive value to the international aspect of the programme and enables the students to expand their global network, as well as maturing through intercultural experiences. Even our local Dutch students who chose the MIC programme pointed out that this course, with all its features, would look good on their future CV.
‘I chose it because of my interests and because I wanted to stand out from others with my degree. I expected to learn more in addition to my general knowledge of communication.’
All in all, the MIC is off to another great and exciting start. What we always say to our students: be open minded, study hard work hard – play hard, expand your network and make life-long friends! You will have both positive and negative experiences, you will go through the whole spectrum of emotions. Embrace all of it!
‘No pressure, no diamonds’