4 November 2019 • Lars Gerritsen
Tips for taking a minor abroad
I chose this minor because I like to step out of my comfort zone and because I wanted to go somewhere totally different. My first month and a half as a student at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics has been unforgettable.
My home for 4.5 months is a country that is in the news a lot everywhere. For many people, it is a mysterious country. It is a country with endless possibilities that has plenty of culture and ‘unusual’ customs. It is the country of the future.
In the mornings, I cycle on a shared bike to university, and eat a typical Chinese meat sandwich (nou rou baozi) on the way. I cycle past thousands of Chinese people on the huge campus, who all have their umbrellas open to keep the sun at bay.
The subjects (taught in English) I chose are very diverse, and range from Operations Management to Corporate Finance and Chinese. Learning Chinese is really cool, because you hear it spoken around you every day. It’s so cool to be able to order your food and coffee in Chinese after a couple of weeks. I also meet a huge number of people because I do many activities outside of school and from time to time I can be found in the pub. When I’m not in Shanghai at the weekends, I race across the country at 350 km/hour in a train or I travel by plane to discover as much as possible about China. Since I’m here as a student for a long period, I have the opportunity to discover a lot more of China. University, travelling, Chinese friends, visits to factories and even Tai Chi give me a unique insight into this special country.
Tips for studying abroad
- Don’t be worried that your English is not good enough. We have a very high standard in the Netherlands. This will enable you to find your feet when you’re in an international group. You’ll also make a lot of progress with your English.
- Be open-minded. The hundreds of international students all want to have an amazing time and everyone wants to meet new people. Be open to this, don’t judge too quickly and just go with the flow.
- Step out of your comfort zone. You will find out that the world has so much more to offer than you have discovered so far. It will help you to learn other ways of achieving your aims. If you still don’t know what you want, then you may find that the culture and other people you meet abroad inspire you to do new things.
- Don’t focus just on studying, you can also do this in the Netherlands.
Lars Gerritsen, a student on the Small Business & Retail Management (ORM) degree programme, is taking a minor in Shanghai, China and is pleased to share with us his experiences so far. Lars Gerritsen is currently in the third year of his studies. During the third year, the aim is that ORM students spend 6 months taking a minor. Lars chose to go abroad for his minor, to a faraway land.