Sunday, 10 March 2019

The Mountain Life to the Flat Life ........ Venlo

Venlo City Centre
Cube House Rotterdam
For those of you who just started following this blog but don’t know me I am Tom. This semester I am doing my exchange semester as the second part of my international year from Waterford Institute of Technology. So therefore, I am attending Fontys International Business School Venlo. The course I am studying for the semester is International Fresh Business Management (IFBM). Venlo is a small town located in Limburg, a region in the south of the Netherlands. After living in the Rockies for the last couple of months I didn’t know what to expect moving to the Netherlands. One certainty was that there would be no physical mountains to climb. This makes getting around very easy.

Cheese and Wine Night
in my Apartment
The organization in getting to Venlo was perfect. We received our application form in mid-November. This was a very straight forward process where you complete information, and Fontys adds and verifies your information. We were giving two choices for our study. The first was IFBM semester 2 and the second was IFBM semester 4.  I decided to do the IFBM semester 2. The reason for this choice was I am not a business student and felt if I went into the fourth semester, I would be far behind the rest of the class. So far, this was the right decision. Shortly after the application was finished and submitted, I got the letter about the accommodation. Again, it was a really easy process. There were four different prices I selected the cheapest one which was 365.05 per month. This includes all utility bills. The accommodation was very clean and equipped when we arrived.

Let the Adventure Begin!!
The best asset that we had when we arrived in Venlo was the Buddy System provided by Fontys. They assigned two students a group of 5 students. Darya and Fabian are my buddies. They introduced us to all aspects of Venlo from the town and where to eat, to the university and other students. They also gave us an introduction to the social scene in Venlo. Bars and clubs stay open until around 4am. Drink is quite affordable and so is food. As there is so many other students on exchange in Venlo, we already have a huge group of friends from all parts of the world.

Classes started on the fourth of February. So far, the way the classes are though is quite different to W.I.T.s methods. Classes are a lot more interactive. For some of the classes you are giving a topic at the start of the class, you have to research as part of a team and do a full presentation at the end of the class. This not only teaches you the topic but it also greatly improves team work and public speaking abilities. Most classes are very interactive and even though I’m left handed I have now learnt how to write on a whiteboard without wiping the words off as I go….

I have a really good feeling about this semester in Venlo and looking forward to updating you….
13 people, 9 Nationalities, 4 Continents, 

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