Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Uni Life in Venlo

Over two months have passed since moving to the Netherlands. When writing my first blog about moving to Venlo, I don’t think I realised how utterly content I’d truly feel about being here. In this blog I’m going to talk about what we have been getting up to in Fontys University. This one is for anyone really interested in choosing Fontys as their place of study.

The Library

Our course, International Fresh Business Management, allows us to explore a completely different side of the food industry. It is basically the study of how food can be produced and transported in the most productive and efficient way possible. It’s a pretty technical course, with a lot of unique theory and maths. We study eight modules for our course.
Here’s a little explanation of our modules…

Economics: A basic look at how the financial world works. Surprisingly quite interesting.

Fresh Business Knowledge: An insight into EU food legislation for food packaging and processing. We have covered most of this in WIT already, so this is an easier module for us
Supply Chains: All about finding the most effective way to create flow charts and distribution chains for food processing companies and transportation. Pretty confusing sometimes and requires a very specific way of thinking… still working on it!

Fresh Business: This is a marketing module, with a study of different analysis techniques to measure company performances.

Research Methodology: Slightly misleading name, this is actually statistics. It was initially far too advanced for us but after speaking to the lecturers it was agreed we could study more basic content (much to our relief!).

Dutch: We were initially put in a Dutch class with students who already had been studying the language for quite some time. We were luckily able to move into a beginner’s Dutch class specifically designed for exchange students. Slowly getting the hang of it.

Project Logistics: Love it or hate it, this is one big group project. Throughout the whole semester we are doing a study on a company producing tinned and jarred mushrooms. All of the other modules have a common theme of mushroom companies in order to tie it back to the project. This module requires the most work. We are in groups of five and are mixed in with students from the German course so the language barrier can sometimes be a bit of a problem. Good teamwork experience! This module also has a heavy focus on Excel training.

Study Career Management: We are in semester 2 of this course so the rest of the students are first years. This module is all about personal development and how to work effectively in a team etc. The lecturer of this module has given us permission to not attend these lectures as we have already seen this sort of content a hundred times throughout our education. Instead, we must write an assignment based on goals we have set for ourselves.

Study Area

The teaching style in Fontys is quite different to that of the lecturers in WIT. Even during class there is a lot of self-learning and presentations. I’m not entirely sure if I like this way of working but it is suitable for the type of course it is. All the lecturers are really lovely and any problems we’ve had have been quickly dealt with. The workload is pretty heavy in comparison with what we are used to at home but it’s still manageable.

The timetable changes a good bit here.We haven't a huge amount of time in school, especially since we have been excused from the SCM and Research Methodology classes. Most students timetables usually allow for one day off, but we now have Dutch on this day. Throughout the semester there are just two separate weeks off. 

It is currently ‘Bizz Week’ here in uni. Instead of having classes each day we are spending the week visiting different companies in the surrounding area. We are visiting various different mushroom farms and processing companies in order to gain a better understanding of the industry for when we are doing the project logistics module. This is unique to our course and I think it is a great opportunity.

Monaghan Mushroom Farm

As I have said, the course offers a totally different look at the food industry. While I don’t think it would be everyone’s cup of tea, most of the information is relevant for all professions. If you are thinking about coming to Fontys for your study abroad, you absolutely should. Be mindful that you get the option to do semester 2 or 4 of the course and I definitely recommend choosing to do semester 2 rather than semester 4 as it would be far too advanced.

Pretty scenes along the river

That is all for my blog about uni in Venlo. I am looking forward to sharing all about what mischief we are getting up to during our time outside of lessons!

Until next time,

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