My Studying in Holland Experience – One year after graduation

Aug. 31, 2018, 12:31 p.m.

I graduated from Saxion University of Applied Sciences with the bachelor degree in Art and Technology a year ago. Time flies, now it seems like quite some time has passed since I was defending my thesis, which turned to be one of the most stressful moments in my life.

Studying in Holland Experiences

Long story short: I’ve always been thinking about studying abroad. I guess pretty much from the times when I started to learn English, in my secondary school in Minsk. I never thought about studying specifically in the Netherlands. I’m a big fatalist and I like to think that we that all the big events and people we suppose to meet are already predetermined for us. We can only paint this predetermined path in our colours and perhaps slightly bend it.

Scholarships for Studying in Holland

I was searching for a specific type of scholarship: which would cover the big part of my tuition fee and would allow me to study Art and Design in English at a University of Applied Sciences.

It turned out that all these requirements matched in Art & Technology specialisation, which is part of the Creative Academy at Saxion University of Applied Sciences .

I spent quite some fun, life-changing and most useful years of my life while studying and working in the Netherlands. Four years of most various disciplines and projects throughout my studying process prepared me quite well for the challenges that I was supposed to meet at my real job after graduation. It would be even better if I’d work in a completely creative company but I like say – every kind of experience worths a fortune, you don’t know how it’s going to be applied in your nearest or not really future.

studying in the netherlands as an foreigner student

Finding a job in the Netherlands as an international

I had a goal (or maybe a dream) to gain some working experience in the Netherlands – preferably in an International company. I got quite spoiled by hanging out with all kind of international people during my studies.

As soon as I got my diploma ( even a bit earlier ) I started my non-stop applications period.

One of the most entertaining things in July-August 2017 for me was 5 min of cycling to the nearest supermarket  to get some groceries. All my friends were gone, some got back home straight after the graduation ceremony, some went on vacation. But I had a dream.. There was no distraction in an empty city in the very east of the Netherlands. That’s how I met it on my first year while going to check the location of my future university. Ironically, that’s how I remember it after the graduation.

All the effort and numerous attempts of filling in dozens of online applications and adjusting my CV according to the requirements of the specific company – brought some results. My diploma project connected to the research in the field of influencer marketing opened for me the door to an international influencer marketing agency in Amsterdam.

working in the netherlands as an international student

I was on the cloud 9 and ready to move to Amsterdam less than in a week. So, guys, tips number one – make friends in different places . They will save your life in quite complicated situations and will not let you to turn into one of that homeless stars who will ask you to pin if you don’t have some cash for them 😁

It’s quite good that as a graduate of Dutch university you get a year to search for the job that fits you the best . Although for some people, like me it’s still not enough to spot your light at the end of the tunnel.

Luckily Dutch contracts can be quite flexible, you can get a temporary one and then see whether it’s a mutual match for you and the company. I got some insight on the corporate world during 3 months of work in the first company.

It’s quite exciting and challenging to be a part of the big international hive where everybody has their own personality but yet work for the good sake and success of the company.

I’ve been not satisfied with my analytical skills for quite a while. It seemed like a good time to accept the challenge as a job contract in Media Acquisition agency after my first temporary job.

I set up a goal to improve my skills in different areas to risen up my value as a specialist in Dutch labour market. I have to mention that back in my secondary school and throughout the university time period, I was never good at disciplines which required analytical type of thinking. My brain could produce tonnes of creative and abstract ideas but when it comes to the realisation phase I tend to struggle with sorting out the work I have to do.

All work and no fun…

I’ve never felt so drained and exhausted after just 2-3 months of work in the Media Acquisition agency. Murphy’s law got me like.. I caught some terrible flu and had to recover for quite some time, so I couldn’t work with 100% capacity.

It was a winter time as well, not the most cheerful time to be in The Netherlands. I guess diagnosed myself with so-called after graduation syndrome – the adulthood didn’t seem fun at all.

No joy and satisfaction from work, the 50 Shades of Grey around you and.. tonnes of responsibilities. The human-being is a lazy creature by its nature, he doesn’t like to be constantly under the pressure of some day-to-day responsibilities and to carry this burden.

No I sound super-depressive, right? Hah, did I find the cure? Yes. Just try to have fun outside your work. That’s what all the people who don’t like their job tend to do.

I overcompensate the lack of creativity at work in picking up lots of new hobbies I’ve never had time or money during my study period. Since we are limited in time with 9-5 jobs, the only way to keep up with everything and maintain the balance between work – hobby – rest is to limit the amount of things you gonna do regularly after work until 2 pieces per week.

Ideally it should be something active like work out sessions/dancing/sports and brain-activating like learning a new language/pottery/drawing/book club and so on.

I also felt in love with… coffee ☕ Hey, I think I officially became one of those adults who go to work to earn some money for the living and try to have some fun afterwards.

Did I want to keep going in this way – no. I got some working experience abroad and I’m glad I did. Work or life experience stays with you eternally, only God knows when your stalking skills are gonna be useful in a professional life.

My orientation year in the Netherlands was one of the most life-challenging periods I’ve experienced so far. The main conclusion – don’t forget to reflect on your life goals, they tend to change once you gain some unpleasant or tough experience .

Then it comes the time to recall your dreams and start working hard to move a little bit closer towards their realisation. 🌟

I’m working on that but already in another country. Don’t be afraid to step back in order to make a step forward in the right direction.

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An international creative student at Saxion University. Graduated in Art & Technology. Fond of art, travelling and music.

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