Guest blogger Produced by

As I boarded my flight to the Netherlands with my best friend whom I convinced to join this adventure with me, I couldn’t help but reflect on how we would be moving to a different country, where I would experience adventure, travel, and learn new things in addition to being a part of its culture. I knew this was an opportunity I wanted to take advantage of as soon as I heard about the Turing Scheme back in Bournemouth, but I had yet to learn what was in store for us.

I lived in an exchange student accommodation which was an incredible opportunity especially as I got to live with 2 other students from different countries. I stayed in a convenient location near the university, town centre, and train station, allowing for weekly movie nights with friends from uni. I also had access to a bike on a Swapfiets contract, allowing me to travel further. I wasn’t used to riding a bike as often. Everyone I encountered looked friendly, especially the elderly, who smiled at me as they passed me on their bikes. My best friend and I explored every day and every chance we had, and after a few weeks in the Netherlands, I began to settle in. I have three siblings, my parents, and a dog with whom I spend all my time, so being away from them was quite difficult. However, as time passed, I formed a second family with my friends in the Netherlands, who were all international students like us but from Hungary, Slovakia, Portugal, and even Ukraine.

Travelling without my family, not being able to return home whenever I wanted, and having that support at a distance was challenging for me, but as time passed, I was able to focus on other things and began making frequent phone calls and establishing new acquaintances. Despite initial challenges, I successfully adapted to many personal and professional conditions. The exchange not only improved my cultural awareness but also taught me to value adaptation as a life skill. Dutch Directness is not as strong as I imagined it to be, but it is there, especially with the teachers I first came into contact with, back when some of the Dutch students and teachers from Breda came to BU to use the TV production studios. However, I did make a good Dutch friend whom I talk to every day and she helped me get used to the Dutch culture.

Students on the Turing SchemeI felt like the workload was a lot more than at BU. Despite the intense commitment, the Creative Business degree at Breda University improved my grasp of this industry. Especially as a student studying BA (Hons) Television Production, it provided me with a larger perspective on the media industry as a whole.  The programme included more marketing, business, and documentary industry things that I hadn’t done before and struggled with. However, because of how diverse and the different cultural backgrounds of the students there, I got to observe different dynamics and truly learnt how to collaborate with so many different types of people and understand our differences in culture, especially when I made a music video for a Dutch country band for my AV project.

The University was smaller than BU in my perspective, but I thought it helped me to get to know students in my year group more readily and spend more time with the lecturers, who were always watching out for my friend and me, which was really nice. I got to know my instructors and developed very nice relationships with them, and even if they didn’t have the finest equipment, they made excellent use of what they had, and the support team was quite helpful. I never felt alone while I was there, and any challenges with my course or knowledge of a subject were swiftly addressed with aid from both professors and my classmates. It was a wonderful atmosphere.

Don’t be afraid and go for it. I never believed I’d be able to do anything so out of my comfort zone yet here I am, reflecting on this great chance and all the memories I made. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself not to worry about completing the assignments so much and instead enjoy the journey. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been given the chance to go abroad and learn so much, allowing me to expand my cultural experiences and perspectives, as well as to broaden my understanding of the media industry while meeting some wonderful friends and contacts.

Find out more

Leave a reply

Your details
  • (Your email address will not be published in your comment)