A year at TIAS: an unforgettable adventure

February 6, 2020 | 2 min read

Time flies fast. It’s has been a half way for my MScBA Program at TIAS. Being in Utrecht, the Netherlands has given me an eye-opening view of life and seems a brand-new door opening for me with countless unexpected experiences. I love the quiet and peaceful atmosphere here by wandering around the city on foot or by my bicycle. The lifestyle in Utrecht is totally different from that of Ho Chi Minh City. Supermarkets, coffee shops and restaurants close early in the evenings and no convenient stores opening 24/7.

In contrast to relaxing lifestyle in Netherlands, my sequence of daily study at TIAS is challenging and exciting with international students from many countries as Taiwan, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands. We have demanding classes with assignments and exams. Students are divided into groups with mixture of different nationalities and backgrounds. At the beginning, it was a bit difficult and a struggle to communicate and discuss group assignments. Through group work and hanging out together for drinks after class and some workshops, we grow and develop together, respect diversity and learn from others. Professors and TIAS employees always motivate students and help us in both studying and daily life as insurance or housing. I feel very happy that I got the chance to study with amazing, hard-working, and motivated people. The greatest advantage TIAS has is the ability to create self-development and career-oriented program such as soft-skills development workshops, coaching and learning labs and intercultural mindset classes, which help students to be well-prepared for their thesis and future career.

This is my first time to live apart from my beloved family and friends in Vietnam for such a long time. I still remember my first two months in the Netherlands with the presence of smiles, tears, and different feelings. My flatmates are so kind and supportive that I can imagine this is my second family in Utrecht, which helps me overcome home-sickness. We learn to respect others in any aspect, as studying, cooking, and even cleaning the house. We have relaxing and funny days with parties as BBQ and drinks after hard-working days of preparation for the exam. I cannot imagine how sad it is at the end of June, the time we have to say goodbye to each other and the apartment we have lived in for 9 months.

Our small Vietnamese TIAS family community always support each other whenever needed. It is so great to have someone coming from same hometown, having same native language and culture, to share life experiences, difficulties, hobbies and everything in life, when being far away from home.

In Utrecht, it is impossible to get bored for even a single day. During the weekend, we enjoy many outdoor activities as sports or have a walking tour or bike tour around Utrecht. Going kayaking along the canals is one of my unforgettable experiences. We travel to other cities as Amsterdam or Rotterdam to enjoy beautiful scenery, amazing festivals and appealing cuisine there. We also caught the bus, train and plane to travel to other countries nearby as Belgium, Germany and England in our longer holiday as Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

TIAS has given me many unexpected wonderful things to prepare for my future job and enjoy my new life here. I am looking forward to experiencing more fantastic things in Utrecht and for my next journey after graduation.

This blog was written by Full-time MScBA student Thai Ly Thanh Vy from Vietnam.

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