A year at TIAS: the greatest year of my life

December 13, 2018 | 2 min read

Some of you may ask: how could you leave your country and your established job to study abroad with no guarantees? I understand, I also asked myself the same question several times before embarking in this great journey.

When I decided to come to TIAS I was afraid of the language barrier, how would the integration with the Dutch people be if I didn’t speak the language, what would studying 100% in English be like for the first time, and how would it be to make friends with a bunch of people that don’t have the same mother language as me. Ever since I started, I could see that this wouldn’t be a problem.

I made a lot of Dutch and international friends, people from India, Taiwan, China, Philippines, Colombia… from all over the world! We became an enormous group of friends, hanging out and studying together basically every day. It was common to see a group of 40 people – I really mean it – going to have some drinks in one of the bars close to TIAS. We really became a community!

We had the help of TIAS to integrate, to understand the Dutch culture, and, moreover, to know how to deal with cultural differences. During the program we had workshops that helped us to respect diversity and learn from others. The school arranged parties for the students during main celebrations, prepared networking events, and separated us in two different study groups with people from various nationalities along the year. A great moment for me was before the start of the classes. We had an integration day, where we went with the whole group to a farm and had a lot of activities, plus a barbecue in the end. In that day, the very first, I made a lot of friends already! How cool it is to start your classes with a lot of friends already?

There are some times that we miss our family and friends, especially during traditional celebrations. Last year it was my first year far away from home and I could not go back during Christmas. Most of my friends went back home to spend the festivities with families and I was here, alone, during the winter. I felt devastated. But that is how everything changed. A Dutch friend – Laura – invited me and my best friend that came to the Netherlands to see me – to spend Christmas at her home, with her family! Isn’t that amazing? We had the most incredible time with them, we felt home and welcome. They are lovely people and even gave her presents. *Thanks Lau and family*. Not necessary to say that now I have a Dutch family, right?

Besides all the fun and drinks, I learned so much at TIAS. The high quality classes, great professors – from all over the world -, and all the additional workshops we had, made me a better professional. In my opinion, the greatest advantage of TIAS is that you not just learn academical theories, you gain practical knowledge (for example, we are taught a lot of tools that are required in the jobs), and also self-development, with coaching and learning labs that teach how to rock a job interview, how to behave in a networking event and many others.

The feeling that I have is that in one year I learned more than in my whole life. That I am better person and professional. That I am prepared to start a career in the European market. That I learned about great cultures. That is never too late to pursue your dreams. And more than everything, that a new start is a great opportunity to grow. In the end, for all this reasons, I consider this to be the greatest year of my life – and I am already 29 years old 😊!!

This blog was written by Full-time MScBA student Bruna Fernandes (29) from Brazil.

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