A year at TIAS: support from day 1

November 15, 2018 | 3 min read

I still can’t believe four months have passed! So much has happened in these past months that it still feels unreal when I think about it now.

A lot of people have asked me why I decided to come to the Netherlands to study since it is not a common option in my country. The story began two years ago when I was traveling around Europe and decided to stop off in the Netherlands. Once I arrived in the country I was immediately amazed by the culture and environment (and of course by how tall people are here) of this beautiful country. As the rents in Amsterdam were high, my friend and I decided to rent a house in Utrecht! By that time I was already so in love with the country that I started thinking to come back here to study or live. Surprisingly, my landlord from Utrecht graduated from TIAS so she provided me with some information about the school. While she was telling me about the experiences she’d had at TIAS I could that she really enjoyed her study life here tell from the smile on her face. So when I went back to Taiwan, I spent months researching and considering my options and eventually decided to apply for TIAS and this is where all the crazy stories started. 

If you ask me to use one word to describe TIAS it would be: warmth. I broke my leg right before I came here so I had to inform the school about my condition and about the fact that I might not able to attend the preparatory courses. Once they learned about my situation they got back to me right away with re-scheduled preparatory course dates and all the medical information I might need for when I arrived in Utrecht. In addition, they of course also told me not to worry about anything, they are always willing to help. They already made me feel like I was part of a family before I was even here! Luckily, with all the help from the school and my friends in Utrecht, I fully recovered.

In September we started the foundation courses, which was slightly overwhelming for me because I came from a translation and interpretation background and the teaching system is completely different to what I was used to. Therefore, I was really struggle every day. When you are still trying to figure out something you learn from class the one day, you learn something new again the day after and this is an endless cycle. I remember coming home every day feeling like my head is about to explode. However, just as the TIAS slogan- “Never Stop Asking” says: Never stop asking why and never stop asking for help. Teachers are always willing to answer your questions until you understand the topic, and classmates are always willing to share their methods of learning or class notes with you. Of course the program manager is also always there for you when you feel stressed out and need someone to talk to. I found it really useful because although the learning habit I had in my country might not apply to TIAS, through asking for help from the teachers and classmates I managed to adopt a new way of learning and I have noticed that my school performance is getting better and better now.

Although we study really hard, TIAS students also know how to have fun! Every Friday after school we gather together in the bar near school to have a drink (or more). Since our class divided into two groups (windmill and tulip) this is the perfect chance to get to know everyone. I really like this as I think this helps us bond with one another! I am also a member of the TIAS Student Association which organizes all the social events for TIAS students, such as Halloween, Sinterklaas and day trip to Düsseldorf. We make sure students get to relax every once in a while.

Someone once asked me if I made the right choice coming to study at TIAS, and I was confident in telling them, YES! Compared to other schools, TIAS is a relatively small school, which is why the members of staff can pay attention to every single student and help everyone with their personal development. For example, besides group coaching sessions, we also have individual coaching sessions to help everyone understand themselves better and to help with their personal career development. I was doubting between change management and marketing for my specialization but after an individual coaching session during which the coach helped me by letting me take some tests and analyzing the results I finally found my ideal specialization. Although the Netherland is not the best country to get tan, I really like the culture, people and environment here. I am also excited for the upcoming year with new specialization courses and challenges.

This blog was written by Full-time MScBA student Lindsey Liao (23) from Taiwan.

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