A year at TIAS: Work hard, play hard

April 18, 2019 | 1 min read

What a year it has been until now! I have learned so much, my brain feels almost full. Besides the academic knowledge I have acquired at TIAS, the thing I will always take away from this experience is more personal: learning about myself made me able to better adapt to other people, cultures, and values. Studying at TIAS is for me like a work vacation. As I live in Rotterdam, I have to take the train to get to TIAS in Utrecht. But that is only a small distance compared to where my fellow students come from. Like myself (Ivory Coast), they are from all over the world, which makes every day very different and special. Their diverse background allowed me to learn about other cultures and values, but also to share mine without having to actually go to those countries. For instance, I never had the opportunity in my country to meet someone from China, and now I have friends from China, Taiwan, Guatemala and many other countries.


Studying at TIAS means willing to work in groups. Working in a group seems easy at first, but I have learned that it requires a lot of patience, understanding and listening (which I think is the most important aspect of group work). My first study group consisted of 5 individuals (including myself) from 4 different nationalities. Sometimes we had big discussions about the process, when could we meet? What are the topics we need to do first? It was in the beginning hard for us to be all from such mixed cultures. We had to find a way to work together that combined our background and our strengths. Luckily TIAS provides Personal Development courses in the MScBA program, where we learn about each other’s behavior traits and how to use this to deliver good output. What I have learned is that it is not enough to work together but it also very important to enjoy together, which strengthens the group relationship.

Studying at TIAS certainly has not always been easy. I had to study very hard, decline quite a few parties, and even had to bring my books during a weekend trip to prepare for the next course. I have learned the meaning of “work hard – play hard (or harder)” at TIAS. Through TIAS I have made friends from inside and outside TIAS, with which I travel and hang out.

Only 2 more months of hard learning (exams and thesis) but also a lot of fun (study trips). I am enjoying my experience here so much that I wish the program could last for 2 years (or more).

This blog was written by Full-time MScBA student Shallom Madi (24) from Ivory Coast.


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