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Student Ainars Laksa-Timinskis

"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for." - We can be safe and comfortable at home, but the point of life is to experience adventure and live it to the fullest.


foto Ainars Laksa
  • Nationality: Latvian
  • Bachelor's program: International Business Administration
  • Started in: 2014
  • Extracurricular activities: Rowing
  • High school diploma: Atestāts par vispārējo vidējo izglītību
  • Languages: English, Latvian, Russian, Dutch


Why did you choose to study abroad, and how did you decide to study in the Netherlands?

The education system in the Netherlands has a very high quality. Many universities are highly ranked on the international rankings. Tuition fees in the Netherlands are lower compared to the United Kingdom and it is possible to study in English.

How did you reach the decision to study International Business Administration?

I found many different Business program on a website focused on ‘study in Holland’. I had multiple options from which to choose but in the end I decided to study at Tilburg University, the university is well known and highly ranked in the world. What helped me to make my final decision was, I went for a study fair in my hometown (Riga, Latvia) and met a representative of Tilburg University there, I managed to get an answer for all of my questions and already had a small impression of the university life in Tilburg.

What is it like to study completely in English, together with international students? Was the transition from high school difficult?

The first month was a bit hard for me, since I had to start using English every day and had to make sort of transition from my native language to English. This transition happened very quickly, and I didn’t have any problems with English anymore. The feeling of being in a classroom full of people with different cultural backgrounds is very exciting. I have met many people from different countries and learned a lot about their cultures. Studying in such international environment made me open-minded towards new people and different nationalities and helped to develop communication skills.

What sort of teaching styles do you encounter in your program, and can you say something about this?

The studying process is divided into three parts – lectures, tutorials and self-study. During the lectures, you learn theory and theory applications with real life, at the tutorials we practice exercises and we try to apply theory we learned with a real life cases, such tutorials are organized in a small groups with approximately 25 people in it. Self-study is the part where we have to read books and process the materials ourselves. Normally we gather with friends and study together in the library of the university.

Would you recommend studying abroad to a student who might never have thought about it before?

Yes, I would definitely recommend it, firstly even though it is scary but we all should push our self out of the comfort zone to develop our personality and skills, secondly from my personal experience I can say that living abroad changed me a lot and taught me how to be independent and how to make a new social connections with other people with different cultural background. If I look back to my first day in The Netherlands and me at the current point I can say I like me more now than before.

Do your studies take a lot of time? Do you have any time for activities besides your studies?

The time I devote to my studies depends on a subject I am following, thus for easier subjects you devote less time than for harder ones. In general studies don’t take a lot of time as long as you are good with time management, thus you should have enough time for studying, social life, traveling and other activities.

Do you have any advice for prospective students considering this program, or studying at Tilburg University?

Join some student organizations and be an active committee member for example (ESN, AEGEE, AIESEC, ASSET), by doing so you will make new connections, meet new people and have a work experience as well. Another advice is Tilburg University provides 2 language courses for free to every student, so I would really advise students to make use of it since it is possible to study different languages like (German, Russian, Dutch, Spanish etc.). And my final advice is that in your 3rd year to go on Exchange to broaden your horizons even more.

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