Mart about going on exchange
If our Economics student Mart had not received a scholarship, he would not have gotten so much out of his exchange experience. He was the recipient of a Holland Scholarship for his trip to Seoul, South Korea, where he took courses at Konkuk University. “I gathered a lot of information on scholarships and qualified for this one because my grade average was above 7.0. I was very pleased to receive the Holland Scholarship. It changed my budget, enabling me to make the journey even more worthwhile.”
Mart also carefully investigated potential destinations. “As early as in high school, I knew I wanted to go abroad, and that I wanted to study Economics.” So all he had to do was choose a country and a university. “I decided that I wanted to experience a completely different culture, to really embark on an adventure and to get out of my comfort zone, so I decided on Asia. Then all I had to do was eliminate countries I did not want to go to, until South Korea remained.” And it turned out to be the perfect choice. “The culture is so modern, and simultaneously also very traditional. I like that mix.”
Studying in Seoul was different from the Netherlands. “Education there is more focused on individual study so I had fewer group assignments than in the Netherlands.” Mart didn’t mind. “Given the fact that almost everything was online, I could make my own plans. I prepared for all my classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I had the rest of the week to discover new things all over the country. And there was something new to discover every single day!”
“I made many trips all over the country, both with friends and on my own.” Mart admits that he did not do a lot of traveling in the Netherlands and that going abroad has changed him on this point. “My exchange reinforced my feeling of ‘going out into the world’ and I wanted to do a lot more sight-seeing than in the Netherlands. I didn’t want to waste any time but see as much of the country as possible. For instance, I went to the border of North and South Korea. It was an impressive experience to walk through the tunnels and no man’s land. Furthermore, I traveled to other cities where I visited the universities and explored the countryside around them. And I went paragliding with a group of friends (see picture). That was also a fun experience.”
If you are in any doubt about going on exchange because of the Covid crisis, Mart wants you to know that “it doesn’t need to stand in the way of an exchange experience!” He admits that he had prepared really well as regards the measures applying in South Korea. “They are very strict about Covid there. For instance, the guidelines were elaborated in such detail that they covered 60 pages, and they expect everyone to know what is allowed and what isn’t.” But that did not keep him from enjoying his semester abroad to its fullest. Would you also like such an experience but are you worried about finances? Read all about applying for a scholarship.
Do you want to know more about exchange in general? The upcoming deadlines for registration are February 3 and April 1. The latter is also the final deadline for signing up for exchange in the next Fall semester.
Disclaimer: Exchanges in the academic year 2022/23 will go ahead subject to the COVID-19 situation.