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You have the space to explore your own interests in most of the assignments

Norma Global Project and Change Management
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I am Norma, a third year student Global Project and Change Management from Germany. When I found this programme it was everything I was looking for, it had the theoretical background of global issues while also giving me the practical skills I needed. I felt like I was able to pursue something I was passionate about while also having good job prospects later. 

My experiences so far are genuinely wonderful. My time here has been made special by the people here, who are passionate about so many different issues but are all caring into making the world a better place. The study environment is also enjoyable since there is a flat hierarchy, and you are able to approach all of your lecturers easily to ask questions or for extra resources. 

For each course you can carve out your own space
What I like about the programme is that you have the space to explore your own interests in most of the assignments. There is a wide array of courses you have, but for each of them you can carve out your own space. There is also this sense that the people in and around the programme always want to improve it and make it better and are therefore also willing to listen to suggestions and ideas and want to help make them a reality. 

High expectations
But there are also challenges: There are quite high expectations, and you are thrown into the cold water a bit. You may not always understand the mechanics of it completely but are learning by doing. It can also be quite unorganized at times, which can be challenging when you are trying to plan. The first year was personally a bit underwhelming but starting in the second year it was really great. 
It really is up to you how much you make out of an experience. You have the ability to decide if you want to work and do the extracurricular or do that extra internship, there are resources around you like the lecturers or the student counsellors who want to see you succeed. You just need to reach out to them.  

Easy to engage with the lecturers
The classes are small, which is why it makes it much easier to ask questions and to engage with the lecturers. The common room is where everybody is coming together and where you can always study. Also, everyone has a student counsellor assigned to them, which is an absolute wonderful resource and you meet at least once per semester with them, which is something I have never heard of before. Generally, it can be a bit unorganized such as your semester plan or abroad sessions.  

One of the prettiest countries I have been to
Zwolle is a lovely city (with a wonderful bookshop!), but it is a bit small. Which can be a pro since all your friends live close to you, however there are also less (cultural) activities you can do. The next big city is easy to reach within approx. one hour. 
The Netherlands is one of the prettiest countries I have been to. There is beautiful architecture everywhere and since it’s not a big country it’s also quite easy to travel around and see different places. What is also great is that you can navigate everyday life also quite well with English.  But be aware, rain and biking are definitely a thing here. 

A bit harder than at home
Altogether, studying abroad is just a bit harder than at home. When you must fill out forms, or you want to apply for a job, or go to the doctor, or look something up on the university’s website. You can of course look some words up, but nothing is self-evident, and nobody can help you with it. Some spaces are not even accessible to you if you don’t speak the language, such as extracurriculars or extra courses, which might have been different in a bigger city. It is not the end of the world, but it just takes a lot of extra energy for things that don’t have to be hard. 

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