â€“ Hardik Gala, Corporate events officer, Indian -Â
â€œIâ€™m from India and Iâ€™ve lived there my whole life before coming here. RSM was one of the top ranked universities and that is one of the main reasons I came. My course also has over 60 nationalities and that was the international exposure that I looked for. This really speaks to me as I like having different perspectives and by interacting with people from different cultures you get a new understanding of things. The university played a big role when it comes to international exposure, but when it comes to quality relations, ISR helped a lot. I got to know people at a more personal level, and have stronger bonds with them. They are the people I can now trust and share memories with. I think that if you want to find people that you can confide in and have crazy times with, ISR is a really good place for that, and people should definitely join it.
In addition to the big family feel in ISR, I joined because I wanted to do something that included a corporate aspect. I also didnâ€™t want to just focus on Erasmus University, I wanted to expand my horizons and luckily, ISR focuses on other universities as well. When it comes to working I get to learn a lot as being in corporate events I get to deal with companies, and have the opportunity to organize a career event and conduct multiple workshops.
After you graduate you would probably work or have your own business. Either way youâ€™re going to have to deal with people. Social exposure therefore is important along with academics. We have social events almost every alternate week to cover that aspect. However, you canâ€™t just party all the time, you need skills which you can learn from workshops. For example we recently conducted a networking workshop and the participants who attended learnt how to be effective at networking or career events, as well as make better impressions and gain a head start compared to others. Currently were organising ISR career days on the 18th and 19th of April as well as a couple of workshops so look out for that!
With both of these aspects covered, ISR can set you up both socially and career-wise.Â Thatâ€™s why I joined ISR and thatâ€™s why you should too!â€
â€œWe are all different and we should celebrate that.â€
â€“ Tudor Stefan Cristea, 22, Romanian, Vice-President of ISR –
â€œDuring my first two years in the Netherlands, I was still adapting, getting to know the place and the people. It is only since last year (my third year here) that I really felt at home. Now, I feel better here than in Romania, my home country – I have more friends and memories here, and Â Rotterdam is a city I personally chose. I have to admit I didnâ€™t have many struggles as an international student in the Netherlands, it is a very internationally-friendly country and even though there was a culture clash, it didnâ€™t bother me that much.
The culture clash taught me a lot. I come from a homogeneous country. Here, in the Netherlands, it is very international and I meet a lot of people with different values, who have different perspectives on the same subject. You can see this in every aspect of life – different ways of speaking, thinking, and so on. I think that it is also the purpose of ISR – appeal to that common aspect, no matter the language or the place where they come from. We are all different and we should celebrate that.
An advice I have for international students is to get out and explore the city. At the beginning when you arrive and until you go out more, you feel like the city is huge and you might have the feeling that you are isolated. As you get to know the city, it gets familiar and it feels better. Of course you should do that with friends, and donâ€™t hesitate to ask for help if needed!â€
â€œThereâ€™s no way you are going to perform well in your studies, if your personal life isnâ€™t in order.â€
â€“ Tunmise Odediron, 31, Half Nigerian, Half Malaysian, President of ISR
“I was born in Nigeria but Iâ€™ve grown up in India, Rwanda, China, the US, the Netherlands, and I also did an internship in Belgium for 3 months. I have to admit I didnâ€™t have many of the struggles that I saw my peers having when it came to being an international student as I went to boarding school when I was 10 to 12 years old, so I learnt how to be independent at a very young age. I didnâ€™t have to deal with all these issue of missing home and adapting to new places, and I was also able to figure out practical stuff in my life much easier.
However, some of my friends that I started university with back in 2008, are still studying right now and I really believe thatâ€™s because they had a bad start in their studies. Thereâ€™s no way you are going to perform well in your studies, if your personal life isnâ€™t in order.Â For example, one of my friends lived in Rijswijk, but studied in TU Delft and in the first months, he would do all his groceries in Delft because he didnâ€™t know where to go in Rijswijk. Things like this and information that a lot of Dutch students take for granted, is something ISR really tries to help internationals with, which is one of the reasons why I joined. I see ISR as a way to help international students but also as a way to meet new people and be part of a family.
A lot of times, internationals think the problem with integration is because of Dutch people, but I think the problem comes from both sides. Internationals have to make their own steps to meet Dutch people half way. One big advice I give to every international, is to take Dutch courses because learning the language really helps with meeting people and becoming part of the society.Â I actually joined a student association in 2012 and we had some Dutch board members, and only after that point, I really felt like there was a curtain lifted on my student life. All of a sudden, I was finding out about more parties and more events to go to and I was meeting a lot more Dutch people. I think me joining that association was a turning point and Iâ€™m still good friends with those guys even still today! I think internationals should realize the importance of joining an association like ISR or the one I joined.“