Diana Goanta on student life in the Netherlands
Romanian student Diana Goanta likes the Dutch laid back way of being, although sometimes this 'laid backness' can bring on 'weird' behaviour when urinals are scarce.
Name: Diana Goanta
City of residence: Amsterdam
Date of birth: 28 January 1986
Lived in the Netherlands for: 10 months
What was your first impression of the Netherlands?
I really liked the Dutch laid back way of being, for example the fact that they sing when biking, that everybody is really friendly--the Dutch people have helped me carry my luggage or find my way around the city. And everybody here speaks English very well, from garbage men to elderly people.
What do you think of the education system in the Netherlands?
I find it different than the Romanian one, because it focuses more on the practical part of the studied subjects; it focuses on case studies, on group works more than theory. In Romania usually you have to learn by heart some theory, here you learn how to put it into practice, which I believe is more useful. And working in groups helps because it develops your ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.
What do you think of the night life?
There are places for all sorts of tastes in Amsterdam, from Irish pubs to Brazilian clubs, depending on what you like. Also I think it is kind of weird that one of the most popular clubs in Amsterdam used to be in a church (Paradiso), but this shows the way people here are very nonconformist.
What is the best thing about studying in the Netherlands?
The best thing about studying here is that you come in contact with students from different cultures and different environments and I also believe the education system is very well developed and thought out.
What do you find most frustrating about living/studying in the Netherlands?
I would say the weather, especially during the summer time, in June, when it is 13 degrees outside and windy.
What puzzles you about the Netherlands and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
I really miss the Romanian food and I find it hard to adjust to the sandwich and milk lunch that the Dutch usually have. And also I cannot adjust to the fact that they always like a cold environment and that applies to their homes too.
If you could change anything about the Netherlands, what would it be?
A frustrating thing is the bureaucracy and all the regulations that contradict one another most of the time.
What advice would you give to a student new to the Netherlands?
Take advantage of all the opportunities you have in Netherlands and use the information you obtain here in a wise way.
What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you since you came to the Netherlands?
I caught a drunk man urinating on my bike once in front of Central Station and although he could see me staring at him and telling that it was my bike, he continued doing his “thing”.
As a Student or graduate how do you think you have benefited from living in the Netherlands?
I know that this Master course that I am doing now is going to help me find a better job in Romania, or even here. And the experience as a student in Amsterdam is not comparable to the one in my country because you get to learn a lot of different cultures and meet different people from all over the world.
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