Mikaela Gumbs on student life in the Netherlands
Mikaela Gumbs appreciates the diversity and independence of student life in the Netherlands, but she could live without certain unwelcome visitors in her appartment...
Name: Mikaela Gumbs
Nationality: The Netherlands Antilles (St. Martin)
City of residence: Rotterdam
Date of birth: 25 June 1986
Civil status: Single
Lived in the Netherlands: four years
What was your first impression of the Netherlands?
Very cold, weather changes very quickly, and people can be either very friendly or very mean.
What do you think of the education system in the Netherlands?
Sometimes disorganised, it really depends on what school you go to.
What do you think of the night life?
Lively, and very different, depending on the city. Quiet cities stay quiet all the time.
What is the best thing about studying in the Netherlands?
What do you find most frustrating about living/studying in the Netherlands?
The placing of Dutch teachers to give an English-language course.
What puzzles you about the Netherlands and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
Certain attitudes puzzle me in the Netherlands, and I miss the weather on the islands.
If you could change anything about the Netherlands, what would it be?
The living conditions; not necessarily packing people together like sardines.
What advice would you give to a student new to the Netherlands?
Trying to stay upbeat during the winter, and keeping a job is very important.
What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you since you came to the Netherlands?
One night, when I was having a get-together, someone in my building accidentally left the front door open. Then, this gang of guys came in asking if we had any weed or alcohol left over for them. They went into rooms and knocked things over. A flat-mate was about to call the police when four of my male friends showed up for the party, each over six feet tall (the gang members were small) and they tossed the guys out quickly. Funnily enough, they turned out to be my neighbours. We haven’t seen them around for a while.
As a Student or graduate how do you think you have benefited from living in the Netherlands?
Independence is a big part of the culture, and it’s taught well here. The people really believe that if you want something, you have to work for it.
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