1 University Attended - Rotterdam School of Management, Netherlands Feedback 1 INDUCTION/ORIENTATION PROGRAMME What did this involve, how long did it last, was it useful? Each of us were assigned a buddy group before arriving at the university. This was really helpful because they would help you with anything you asked and showed us around the city and the university. The second part of our induction was to go on a two night trip to Maastricht, where we did many activities within the hostel. This allowed everyone to get to know each other and learn more about the Dutch Culture and get used to being in a new place. On this trip all the information we needed were given to us in packs, we learned what was expected from us and who to go to for support. It was a very useful and fun experience and some of the friends I made there have stayed close friends throughout the year. ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE Style of teaching, courses, ease of access to courses, methods of assessment, teaching support The style of teaching is very similar the University of Manchester so it was easy to adapt. They also used blackboard where all the course materials and information were easily accessible. Some things were more difficult to navigate as they didn t seem to make sense. For example you had to register yourself for exams, which lead to many people not being able to take the exam or having to pay a fine of 50 euros to take it. The grading is different here so it was hard to know if you were doing well or not and many times your grades were not explained. In addition the exams are mostly multiple choice making everything a big memory game rather than actually learning and understanding information. There was no room to show off any other readings or any other knowledge. It also makes it incredibly difficult to revise because you have to know even the tiniest random details of the course, in case there is a multiple choice question on that topic. Furthermore the amount of ECTs we have to take on our year abroad creates a lot of work and it doesn t seem that the workload is equal for the number of ECTs. To illustrate this point the minor I took at the beginning of the academic year was worth 15ects, however the class International marketing research which is worth 3 ects feels like an equivalent workload. The workload is probably more intense than in Manchester and at times it has been difficult to stay on top of everything. As for teaching support there is none that I know of. Most lecturers tell you to read the course manual if you are stuck and seem to take no interest. At times teaching staff were very unorganised and as a result made it very difficult to meet deadlines because information needed for the assignment would only be released a day or two before. Also on some occasions where I have asked for help the lecturer seemed completely disinterested was very rude and did not seem to care that I was seriously struggling with the course and concerned I was going to fail. MBS INTERNATIONAL ADMINISTRATION SUPPORT TEAM Level of support, additional information that could have been useful
2 The MBS international administration support team have been great the entire year. I ve always been responded to promptly and any issues have been solved immediately. I m really appreciative of how helpful everyone was and still is. I don t think there could be any extra additional information given out unless it was personalised to each person s university. MBS SECOND YEAR MEETINGS Any additional information that you feel could have been provided Again I think there was enough generic information provided unless there could possibly be more information on the individual universities. Maybe it is possible for the students that went to the university the year before to do a presentation on that university to provide more information. HOST INTERNATIONAL OFFICE Level of support, additional information that could be useful for future students I ve found the international office to be very supportive. They were supportive before I arrived at the university and after. Two ladies called Ligaya and Ellen were exceptionally helpful and have always offered and given support where needed. INSURANCE, HEALTH COVER Please include any information relating to the purchase of compulsory health insurance ie costs etc. or whether this was waived by having the University of Manchester Insurance Policy So far I haven t had to use an insurance policy and have not purchased anything in addition to the University of Manchester Insurance Policy. INFORMATION ON ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS This should be information on any extra fees that the University charged but should not include accommodation, books, transport, visa etc. I do not know if this counts as books. But for certain courses they have forced students to pay in order to take part in games, have access to cases etc which ate expensive and if you do not pay they refuse to grade your work. ACCOMMODATION As much information as possible on what accommodation is recommended or not recommended. Personally I would recommend getting your own apartment with flatmates. This is because you get to choose your flatmates in contrast to student accommodation where you are put with anyone. I know a few people in student accommodation who have had serious, unpleasant issues with flatmates and there is nothing they can do about it. Also having your own flat gives you much more freedom and encourages you do go and make friends in many different places (not just in your halls). It is likely to be cheaper too. If people want to have their own apartment as an substitute to halls, I would highly recommend that they live in Kralingen area as it is a very safe, peaceful and student area to live that is next to the university and close to the city centre. Alternatively, Rotterdam offers student accommodation. The main accommodation that the majority of students live in are Hatta (U) Building that is on campus, International house and the student hotel which are about a 5 to 10 minute bike ride to the university campus. Hatta building is situated right on campus and is only a few years old and offers good clean accommodation, 3 people per flat. The average prices are around 550 to 600 euros a month. It has a good community and obviously easy access to campus and the campus store Spar. International house is situated about a 5 minute bike ride from the university, there are 2 people per flat and has a nice balcony at the top of the building that overlooks the water where people can socialise. I am not sure on the prices of a room.
3 The student hotel is exactly as the name suggests a hotel for students personally I think it is a very nice building and nice accommodation but it is very hotel like and is not very warming, homely and friendly as having your own place or being in halls. This is due to the amount of security you have to go through to get to your room and the very modern look they have tried to achieve. There are twelve ensuite rooms per flat with one shared kitchen. It is a nice place to live and comes to around euros a month. I would not recommend two other halls that I have heard about but never been to called Kassa Erasmus that is situated near international house and F building next to Hatta building on campus. The reason I would not recommend these two accommodations is because I never saw them as an option or heard them being talked about when I myself was searching for housing and I also have heard many bad reviews from people who do live in these buildings. DESTINATION INFORMATION AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE Transport, travel, social life, integration with local students, student activity groups The Netherlands are very close to England and probably couldn t be closer unless I went to another university in Britain. However, saying that it is a completely different culture to England to which I had to adjust. As much as I love the Dutch they can be very strange at times and have a very odd sense of humour that takes some getting used to. That being said they are amazing people with a very lovely and refreshing outlook on life. They are always friendly and helpful and speak English better than the majority of England does. Getting here was easy as it involved an hour plane journey and a 22 minute train to Rotterdam. However, due to my lack of preparation I arrived in Rotterdam homeless. This was an extremely fun and entertaining experience, that although I would not recommend or want to do again, it caused me to make so many friends, allowed me to live in a house that was equivalent to a palace for 6 weeks and it s something I won t ever forget or regret. For some reason living in Britain made me forget that Europe exists but this year I have come to realise what a wonderful and diverse continent Europe is. I went to visit Paris, Berlin and Madrid and I am currently planning a trip to Prague and Budapest, amongst visiting the different places within the Netherlands. My social life has been very active as I wanted to do as many things as I possibly could within the year and meet as many people as humanly possible. I have an amazing group of very close friends that provide a great support network alongside all of my other friends. There are a plethora of things to do in Rotterdam to entertain yourself and if that isn t enough Amsterdam is only a 40 minute train ride away and other beautiful cities such as Den haag are even closer. Getting around the Netherlands is so easy as their transport systems are fast extremely reliable and quick and easy to use. Integrating with the local students was relatively easy due to all of the social events the university and student societies held and the amount of group work you have to do in class. However, the international students were not really Dutch as Dutch students do not tend to take the International Business administration course. Therefore, I have met people from all over the world and only wish that I knew more internationals at Manchester as they prove to be very interesting people who offer different perspectives on life. One thing I regret is not taking a Dutch language course as it was far too expensive. Unfortunately, because the classes are taught in English and there are so many internationals no one really communicates in Dutch. Which means that it has been extremely difficult to pick up, although the language is next to impossible and I never pronounce words correctly no matter how hard I try. In the second half of the year I joined a society called ASAH (Association for students with African heritage) even though I do not have African heritage, it is for anyone who has an interest in Africa. Its aim is to help promote Africa as the wonderful continent it is, instead of the constant negative images we are fed by the media. During my time in ASAH we have organised an African business day event where we had speeches followed by discussions on topics such as wealth vs. trade with inspirational African business men and leaders like the Moroccan Ambassador, the CEO Standard Bank Ghana and the CEO of Bilview Energy Petrodata LLC. The day was beyond successful and as a result ASAH gained more recognition. I also helped organise an African Beats party that sold out, proving to be a memorable night for everyone who attended. The party was held in one of the best
4 clubs in Rotterdam, we provided a little taster of African food and of course had the best DJ s playing Africa, R&B, HIP HOP and Latino sounds. I don t think there are enough words in the English dictionary to describe what an incredible and unbelievable experience this year has been and I can honestly say it has been the best year of my life. I am going to miss everything about the city the country and the people. DESCRIBE IN ONE SENTENCE YOUR YEAR ABROAD It is a truly unforgettable, inspiring and incredible experience that unfortunately can never be repeated, where I have met some of the most amazing people and my eyes have been opened up to the world, making me into a much more cultured and well-rounded individual. Feedback 2 INDUCTION/ORIENTATION PROGRAMME What did this involve, how long did it last, was it useful? Optional ESN Intro Days - Getting to know the city, and new people and socialising in the evening (Usually involves a Cantus which is a crazy Dutch drinking game over a whole evening and is HIGHLY recommended! Lasts 3 days. Very useful and worth the money. Compulsory RSM Exchange intro days- For us this was very expensive for what it involves. However- was a great way to start forming good friendships amongst other exchange students so perhaps worth it... (3 days) ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE Style of teaching, courses, ease of access to courses, methods of assessment, teaching support A lot of independent work and reading expected! Style of teaching very much depends on the course- some very interactive and good lecturers, some very minimal interaction. Minors in 1 st term are very good- the best course I have been on since starting university (I did Influencing People: Psychology and Practice). Generally courses are hard and a big step up from Manchester 2 nd year in most cases (can be quite a shock). Wide variety of courses you can do- highly recommend doing courses from other faculties such as Media and Communications to benefit from this. However it is hard to actually find the right number of ECTs to make up the full 60 ECTs expected. Lots of group work and presentations- normal to work with companies around the Netherlands in coursework which can be interesting. Exams usually contain at least ½ multiple choice questions. Be aware the pass mark is 5.5/10 comparable to what would be 4 in England so assessments are generally harder! Teaching support generally good, however some courses this is seriously lacking (e.g. Supply Chain Management) Doing more ECTs in first Term (at least 20, possibly 25) is worth doing if want to travel after Christmas as well. MBS INTERNATIONAL ADMINISTRATION SUPPORT TEAM Level of support, additional information that could have been useful Not had any problems with support. HOST INTERNATIONAL OFFICE Level of support, additional information that could be useful for future students Level of support wasn t always great. Can take a very long time to reply to questions or to sign forms. Due to the large number of exchange students I feel they get tired of trying to answer questions all the time- I didn t always get an answer to my questions when I ed- often they told me to refer to another or booklet which often wasn t that helpful! Let future students know that as soon as they get Erasmus forms they should send them due to the long time they take to reply otherwise they risk not meeting the deadlines! INSURANCE, HEALTH COVER Please include any information relating to the purchase of compulsory health insurance ie costs etc. or whether this was waived by having the University of Manchester Insurance Policy University of Manchester Insurance Policy waived.
5 INFORMATION ON ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS This should be information on any extra fees that the University charged but should not include accommodation, books, transport, visa etc. Pay for some assessments- Game for Supply Chain Management- compulsory to get a grade! Also pay for cases on some courses which are compulsory to get a mark too. ACCOMMODATION As much information as possible on what accommodation is recommended or not recommended. Hatta- on campus, new building, very sociable and has a lot of exchange students- recommend Erasmus International House- great terrace with amazing view over Rotterdam- can be good for socialising but building can also be very quiet- lots of international students- Possible recommendation Student Hotel- more expensive- but double beds which most student accommodation doesn t have!- and can get en-suites. Recommend if don t mind sharing a kitchen with lots of people. Private accommodation- slightly cheaper than halls, worth looking into but more of a hassle Kralingen is good location for private accommodation- lots of students, close to campus and not far from town. DESTINATION INFORMATION AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE Transport, travel, social life, integration with local students, student activity groups Get a bike as soon as you arrive in the city- will be the main form of transport. Get an OV Chipcard which can top up (like an Oyster Card) and work on all public transport in the Netherlands. Lots of international students so very sociable city- ESN is a great organisation for events! Dutch students can keep to themselves in RSM as they have already formed their friendships in 2 nd /3 rd years. Other faculties 1 st year courses are a great way to form friendships with Dutch students. Try and get involved in groups in the first 3 weeks- Rotterdam is a city of international students so are lots of new students who have just arrived as well! DESCRIBE IN ONE SENTENCE YOUR YEAR ABROAD It has been one of the best years of my life and has given me so many new friendships all over the world; I will never regret it! feedback from unavailable University Attended: Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University FEEDBACK 1 INDUCTION/ORIENTATION PROGRAMME What did this involve, how long did it last, was it useful? A week before the start of the academic year, the international office at RSM organised a 2-day welcome trip to an island just off the Dutch coast. Incoming exchange students stayed together in rooms of 5 and along with one local Dutch buddy. The introduction consisted of several team-building and bonding activities led by a professional coach. Furthermore, the local students shared a lot of knowledge on Dutch culture and gave us helpful to-dos in Rotterdam and the Netherlands in general. Also, the last night we organised a talent show, which was memorable given the diversity and variety of performances. While some of the bonding activities were a bit lengthy at times, overall the introduction trip was a great way to meet everyone and make friends. As a full-year student, I came to appreciate my induction even more, as the January induction programme held for semester 2 students only consisted of a tour of the Feyenoord Football stadium. In my opinion, this was a bit short and did not allow enough time for socialising.
6 ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE Style of teaching, courses, ease of access to courses, methods of assessment, teaching support The academic year is split into three week long terms ( Trimesters ) and is therefore longer than in Manchester. Courses at RSM are characterised by a very hands-on approach, meaning that a lot of courses will actually ask students to work together with companies or work in groups throughout the term. Applying the theory learned during the courses in practice is actively encouraged. Also, during the 1 st Trimester incoming students were given the opportunity to take 15-credit minor courses, which provide the means to obtain deep knowledge of a subject over the course of just 8-10 weeks. Furthermore, exchange students could choose from an extensive pool of 1 st, 2 nd and 3 rd year courses in the IBA programme. While, there are fewer course options at RSM, exchange students had the exclusive right to pick courses across all years as well as enrol on courses of the International Bachelor of Communication and Media (IBCoMM) programme. The style of teaching is very similar to Manchester: lecturers hold plenary sessions and occasionally ask questions. Contact hours do not vary significantly, however there are less seminar or workgroup hours. In terms of methods of assessment, there are usually final exams at the end of the semester and in some cases mid-terms. Exams usually account for 60 80% of the final grade, the remaining grades are usually composed of written individual/group assignments and/or presentations. MBS INTERNATIONAL TEAM Level of support, additional information that could have been useful I did not require specific assistance of the MBS International Office while I was on exchange, but was kept up to date over the course of the whole year of important deadlines (e.g. for handing in forms) or future meetings. Furthermore, all administrative s and messages over the course of the year were circulated in a timely and effective manner no questions remained unanswered in the process. MBS SECOND YEAR MEETINGS Any additional information that you feel could have been provided The second year meetings gave us the opportunity to get to know and ask questions to the final year students, who have been to our respective destinations on exchange. This was great since we could literally ask any questions related to budgeting, social life and other non-academic topics. I found this very helpful! HOST INTERNATIONAL OFFICE Level of support, additional information that could be useful for future students From the first day on, the International Office at RSM was very eager to get to know us by our names and our backgrounds. All queries were dealt with efficiently and always with a smile. For instance, dropping a course and taking a new one was never an issue and was instantly processed. INSURANCE, HEALTH COVER Please include any information relating to the purchase of compulsory health insurance ie costs etc. or whether this was waived by having the University of Manchester Insurance Policy. I did not have to buy additional health insurance since I was insured with my European Health Insurance Card for the duration of my stay. INFORMATION ON ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS This should be information on any extra fees that the University charged but should not include accommodation, books, transport, visa etc. No extra charges were incurred apart from the participation fees for the two integration trips. The first one was around 120 Euros for the 3-night stay in the hostel and food. The second integration trip only cost 40 Euros since it only included a tour of the local football stadium and dinner/drinks at a pub.
7 ACCOMMODATION As much information as possible on what accommodation is recommended or not recommended. Unfortunately, Rotterdam and Erasmus University are not really blessed with University halls like our University. There's only 5-6 student halls in total available and the ones situated in Kralingen or on campus are quite expensive starting at about 400, 500 Euros/month. For instance, the International house (a.k.a just I-house), which is very popular among internationals costs Euros 595 per month. Also, there is a limited contingent for full year students since most of the exchange students stay for one semester only, so they are given preference in the allocation. I personally chose The Student Hotel, a private hall of residence which is about 300 metres away from the I-house and was built over the summer. The rent was 595 Euros but also included services such as an own bike upon arrival, a gym membership, and access to a game room with foosball and pool tables. However, the management of the building just announced that they will be raising the prices to 745 Euros for an ensuite room with a shared kitchen. Nevertheless, I spent a lot of time at the I-house down the road since it was the social meeting place, while enjoying the superior services of the The Student Hotel. Another option could be renting out a room in a private student flat in the Kralingen area with some fellow exchange students. While, it entails getting organised over the internet and everything, it's essentially a cheaper alternative and the flats tend to be spacious and well furbished here in Holland. One website I can recommend is HousingAnywhere.com, which is a student platform run by RSM students to match incoming with outgoing exchange students. DESTINATION INFORMATION AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE Transport, travel, social life, integration with local students, student activity groups Since most areas in the Netherlands are 8 meters below sea level and everything is pretty much flat, cycling is a very big thing especially in Rotterdam, where the streets are not as crowded as in Amsterdam. Expect to cycle everywhere from university, to the local supermarket to do your weekly grocery shopping, but also to and back home from night clubs (needless to say at your very own discretion...). Other than that there is a good public transport network, even a metro linking the cities of Rotterdam and The Hague; also trains to Amsterdam or other Dutch towns such as Utrecht or Delft go every 15 minutes. In addition, Rotterdam has its own small airport frequented by some low-cost carriers with flights ranging from Eastern Europe to Spain and Schiphol airport (one of the largest ones in Europe) is also only half an hour, which makes the Netherlands the perfect hub to start your travels on the continent. Even though Rotterdam is not as vibrant as Amsterdam, the student social life is still good as the Erasmus University has a very international student body. Generally speaking, it is very easy to meet new people and make friends as there are a lot of international full-time students from different countries, who have been in similar situations upon arrival and thus are approachable. Also, Dutch people have an excellent knowledge of the English language the language barrier is therefore non-existent, which makes it easier to forge friendships with the local students as well. The major activity groups are ESN (Erasmus Student Network) basically the International Society of Rotterdam as well as STAR, which is the equivalent of Man Soc. at MBS. ESN also organise the weekly parties for exchange students every Tuesday and occasionally organise trips to other Dutch towns and the infamous Queens Day on 30 th of April in Amsterdam. DESCRIBE IN ONE SENTENCE YOUR YEAR ABROAD Even though Dr. Seuss said Don t cry because its over, Smile because it happened! I will disagree and definitely shed a tear or two at the end of this amazing year!! FEEDBACK 2 INDUCTION/ORIENTATION PROGRAMME What did this involve, how long did it last, was it useful?
8 3 days trip to an island in the north of Holland, involving group work, creative thinking, finding solutions to problems - the perfect way to meet the exchange students, and make new contacts and friends. Very useful. For the second semester induction we visited the Feyenoord Stadium ( the local football team) after which we were taken to a restaurant for dinner and drinks, a nice way to meet new students. ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE Style of teaching, courses, ease of access to courses, methods of assessment, teaching support Similar to MBS. Lectures and workshops, assessment via exams, individual assignments, group assignments, opportunities to get bonus points through participation in research. Course manuals available at the university library. Online access to course information, lecture slides etc. MBS INTERNATIONAL TEAM Level of support, additional information that could have been useful Good support, although I barely interacted with them, they were very useful in sending reminders. MBS SECOND YEAR MEETINGS Any additional information that you feel could have been provided Can t remember what was said and not. Should probably tell students that RSM is more challenging than MBS. For example, the required grade in order to pass here is 5.5 instead of 4. HOST INTERNATIONAL OFFICE Level of support, additional information that could be useful for future students Very helpful and resourceful. INSURANCE, HEALTH COVER Please include any information relating to the purchase of compulsory health insurance ie costs etc. or whether this was waived by having the University of Manchester Insurance Policy Waived by University of Manchester Insurance Policy. INFORMATION ON ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS This should be information on any extra fees that the University charged but should not include accommodation, books, transport, visa etc. Fees for the induction programs in semester 1 and 2. ACCOMMODATION As much information as possible on what accommodation is recommended or not recommended. Accommodation is widely available, and can be found at any time in Rotterdam. I personally changed places 3 times during this exchange. Recommended to get university accommodation as most of the exchange students will live together in one such setting. However, more expensive than private accommodation. DESTINATION INFORMATION AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE Transport, travel, social life, integration with local students, student activity groups Good range of choices for transport - metros, buses and trams are available and inexpensive. However most students get a bike, as there are bicycle paths all around the city. Also biking is much more enjoyable than public transport. Lots of clubs, pubs and venues for partying. Social life very enjoyable, people here work hard and party
9 hard. Local students are sociable but rather cold. Probably because they hardly need new friends, like us exchange students do. DESCRIBE IN ONE SENTENCE YOUR YEAR ABROAD In the words of J. D. Rockefeller : this year has been one long happy holiday, full of work and full of play.
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