What US school did you go to and what did you study?
I went to St. Johnsbury Academy, a private prep school in St. Johnsbury, which is located in the state of Vermont. There are around 1000 students.
Did you play a sport in the US?
I played a variety of sports, like basketball, soccer and tennis. But I never played on a school team.
Why did you want to study in the US?
I felt that I was ready for a new experience; one that would be extremely different, compared to going to school in the Netherlands. Not only have I always wanted to be in the United States for holidays; I also wanted to live there for a while and see what the educational system is like. I also wanted to make new friends and learn skills that I could not learn in here in the Netherlands.
What was the hardest part about settling in as an international student in the US?
For me, obviously, one of the hardest things about settling in the United States, was that I was far away from my family and friends. Another thing was that I noticed that the United States is different in a lot of ways, when compared to the Netherlands (distance, transportation, climate, having a roommate and boarding life itself).
What opportunities has studying in the US offered you since you finished your studies and returned home?
Because of this year abroad, I now have an excellent level of English language; I feel more confident as a person and student; I am more outgoing and make friends easier. Also, I now enjoy speaking in public in front of a large audience. I know how it is to study hard and efficiently, and enjoy my free time next to that. I have become a more athletic and outgoing person. I am now very motivated to do well in school.
What were some of your highlights when you were in the US?
Some highlights were:
- making international/American friends
- traveling to American places/cities (New York, Washington, Boston)
- skiing and snowboarding in Vermont
- the breaks to Miami and Cancún
- living on campus, in dorms
- winning a public speaking contest against other schools
- getting acceptance at American colleges
- learning about cultures and languages from all over the world (Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic)
- experiencing graduating and graduation prom (limousine, pretty girls :))
- cheering for our school’s sports varsity teams
- making friends for life
How do you think studying in the US is different to studying at a Dutch/European university?
In the US you participate more actively in class than in the Netherlands. The students are also more motivated and involved in their learning process. Teachers are respected and they really care about the students.
What did you think about the application process of getting into a US college or university?
Getting into St. Johnsbury Academy was easy due to the great personal help of UStudy. I first met the admissions director of the school, through UStudy and she offered me a big scholarship. UStudy also helped me with all the paper work and visa application.
What are you currently doing?
I am currently studying International Business and Management Studies at the Hague University for Applied Sciences (Haagse Hogeschool). This is a study program with mostly international students. I am doing very well due to my gap year in the US.
What are some of your goals for the future?
I want to do my masters in the US. I also would like to do internships abroad.