Hello there! This is Bradley Cameron reporting live from Groningen city here in the Netherlands. I have been studying at Hanze University learning about European culture and business for a week now, and it’s hard to believe that we are already a third of the way through the program.
Prior to arriving in the Netherlands, I completed my first year of Business Administration at the NSCC Waterfront Campus in Dartmouth, NS. The “Doing Business in Europe” summer program seemed like it would be an excellent way to expand my horizons and increase my knowledge and experience with respect to international business. The Netherlands has exceeded my hopes, and there’s still two weeks to go!
So what is it all about?
Well, like we were warned before we left, “it’s not a vacation”; most weekdays we are in class from 8:30AM to 5:00PM. In all honesty though the material we are covering is so new and engaging that I don’t mind the long days at all. There are so many factors involved in the economic, legal, and cultural environment that is the European Union (EU) that I am left awed at the amount of work and dedication that has transpired to not only bring the EU into existence, but also to maintain and expand the union into the future. I must also state that I have been very impressed with the faculty at Hanze University. I feel like we have been given the “all-star” line up because every teacher we’ve had thus far has been very knowledgeable and incredibly friendly.
There’s more than just class time in the schedule. On Saturday we travelled to Enkhuizen in order to tour an outdoor museum of a small Dutch community that thrived during the 1800s. Along the drive we stopped to see some of the incredible dykes which hold back the ocean and make life for many parts of the Netherlands possible. Of course I had read about the scale of the dykes prior to coming here, but seeing them firsthand was something else altogether. It’s astounding the degree to which the Dutch have literally created much of their country through hard work and determination.
At Enkhuizen we saw the houses, technology, and lifestyle that was common in the Netherlands a couple of hundred years ago. It was apparent that contending with copious amounts of water was as much a way of life for Netherlanders back then as it is today. The Dutch are a hearty and resourceful people, and have been that way for many generations! While in Enkhuizen, I also got the chance to eat some smoked herring cooked using authentic methods from the 1800s, and it was absolutely delicious (this is saying a lot coming from someone from Nova Scotia!).
If this week has been any indication, my remaining time the Netherlands will go by faster than I would like, but I am determined to enjoy every minute of this incredible experience. I plan to work hard at the academic program that has been created for us, and to eat a lot more delicious Dutch cheese before it’s over. Thank you and God Bless!
Business Administration Student
NSCC, Waterfront Campus