Hello! My name is Megan Holley and I am one of the students participating in the Doing Business in Europe summer program at Hanze University of Groningen. I am a Business Administration student at NSCC and I found out about this program through a presentation done at my school by past participants.
Today is Wednesday which means we're officially half done of the program already. I can't believe how fast the time has gone by; it feels like we've only been here a couple of days. Today was the first time I've biked around town without getting lost once! I finally can bike to school and back without taking a wrong turn. It's pretty bad that it took me almost two weeks to learn the route! Other than getting lost a lot, I am loving biking everywhere each day. When I left home I was sure that I was going to miss driving a car, but so far I don't miss it at all – biking is awesome. We've been really lucky with the weather so far as well, I haven't had to even open my umbrella yet!
My stay in the Netherlands so far has been super busy but so much fun at the same time. We have done three tours of the Netherlands and a trip to Germany for a tour of Meyer Werft, along with lots of fun social programs. On Sunday, the group went to The Island of Schiermonnikoog for a cultural excursion day. Schiermonnikoog is a nearby island that is a part of the province Friesland. It is a small island; about 1,000 people live there permanently and biking is almost the only transportation used. Only the people living there are allowed to drive a car there, so there's bike roads everywhere. The island was beautiful and we were able to have some time to explore wherever we liked. I decided to spend most of my time going to the beaches there and just biking around and sightseeing.
We had a short teaching day today from 8:30 until 2pm. We learned about international facility management, followed by a sales training class, and then we had a class about the countries in Eastern Europe. I'm glad our day was a little shorter because we have lots of assignments to work on along with studying for our final exam. This Friday is our trip to Amsterdam where we will visit Philip's headquarters. When we arrive there we are going to have the opportunity to pitch a new product idea to Mr. Frans van Houten – the CEO of Philip's! The class worked in groups to think of new ideas that Philip's could possibly add to their line of products. It's going to be so cool. I probably won't sleep the night before!
Overall my experience in The Netherlands so far has been very positive. The teachers do an amazing job of fitting in all the information into the short amount of time they have for each class. My other classmates and our program coordinators have been great, and most all of the Dutch people I've met have been very friendly. This next week and half is going to go by so quickly, but I'm going to make the most of it and enjoy every minute of it.
Business Administration Student
NSCC, Pictou Campus