The Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) nearly won this year’s ‘Oranje Loper Award’ on 30 March.
Nuffic, the Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education, presents the award during its annual congress to the institution in the Netherlands where the well being of international students is the best. Last year the ISS won the award.
RSM’s MBA unit came second after Delft Technical University this time around. Amsterdam’s VU University came third. It was no easy task for the five-strong jury to decide who should win, because after the audience had voted it appeared RSM and Delft had gotten a similar amount of votes. In the end the jury chose for Delft.
But how does RSM get this far in this competition? International students already receive information about Rotterdam and the Netherlands prior to their arrival. Upon arrival students are met by RSM staff at Schiphol Airport and quickly matched with buddies, often from the same country. A new student from Taiwan for example will be met by his or her buddy also from Taiwan. As for the students’ housing needs, RSM’s Housing Office takes care of many things. They offer different options, take care of the contract and have the keys ready for the new students.
RSM’s Registration Office handles student visas. Next, during the first weeks, students are introduced to Dutch culture, food and customs with the ‘Rotterdam Explorer’. They are shown the city, including some restaurants and bars, and they learn some basic Dutch phrases in special classes at RSM. During the academic year, different activities are organised allowing for students to engage with each other’s cultures: There is a Chinese New Year Party and the Indian Dhivali, American Halloween and South African Freedom Day events are celebrated. At the International Food Festival, students and staff can showcase their local cuisine.
As far as education is concerned, RSM supports its students through the demanding study programme. Also, there are competitions with fellow business schools and students are sent to international conferences. Graduation is a special day which family and friends back home can follow through live streaming on the internet. Then RSM’s Career Development Centre stays in touch with alumni and assists those who stay in the Netherlands, but also those who return home or go to another country. RSM’s alumni network offers connections to graduates that are invaluable. In all, the well being of its international students is a priority to RSM, and almost got them the Oranje Loper – orange carpet – Award this year. Let’s see what happens next year. KL