Is the university ‘international friendly’?

At the Erasmus University there are more than 5000 international students. In this column EM Online asks international students and employees their opinion on current topics. As an introduction EM Online asked them if the university is international friendly enough.

Suzanne Whitford, second year IBEB student (from Germany)

“At the university there is enough in English, for example the news letters are. The only thing missing in English are the messages from Studium Generale. All their messages through Sin Online, announcing the coursers or events, are in Dutch. For me it is understandable, because I am German, but for other students this can be hard. It would be nice if all those messages were bilingual.

I actually have a funny story related to this subject. One of my friends is the first non-Dutch member of the faculty council. When she applied for this position, she got a lot of critiques. She did get in and now she is offered a Dutch course by the faculty council. However, Erasmus Magazine wrote an article in the magazine about this topic, in Dutch. So my friend could not read it in the end. Therefore it would be nice to have more English pages in the magazine.”

Vijoleta Gordeljevic, second year IBA student (From Serbia, lived in Germany as well)

“There is certainly enough English on campus. All the coursers are and everything else as well. Moreover, the level of English in the Netherlands is very high. Everywhere I go, I can make myself understandable. Finding a job is harder though, since they require you to speak Dutch for almost all of them. The only job that is available for me, is at a call centre.

Erasmus Magazine could have more English articles, there are some now, but this is too little. I do try to read the other articles as well, to practice my Dutch. Since there are quite some international students, it would also be positive for EM, because then it can generate more readers.”

Kostas Dimitriadis, master student Finance & Investment (from Greece)

“To study here is definitely ‘international friendly’. It is easy to adjust and they speak English everywhere, which is really nice. One thing that could be improved are the signs in the buildings. Since I am here for the first year, it is still very unfamiliar for me. Some signs are only in Dutch, which makes it hard for me to find my way. And since I feel that the international students are not a minority, it would be nice to have it all in English as well.

Other troubles I had so far, are with some of the flyers or information about recruitment drinks and career events. Most of them are in Dutch, so I cannot understand them. I thought Erasmus Magazine was fully in Dutch as well, because I skimmed some of the pages and could only find Dutch articles.” JV