Gabriela Garcia, first-year IBCoM (from Venezuela)

“I can be stressed sometimes. Especially when it comes to exams, or when I have a week full of deadlines. Most of the time I try to control this feeling. For example by managing my time and making schedules. So far I did not notice Dutch students being less stressed. However, I do notice that everyone is stressed around the same period.

Since I am a non-European student I have some extra pressure. Not just the extra fee, but in particular my visa. If I don’t pass this year it will be really hard to expand it. It is possible, but only through very complicated procedures.”

Studying abroad: a stressful experience?

A few weeks ago, Erasmus Magazine conducted a survey among EUR-students. One of the questions was whether students ever feel highly stressed about their studies. Surprisingly, we found that foreign students are often more stressed (42%) than Dutch students (29%). Is it the Dutch ‘passing-grade-is-fine-mentality’ or does living in another country make studying more stressful?

Kristina Radoeva, master Finance and Investment (from Bulgaria)

“The programme itself is known to be quite stressful. However, I never feel stressed. The main reason is that I have a lot of bachelor friends who are studying here as well. In general, I think it is easier when you have a social network around you. This might explain why Dutch students are less stressed. A lot of foreign students don’t have that many things besides their studies, which also puts more pressure on them.

In Bulgaria it really depends on the person. There is not a real external pressure. However, I studied at an American high school, which is more competitive than regular high schools. As a result, it can also bring more stress. In general, I think it is a personal thing and not a cultural one.”

Tony Shelton, exchange student IBCoM (from Canada)

“I actually think that foreign, at least exchange students, are less stressed than Dutch students. When you are on an exchange you only need to pass the courses. The results are not important. It is more important to travel and to experience the Dutch culture. Back in Canada this is different. In particular, getting into a master programme is highly competitive there.

Another thing is that the workload here is very different than in Canada. At home I have to take five courses per block and here only three. Moreover, for a non-native English speaker the courses might be more stressful. Since I am a native speaker, some things are easier for me.” JV