Catalina – ‘This region provides so many opportunities to help you grow’

Name: Catalina Susnea
Country: Romania
Study: Software Engineering
Location: Fontys University of Applied Sciences Eindhoven

How did you come across this study at this location?
“My parents moved to Belgium and I wanted to find a study as nearby as possible. Considering this, Brabant was a good location. I visited a gathering of the Romanian International University Fair and there was a representative of Fontys Hogescholen present, who told me more about their programs. I found it to have one of the best practical studies for applied sciences. Also, Eindhoven was one of the cities I wanted to live in. It is a very beautiful city, not too big plus it has an airport so I can easily travel to Romania whenever I want.”

How did you prepare for your international move to Brabant?

“That was very easy. I contacted an international organisation called Edmundo and asked them about all the information I needed to live and study in the Netherlands. For other questions I had, for instance about accommodation, supermarkets and other living issues, I used Facebook. But that is not always reliable. The only credible information is to be found via school.”

‘Eindhoven was one of the cities I had in mind when I looked for a study abroad. It’s not too crowded, a nice city to live in and it has an airport close by so I can visit my family and friends easily.’

What are your plans after graduation? Will you stay in this area?
“Definitely. First of all because I made a very big sacrifice when I left my country, so it is not a smart idea to go back. But otherwise, my plans are not set. I have good hope to find an interesting job here. All the companies in this area are very keen on innovation and that suits my education and interests. I just started an internship at Philips, so maybe that will lead to a job later? That would make my parents very proud.”

Which factor is leading in choosing your first job in the Netherlands?

“Innovation. I want to work for a company that helps make life a little better, for instance, the companies on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. They call it the smartest km² in Europe.”

‘I like the fact that there are a lot of students in Brabant and I made a lot of friends very easily. I had my best years here!’

Would like to keep on living in Brabant, regardless where you end up working?
“I think so. I had the best years of my life here. I made lots of friends because there are so many young people here. And I found many nice parks in the region as well, I like that.”

What advice would you give other international students who want to come here?

“If you want to study in the technology field, you can find many opportunities and interesting companies here that can help you grow. Also, the schools and universities are very high ranked.”

Any points of improvement?
“It would be good to offer more ways to learn the Dutch language. The courses I found were very expensive. Finding a part-time job, to earn some more money, is also difficult if you do not speak the language.”

‘This region provides so many opportunities to help you grow, because there are a lot of great companies where you can find work and the educational institutions are very high ranked.’

What is the most remarkable, typical Dutch phenomenon you experienced?
“Everyone rides a bike. Even women with skirts and high heels. I find it strange, I am still not used to it. And I thought tulips would be everywhere, but now I know you can find them mostly in the north side of the country.”

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