Host University

HAN University of Applied Sciences

Host Country

Arnhem, Netherlands


SP2, 2018


Bachelor of Business (Marketing)

Why did you choose your host university?

I chose the HAN as it has a great reputation amongst the Dutch business programs sector, after talking to previous students who had attended the HAN I knew it sounded like the university for me as it has its own unique way of delivering lectures and tutorials like no other I have experienced before.
As I am not fluent in any other language apart from English I knew going into the course that the Dutch were also very fluent in English as they are the highest English-speaking ESL (English as a second language) country.

Colin CreeperWhat was the university like?

HAN University was a fun and friendly learning environment the faculty made it so easy to settle in as everything was at your fingertips accompanied by a helpful buddy system set up by existing students. The exchange students were separate to the Dutch students which was both a positive and a negative as you were able to interact with all the other international students from all around Europe as it is an English orientated program yet there was little integration with the Dutch students which could have been dealt with in other ways.

The classes were set up in group assignments with small class numbers that allowed for hands on focus from each tutor and lecturers as both were run in the class rooms.
Assessments are all set up for ESL students, so more is expected of you, but the group assignments are so much fun as you are sharing accommodation with everyone you work with and have plenty of time to work together in between social events and classes.

What did you gain from your exchange experience and has it changed the way you think or altered your approach to life?

My time away made me come to terms with the fact that globalization is making the world shrink in terms of accessibility and constantly making it tougher on us to get to where we all want to be. It is a competitive world filed with incredibly friendly and beautiful people who are all striving for the same line of success in life. My time away has motivated me to want to learn new languages and to continue to push myself to get better in my field as there is many other hard-working students who want the same result.

What accommodation options were available to you?  How affordable was accommodation and would you recommend the same option to others?

The accommodation was organised through the university there were positives and negatives to this. The negatives of Montevia (building name) being that it was slightly over priced for what else was available in the community however, being able to share the apartment block with all my fellow students and have everything made so convenient and having everything done for us in terms of building maintenance with no added bills was very handy.

Although costly I would not recommend leaving the student accommodation as there is always something fun happening in the building, unlike other student accommodation I have been in everyone cohabitated and became one big happy family.

Describe your travel experiences; did you travel locally or to neighbouring countries? Describe how you adjusted to life in a different country and how you met new people.

I was told to travel by my friend who went the semester before me, so I made a conscious effort to travel for the first month by the end of the semester I had seen 10 new countries without missing any university and staying on top of my work, travelling with my friends from university made it all the more worthwhile.

Better than just travelling alone to countries you don’t know, go to the countries of your friends you meet it is a completely different experience than to travelling as a tourist as there is nothing like home cooked Italian pasta or German schnitzels. The major difference I found from Australia to European lifestyle is the in-depth culture between every country, for us we experience little change from Adelaide to Melbourne but to go from the Netherlands to France or Spain feels like you are worlds apart.

Can you see any benefits from this exchange to your future career?

I can majorly see this benefiting my future careers as I have already started to do partnerships with an Indian friend, a French friend and American friend all which were sparked from the connections made at my time in the university in Arnhem. To be able to say I have likeminded colleagues from around the globe who are working on a series of projects related to my field that I am currently involved in and perusing for the future is huge as before I left I was just a student working at a bar.  

On top of these aspects of personal development I have learnt to how to work cross-culturally and understand the positionings and functionality of group dynamics for different types events and campaigns and the severity of concise hard work compared to just working hard. 

What advice would you give to a student who was hesitant or considering joining the exchange program?

You will not regret it, there are so many opportunities given to you in life that you can’t do again later in the same was as when you’re young and this is one of them. Nerves come and go, don’t get cold feet, understand that hard challenges can have strong positive outcomes and trust the process. 

Top tips

My top tip is to not waste time once you get there, don’t miss an event because you know there’s another one coming up or another chance to go travelling to a different country. Use all the time you have to the best of your advantage because every experience you go through is a unique opportunity on your exchange.

Say yes to everything, don’t stress yourself out when time gets tough there’s always a way to solve a problem.