Name: Elena Chudomirova
Home country: Bulgaria
Study Programme: International Business and Management Studies (IBMS)
My name is Elena and I come from Bulgaria. I have already spent nearly two years in Groningen and I can, without any doubt, claim that these two years enriched my life in many different ways. Often people ask me “Why did you choose Holland and especially Groningen for your studies?” If I have to be honest, It took me one day to make this decision. At first I had set my mind on studying in my home country until one day it just occurred to me that I was ready for a change in my life. I wanted a totally different life, with new people and a new culture. I can remember it like it was yesterday: It was Wednesday and I went to the agency that helps arrange applications for students who want to go and study abroad. The deadline for the application was the end of the week, so everything had to be done within a few hours. I am very grateful for the kind assistance of the agency who helped make my dream come true. I applied for several universities in four different countries: France, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Eventually I was accepted at every one of the universities. However, my decision was already made before that and it was: International Business and Management Studies at Hanze University.
Why the Netherlands?
I had done a lot of reading concerning Holland before I applied for the university. I come from a culture that doesn’t have a lot in common with the Dutch one. And that was what I wanted. I wanted to experience what it is like to live close to people who don’t behave, eat, and encounter with one another like the people who you have been seeing all your life. Of course, intercultural adaptability plays an important role in situations like this. One has to develop acceptance and tolerance towards all the cultural differences.
I did some research on Internet (Google pictures) and fell in love with the town immediately. So many green parks, a lot of terrace cafes spread everywhere around the lively city centre, beautiful buildings and happy people. The fact that almost each third person you meet within the city is a student is also a factor that drove me to select Groningen as my study destination.
Every bachelor programme contains difficulties to some extent. Even though the first two years were pretty tough academically, I never doubted that I had chosen the right study. The programme is really broad, meaning that no matter in which business field you want to end up, you can become a professional. Since high school I have beeninterested in the travel and tourism industry. I was therefore very enthusiastic when I found out I could do a major in Travel and Tourism.
As far as extracurricular activities are concerned, an IBMS student couldn’t even attempt not being involved in them. At the very beginning, during the introduction week, the student union IBS-U (of which you have to become a member!) will start organizing various social activities, where you can meet almost everyone that you’ll be spending your next years with. IBS-U frequently organizes parties, excursions, sport activities, business conferences, etc. These excursions are organized by students. The International Business School a close community where student-to-student, teacher—to-student and teacher-to-teacher are really close and friendly.