The Graduation Blog

The Graduation Blog

04 March 2019 by Dilyana
Share this page:

It has been so long since I have been waiting for this moment! It has been so painfully slow sometimes, but other times, weeks and months passed like seconds. This blog is about what does it mean truly to be a Hanze international student.

I have graduated in International Communication from Hanze University 2 weeks ago. So, in total, I have spent 4 years and a half on this subject. The most fun parts of the study were the Exchange study and the Placement abroad.  But let me break down my experience in years…

1st year

Many international people. Cool parties. Projects with real clients that are fun to do. However, things happen so fast that it is very easy to slip and have re-sits. Re-sits from the first year are like a nightmare that never let you go… I know people that had a first-year re-sit nearly until their 3rd year which resulted in a lot of stress. Overall, I would recommend you to be a persistent and consistent student because things can get nasty. The first year seems to be the most vital year for you if you want to stick around until the end of the study.

2nd year

Fewer internationals. Many people will leave the study, so you need to find new friends. At this point, you get a little bit exhausted of repeating your identity to new people at every party you go.  Somehow you are already more used to the study stress. This is the year to professionally network, do extra certificates, and learn new languages, new practical skills asap because in 3 months you will need to search for an internship. I sound like the teachers however on this point they were right. Too many students searching for internships; too many organizations require everything from an intern and give nothing; as an international to find an internship in English language is harder, and the internship requirements also needs to be the way Hanze wants it. Try to do extra activities because even when you apply for a real after- graduation job…they still require them.       

3rd year

I recommend you do first the internship placement. Because work before pleasure! It will be long 5 months of sitting on a chair and next to the copy machine trying to figure out your research question. But you might even learn something from it. You can choose to do the placement abroad, but I saved it for the 4th year.

The second semester of the 3rd year is here, and you will experience the joy of leaving Groningen and going to an exciting new country. Do you want to learn new things from your Erasmus university? – Not really, you need a break! You will already learn just by being in another country a lot of new things. In the end, you will also attend some classes, but they will be less strict than Hanze classes; the exams will be easy; teachers are nicer to Erasmus students, and the weather will be better. Erasmus life is good! You will find new friends, fun places, food and you wouldn’t want this Erasmus life ever to stop.

4th year

You are back to the Dutch reality. You will need to start the hardest study year of your life. The responsibilities to be a study machine will start on the first day. Yes, we had a client intake presentation at the Open Day. Your class is predominantly consisting of 70% German students. The pressure to perform well and study hard is real! You become sleep deprived, underfed, and tired but you are still in this project group meeting on Saturday morning. The climax of the stress comes in mid-October when you need to find a new internship ASAP. So, you will study hard, send 10 CVs per day, maybe work something and not have any social life.

Last semester- You found an internship. I recommend you choose an Erasmus placement and go to another country before it is too late. Literally, 80% of the companies out there do not understand what graduation project is; why do you need so much time; why can’t you work overtime 5 days a week; and why do you want as well payment. I have worked 5 days a week and had to do the graduation project. I took 6 months delay because it is impossible to do it all. I sat down for 2 months straight every day and I wrote the thesis. To write the thesis as a machine also requires a lot of self-discipline and determination.

The Final day and the presentation; lots of congratulations; and many future related questions. It gives you some satisfaction in receiving a diploma and finalizing an important part of your life. Everyone had different years including all the range of cultural shock, love, loss, and depression phases. However, just stick to your goals and seek some fun even in the most boring tasks. The people you will meet during the journey are worth your effort. Keep improving your skills in the field and hopefully, this Hanze degree will bring me some cool jobs!