Hello everyone, I am Quan (Johnny), an alumnus of SNA’s Class of 2023 and a current student at Maastricht University, the Netherlands – A country known for its colorful Tulips, windmills, and Stroopwaffels. As an international student coming to a foreign country, I have faced many difficulties, however, it has also helped me grow. Notably, the most difficult challenge I found was adapting to the Dutch culture and that of many countries. At Maastricht, I have had the chance to meet many other international students coming from the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Moldova, and the US. But also those from my home country, Vietnam. The biggest advice I would give if you were to face a multicultural environment is to be yourself and always remember that it is not only you but others who are also experiencing it for the first time, so don’t be afraid to communicate with others!
Another difficulty that I found when I came to the Netherlands was the nature of studying abroad. When you study abroad, you must do everything yourself, whether that is setting up appointments, going to groceries, cooking or cleaning the house. Even though it is hard to balance everything at the beginning, you will get used to it over time, and I must admit that it has significantly helped me grow as a person by becoming more independent, responsible and resilient. Being here has given me many opportunities to broaden my understanding and view of the world, improve and develop new skills, meet new friends from various backgrounds, and travel to many new places. From that, I can confidently say that I do not regret my decision to study abroad in the Netherlands. Lastly, I would like to show my sincere gratitude to SNA and my teachers for helping me be well-prepared for my study abroad and higher education journey!