Exchange student connects with his roots
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
ECU's overseas exchange program has given one Business student the opportunity to revisit his past.
Bachelor of Business student Manuel Jas is currently taking part in an exchange placement at Tilburg University in Netherlands - the same place that Manuel and his family emigrated from when he was just eight years old.
"I always wanted to go back there, but I never really had the opportunity", Manuel said.
He currently lives with three Dutch students in the city of Tilburg, which is just a couple hours from Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris - a completely different experience from living in Australia with its vast expanses of land between cities.
Manual chose to study at Tilburg for its great reputation as one of the highest ranking universities in Europe for management and economics. He is finding the classes both challenging and enjoyable.
"It is very internationally oriented. All my units are in English, so it is an attractive campus for students from the United States, Canada and Australia as well."
Manuel is immersing himself in what he calls a "rich Dutch culture", spending time as a DJ at the Student Guild on a regular basis and working to drastically improve his Dutch language skills.
"There is always something new to discover. The people here are very friendly and Dutch society is far more organized and efficient. It’s amazing to see when you go to another country what kind of people you will meet and I know that I have made contacts for life."
Manuel has enjoyed his time and plans on returning to Tilburg to complete a Masters degree next year.
He hopes that anyone considering overseas study will take advantage of the many opportunities at hand.
"I feel at home. At the end of the day it’s your future, your life and only you decide how you want to live it. If you have a dream or an open mind to try something new, I say go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain."
Students interested in more information about exchange opportunities at Tilburg University or other overseas study programs are invited to the Student Exchange Fair on Monday, 30 April from 10-11:30am at Mount Lawley Campus (Gazebo area) or 2-3:30pm at Joondalup Campus (outside Building 32).
For more information visit the ECU Study overseas website.