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Global Ambassador Ioana: Study in the Netherlands

Ioana is an international student from Romania studying Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology at Avans University of Applied Sciences. Follow her journey and find out more about her experiences in the Netherlands.

Jan 22, 2018
  • Student Stories
  • Study Abroad in the Netherlands
  • Study Abroad in Europe
  • Sustainability

Getting a Taste of the Avans Experience

Go for Gold, Go for New Beginnings

When I was a child I found out about the many threats our environment is exposed to constantly. When I had to decide what program I should enroll in, the answer came naturally: Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology at Avans University of Applied Sciences. Curious to find out more about me and my experience? Follow me through this series of articles.

A little about me

My name is Ioana and I'm a 20-year-old from Romania and a third year student at Avans University of Applied Science. I’m a nature and art lover, passionate about seeking out new experiences, and I strive to do my utmost in every situation. I’ve always had the desire to experience things that would broaden my horizons and because of this, I chose to study in the Netherlands. 

My student journey

I remember being an 11th grade student in Romania, searching for study programmes that covered natural sciences and geography. As much as I loved learning about theory and doing research, I also wanted a study program that would allow me to engage in the practical application of my theoretical background.

These two wishes of mine blended together and I came across the ESSET (Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology) program at Avans in the beautiful city of Breda. Of course, I didn’t know anything about this city quite yet but I was more than willing to discover its potential.

So I did. The university happened to organize an Orientation Days event during the spring of my 12th grade, when I was almost sure that I wanted to study at Avans. So I bought the plane tickets.

Although it was my first time flying and I was travelling alone to a completely new country, I was enthusiastic about a new world opening itself to me. The “almost” faded away the moment I stepped into Breda and onto campus. Seeing the great facilities, the welcoming people, the well-prepared teachers and getting a taste of the study experience for two days was all I needed.

I then knew I definitely wanted to go for gold at Avans by focusing on sustainability. It’s an interesting program that combines both theoretical scientific knowledge in subjects like ecology, ecotoxicity, and physical transport phenomena with a social context through environmental policies, legislation and communication.

A sustainable future

The program normally takes four years to complete, but I was offered a short-track programme, which allows me to fit courses from the first two years into one year. Now I am in my second year in the Netherlands and I am in my internship phase.

Each program requires that students obtain practical experience through two different internships throughout the period of their studies. I am now working in the sustainable fashion field, analysing the environmental impacts of different types of textiles and converting them into monetary units to obtain a true environmental cost.

By the way, did you know that only one cotton T-shirt takes up to 2000 litres of water?

Would you like to have this kind of experience too? My advice for you would be to be courageous, not to be afraid of the unknown, and to fully embrace the Dutch lifestyle. (Oh, I will also guide you through the land of stroopwaffles in a future blog!)

I couldn’t have made a better choice and I am thrilled to share my story here, so stick around for more Avans experiences!