My name is Mateusz. I am 22 years old and currently studying at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. I’m following the master's programme Econometrics and Management Science at Erasmus School of Economics. I’m half Polish and half Dutch, so technically I’m not an international student, but I can tell you a lot about what it is like to study here as an international student.
Choosing my program
I began my bachelor’s degree Econometrics & Operations Research at Erasmus University some years ago. Choosing my program wasn’t difficult. I was good at mathematics at my high school but I did not want to end up only knowing and grasping everything about mathematics theoretically, I also wanted to put it into practice.
Since economics was also a field I was interested in, my teacher recommended that I combine these two subjects and study econometrics. Basically, econometrics is the science where you learn mathematics and statistical methods and learn how to apply this into economics and the real world.
Choosing my university
Choosing a university was a much more difficult thing to do. Econometrics is a really interesting but not especially known science. The Netherlands is currently the only country with universities offering econometrics at a bachelor level. This is a great reason to study in the Netherlands if you are interested in combining mathematics and statistics with real world applications!
However, there are a lot of universities in the Netherlands and all universities are highly-ranked. Thus, it is not an easy choice to decide where to study, even more so if you are coming from abroad. I eventually chose to study at Erasmus University, and specifically at Erasmus School of Economics since it is a practical school with top-notch, highly ranked research and academics.
Not only the high level theory and internationally-known professors are a draw. The focus at Erasmus School of Economics is also on the practical. Studying in Rotterdam specifically ensures that you’ll be practically educated to tackle problems that companies and institutions face in the real world. The school has strong ties to industry with many companies in a stone's throw of the campus. That really stood out to me.
Advice for choosing your study abroad destination
When you’re choosing a study abroad destination, my advice is to stay true to yourself and choose a destination that you really have a strong connection with or good feeling about, rather than to be told that it is beautiful or exotic.
I can recommend the Netherlands as a study destination because people here are really open and adapted to international students. Almost everyone speaks English as their second language, they’re very open to and interested in people from other countries and cultures, and don't mind making jokes or exchanging funny stories even if they don’t know you well.
Finally, when talking about Rotterdam as a destination, I cannot stress enough how internationally-orientated the Erasmus School of economics is in its mindset- not just the institution but also students and professors. Even as someone who did my studies in Dutch. I have a huge number of international friends and have met a tremendous number of international students. You have a lot of ways to feel at home here, but that is something I will talk about in my next blog post.
For now, it is also good to remember that, when studying abroad in Rotterdam, you will soon adapt to the Dutch saying 'Niet lullen, maar poetsen' which translates broadly as ‘’Don't just say it, also do it.’’ In Rotterdam, you will make it happen!