Pre-Departure of one of our students
By Rafaela Raymundo
My name is Rafaela R. I’m 22 years old and I was born in Portugal. Currently, I am living in Spain where I just finished my food engineering degree (and before Spain I lived in Brazil for 4 years…but that is another story). Next fall I will start my masters in Food Technology at Wageningen University. I chose Wageningen for its well-known reputation and program.
The process is a little bit exhaustive and hard due to the paper work and requirements such as a good GPA and a good English level. But, I assure you, that is worth the trouble: Wageningen is the best university in the world for Food Science and technology and is consistently among the best European and Dutch universities. Once you are accepted, the university helps you find accommodation and other details regarding your studies. They also provide student contacts and blogs (like this one) that are very handy to answer your questions.
Besides that, the students of Wageningen prepare the Annual Introduction Days (AID) for the new students so that they get acquainted not only with the university but also with the city. I’m very excited for these days because it will be an excellent opportunity to meet new people and see the place that I will live for the next two years. I guess that the students there will be AIDing me to have a wonderful time (sorry for the bad joke…).
It will be an excellent opportunity to meet new people and see the place that I will live for the next two years.
Something that also seemed very interesting is that university offers a one-week preparation program for the new students. They will teach you and show how the university works, which can be very useful since foreigners are used to different methodologies.
After subscribing for all Wageningen activities and finishing officially my bachelor degree, I started packing. After moving countries 4 times in my life, you can probably think that is easy for me to do so. After all, practice makes perfection, right? NO! I absolutely hate it. My experience dictates that arriving to a new place is always easier than leaving. I’m shocked with the amount of stuff that I get over time and that I don’t necessarily need to survive. Suddenly, the doll that I won in the amusement park doesn’t seems so important.
Oh well…There is also the extra bureaucracy involved: go to the bank, see if all college documents are ok, see health insurance or even cancel simple subscriptions. But the worst part is to leave your friends behind.
Nevertheless, arriving to a new country has its challenges.
If you are making a small interchange or you know that you will eventually come back to your home country you may not feel so sad, because you know that you will see them after a determined period. But unfortunately, Spain is not my home country and I am not sure if after my time in Wageningen I’ll be back there. But today there is plenty of options to stay in touch and I am quite sure that my friends are happy for me, not only for my personal achievement but also for the perspective to visit me in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, arriving to a new country has its challenges.
I only know a few words such as stroopwafel and kibbeling, two types of food.
Take care of all bureaucracy again…see bank accounts, phone cards and so on. There is also the problem of the language. I do not speak, write or understand Dutch. I only know a few words such as stroopwafel and kibbeling, two types of food. At least I know I won’t starve. Besides, the Dutch generally have an excellent English level, so communication may not be a huge problem. It will be good to experience a new culture and I am looking forward to do so.
I am a little bit sad for leaving Spain, after all it was my home for 3 years. I did the major that I am passionate about here. I made wonderful friends and could overcome challenges that allowed me to become a better person. For that, Spain will always have a very special place in my heart. Nevertheless, I am excited for the promise of the new challenges that Wageningen has for me. I am sure that I will have a good university experience and meet new amazing people. Wageningen, will teach me not only about my specialization but also facing new challenges. So, just like the Brazilians say “Vamô que vamô” (let’s go that everything will be alright).