My name is Rik and I am the Education Officer of ESN The Netherlands for 220/2021!
I am born and raised in the beautiful city of Culemborg, located in the heart of the Betuwe area. No, it is not in Germany, as many people think. Since I am young, I am fascinated by meeting new people, learning about other cultures and discovering places. This resulted in participating in exchange programmes to Germany, to Turkey and China when I was in secondary school. During my Bachelor in International Tourism Management, I got the opportunity to do an Erasmus+ Exchange in Slovenia and internship in Rome. I can truly say, maybe a bit of a cliche, that going abroad was one of the best decisions in life and that it has shaped the person I am now. Upon my return, I did not want to leave the international environment, and therefore I joined my ESN section in Breda. During my two years in ESN Breda, I enjoyed warmly welcoming incoming students to Breda and the Netherlands, supporting them to call Breda their new home and creating long-lasting friendships. After my time in Breda came to an end, I still did not want to leave the network and wanted to create many more great ESN experiences.
As the Education Officer, I am responsible for all education-related matters and external representation towards stakeholders in the field of education. As part of my job, I will advocate for the interests of international students towards various parties. So, that the voices of you guys are heard by our covenant- and institutional partners and that international students will have an equal chance in Dutch Higher Education!
I wish all of you an amazing time in the Netherlands! Good luck with meeting the Dutch people, exploring the Dutch culture, learning riding a bike and trying to pronounce ‘’gezellig’’. I hope that your local ESN section is as excited as we are to welcome you to our beautiful country!