A day in the life of Master FREM student Merel Nijsten

"During the programme we meet lots of guest lecturers from the industry, sharing their experience with us. This is a great way to learn how theory is put into practice and it is a great opportunity to ask questions."

Hi! My name is Merel Nijsten and I am a student in the Master in Facility and Real Estate Management. I am 21 years old and I live in the Netherlands. I’ll gladly run you through a regular day as a student, giving you an impression of what this programme is all about. 

Merel Nijsten Master FREM student sitting behind her laptop taking a selfie. wearing a black and white shirt. girl has blond hair and blue eyes and smiles

Let's get started

The day kick starts at 9.00 in the morning. It differs per lecturer how you will start your day. One lecturer asks you to give a short presentation you needed to prepare before coming to class, while the other may start with small talk, asking how your week has been and what has kept you busy. In the morning you’ll get a quick recap on what has been discussed the week before and the lecturer will run you through the planning of that day. Not to worry, you’re not slaving away all morning without a coffee break ;) That’s usually scheduled at around 10.30. 

After the short break we dive into the material of that week. You’ll enjoy modules about Strategic Business, Facility, Building and Asset Management throughout the year. During the programme we meet lots of guest lecturers from the industry, sharing their experience with us. This is a great way to learn how theory is put into practice and it is a great opportunity to ask questions. After that? Time for lunch! We usually have a one-hour lunch break at noon.

In between the explanations we usually get a thirty-minute assignment we must carry out in groups. The lecturer divides the class into 4 to 5 groups and when the half an hour is up, everyone returns to class and presents their discussion and outcome. 

Throughout the day you get lots of opportunity to ask questions. The Dutch education system is not that hierarchal and this master is a small and personal group. At the end of the day we end with a short summary and some extra time is reserved for questions as well. If something is still unclear after the lecture, you can always send an e-mail to the teacher.

Fellow students

The master FREM is an international programme, bringing different cultures together. It is a nice mix of International and Dutch students. It is interesting to learn from other cultures, such as Africa or South-America. The master is taught in English, so everyone can join in on the discussions. During an online class via Teams, you are usually asked to leave the camera on. This stimulates more interaction and connection!

Schedule

The timetable for the coming year will be announced at the beginning of the year. It will sum up all the important moments scheduled for the year, from classes to exams, etc…. Good to know: classes are every Thursday and Friday. This will allow you to manage your own time better and maybe even take a part-time job on the side if you wish. Towards the end of the year, you only have one day of lectures a week. The last couple of weeks of the academic year will really be dedicated to your thesis. You’ll see, this year flies by in the wink of an eye.

English level

I completed the Built Environment Bachelor at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. This Bachelor was entirely taught in Dutch and in the beginning I had to get used to talking and writing in English. However, you get used to this so quickly. Your level goes up fast and if you struggle, there are always people who can help you. So, no need to worry about that.

If you’re interested in learning more about our programme, feel free to check out our study programme page. And if you have any questions, you can always get in touch with the Master Office. All the best of luck with your orientation towards a master degree!  

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