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Alumni Vera van Amsterdam about the perks of studying a master abroad | 20 april 2019

Hi there, my name is Vera van Amsterdam and I am a Hotel Management School Maastricht alumna [F 2016]. Although I graduated from the HMSM in March 2016, I still think back to those years on a daily basis. I took advantage of every opportunity HMSM provided to personally develop myself. Some examples are my internship in Washington DC, my exchange semester in Moscow and becoming a board member of Student Association Amphitryon.

After graduating, I tried jobs in several different industries until I found my dream job in marketing. Consequently, I decided to develop myself further in this field by pursuing a masters’ degree in Marketing Management.

The benefits of studying a master

Personally, I was very intrinsically motivated to pursue a masters’ degree. The purpose is not to receive a diploma, but my main considerations were improving my critical thinking skills, challenging myself in an academic environment, and gaining specific knowledge about marketing. Especially because the HMSM is commonly considered to be a very broad management education, pursuing a master degree might be interesting for those who want to gain expertise in a certain field of business.

The perks of studying a master abroad

Are you going to do a master abroad?! Certainly, I got a lot of those judgmental questions. Indeed, the Dutch education system is extremely advanced in comparison with other countries. In fact, the University of Delft, Wageningen, Amsterdam, Leiden, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Groningen are amongst the top 100 ranked universities in the world (Times Higher Education, 2019). However, pursuing a masters’ degree in the Netherlands without a WO bachelors isn’t that easy. Most universities require a transition program including GMAT exams, English language and math courses or following a pre master. Because I didn’t feel like going through all that hassle, I started looking for options where I could start my masters right away.

How I ended up in Budapest

So how did I end up in Budapest? Well, honestly, the Hungarian capital wasn’t top of my mind either. But after many failed attempts of finding an affordable, internationally accredited university in Spain, France or Belgium I found myself lost without any completed applications on the final night before the application deadline. After a desperate Google search with the terms ‘MSc Marketing’ ‘Europe’ ‘1 year’ and ‘budget’ I ended up on the website of IBS Budapest. This private university is located in the peaceful business district of Budapest, but accredited by the University of Buckingham. This means, education is congruent to the British school system (comparable to the problem based learning at HMSM), which means classes are very small, practical, and interactive. Finally, after graduating, students receive a British degree.

Although I would have never imagined myself going to Budapest for a masters degree, I haven’t regretted this decision for even one second. The city has a lot to offer in terms of gastronomy, art, history, and more. Inevitably, as the cheapest European capital city, it seems to be the perfect destination for student life.

What I enjoy most about studying abroad is the international environment. I ‘m not only engaged in group work with people from different backgrounds, but also made friends from all over the world. When you are allowing yourself to be open-minded, the cross-cultural experiences will definitely increase your personal development.

So what’s next?

As a citizen of the world, I am not ready yet to settle down somewhere. In the near future, I see myself discovering new countries and cultures. Enjoying expat life while gaining experience in brand marketing. One thing is certain, besides living the lifestyle that fits my personality, I am also boosting my resume. Nowadays, companies don’t look at your diploma and grades anymore. They are rather looking for an authentic person with life experience. Therefore, practicing additional activities as a student and going abroad to study, work or travel will certainly have a positive effect on you.

Studying a master at Hotel Management School Maastricht

Interested in studying a masters degree closer to home, then also check out Hotel Management School Maastricht’s international  master programmes. They partner up with international universities and do not require a specific premaster or GMAT either. Go to the website for more information.


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