New Members of the Wittenborg Family Representing 23 Nationalities
As 2023 draws to a close, Wittenborg welcomes 60 new students for its December block. The new members of the Wittenborg family will be based at the institution’s Apeldoorn campus, as well as the study locations in Amsterdam and Munich.
Throughout the year, the school has hosted six intakes, occurring in February, March, May, August, October and December. Looking ahead to 2024, the intakes are scheduled for February, April, May, August, October and December.
In line with Wittenborg’s strong focus on internationalisation and diversity, the new students represent 23 different nationalities, from Peru, India, Nigeria, Morocco, Iran, Uzbekistan, Türkiye, Yemen, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Trinidad and Tobago, Indonesia and Pakistan.
From 28 November to 1 December, the school conducted its traditional Introduction Week, filled with sessions designed to familiarise the new students with its staff, infrastructure, facilities and atmosphere.
Additionally, the programme included workshops that addressed academic writing, immigration procedures in the Netherlands or Germany (in the case of Munich), career development and a Support English assessment for all master’s and bachelor’s students, among other activities. In all of Wittenborg’s locations, the week concluded with an Introductory Lunch where students and staff had the opportunity to meet and greet.
Advice for students
In his welcoming speech, Wittenborg Head of the School of Business Rauf Abdul, originally from Pakistan, talked about his journey in the Netherlands, including the challenges that he experienced when he first moved to the country.
“I came to the Netherlands to pursue a master’s degree and, originally, I was not planning to stay here after completing my studies, but I kept studying and developing my career, and it went in an interesting direction. I joined Wittenborg as a visiting lecturer and managed both undergraduate and graduate programmes as the full-time programme coordinator for several years. After that, I was appointed as Head of the School of Business in 2015 to lead the most international business school in the Netherlands. If you work hard and keep pushing yourself, you will manage to reach your goals,” he emphasised.
Student Registry Administrator Sadaf Sakhi, who also attended the Introductory Lunch held at the Apeldoorn campus, said that students should really concentrate on their studies, while also participating in social activities, such as those offered by Wittenborg.
“I really recommend that students start learning the Dutch language as soon as possible, because this will help them integrate into the country. On top of that, they should take their studies seriously and not be too lenient about them, because they have left so many things behind to come to the Netherlands. Their main goal should be to finish their degrees.”
Starting a new phase of life
According to bachelor’s student Chavini Kurera, who will be pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management, one of the most attractive aspects of Wittenborg is the fact that the school is so diverse and international. Originally from Sri Lanka, Kurera highlights that this is her first time abroad, and she finds the Netherlands to be a beautiful country.
“The Introduction Week has been very good and insightful; we have got to know all the staff and they have provided us with useful information. What I liked the most was gathering with everyone and talking about different cultures. We had a session in which we introduced ourselves and that was very nice.”
Alan Jakupov, from Kazakhstan, said that he decided to study for a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Communication and Information (MCI) because the modules offered by Wittenborg are very interesting.
“This degree will help me to get my dream job, because my goal is to get into the top-rated companies, especially Dutch companies. The Dutch are so good when it comes to business; they are really innovative and there are lots of start-ups thriving here. This is really exciting for me.”
Rajitha Aberathna, an MBA student specialising in Data Analytics, arrived in the Netherlands from Sri Lanka on 24 November. “This is my first time abroad and I have already had many first experiences," he commented. "I had never seen snow before, it is always summer in Sri Lanka.”
Aberathna will be studying in Amsterdam but chose to reside in Wittenborg’s student accommodation in Apeldoorn. He points out that the Introduction Week was great, adding that everyone at Wittenborg has been very welcoming.
His long-term plan is to become a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in a tech firm. “I come from a software background, and I believe most companies are moving towards data technologies. During my bachelor’s studies, I did data-related research. So, I already have the technical knowledge, but now I want to learn more about the business perspective,” he concludes.
by Ulisses Sawczuk