As an international student in Wageningen University and Research, there are a lot of difficulties that we are facing. For instance, try to understand the lecturer, try to understand the curriculum, try to find a good method of learning, and also try to adapt with the ‘weather’.
I will try to explain the basic differences between Netherlands and Indonesia education for Master Degree. I used my major Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management to illustrate the method of education in WUR.
Period vs Semester
In Netherlands, they have different type of curriculum compare to all university in Indonesia. For instance, the period of learning. Basically, in WUR, they used term of “Period”, rather than “Semester”. Periods is two months of learning time, for my Major it’s consist of 6 weeks of learning, 1 weeks of self-study before exam, 2 days for exam, and 4 days for wrap up all the course.
This period will have different length because the weather. So the weather also influences the education system here. For example, in the winter season, the length of period will shorter than the other time. So in the period 3 and 4, we just take 1 course.
Explanation of MO/AF/WD
In WUR, there are three types of time learning, such as MO, AF, and WD. Every alphabet indicates different time. MO is for Morning time, so basically you’ll need to start the course at 8.30 – 12.00. AF is for Afternoon and WD stand for Whole Day.
For example in study handbook, we can see the code : (MO) AEW – 22806 . So that’s mean you will have the course at the Morning. Sometimes you will have class start from 8.30 ECT. So be prepare..
Exams within the Period
Another differences, the exam will be taken within the period the course is taught. So you will have 2 days or more to have an exam. The students will have 1 week to prepare before the exam. So you need to used that time wisely.
If you failed the exam, you will have one chance to take re-exam. It’s scheduled twice a year : in February (after period 3) and in August.
Some of my friends told me that “Re-exam is not bad”. Why? Because you will have sort amount of time to preparing the exam. If you have a chance to have re-exam, take it! Be brave 😊
Be Active in Class
In Netherland, people here are very straight forward. This also applied in the classroom. From what I can see, native people are very active to ask a question or answer the question. They try to answer every question that come from the lecturer. Even they give the wrong answer the lecturer didn’t say something ‘bad’ to them. The lecturer will say “that’s a good answer, but…..” or “you very close to the right answer, but…..”. so the lecturer cheer up the student before told them they’re wrong.
For me, that’s a nice treatment to the student. The lecturer encourage the student to give opinion in class.
Always come to The Tutorials and Practical!
In WUR, there are 3 type of learning class, Lecture, Tutorial, and Practical. In Lecture session, you will have a teacher explaining the material for you. In Tutorial session you will have a explanation to calculate something. This is applicable for a course have a materials to do in Computer Laboratorium, i.e Advance Statistic, Life History in Aquaculture, and Marine System. The last one is Practical class, you will have experience to do something in the Laboratorium. For instance, in my course, Life History in Aquaculture, I need to dissect the fish to discover inside the fish body.
My best advice to student, “don’t you ever try to not come to Tutorials and Practical class”. Because it’s compulsory for student. If you missed the tutorials and practical, make sure that you already contact the course coordinator. If you missed that class, it also affect your grades.
For some people, they can choose not to come to Lecture. Because you can learn the lecture from your home. All of the materials will be uploaded at Blackboard. So you don’t need to ask the teacher for have the presentation.
Ensure your study style and Read the Lecture before the Class Begin
Why international student need a ‘Study Style’?
Because it’s hard for some international student to understand the lesson. So you need to ensure your study style.
Some of my friend, they record the lecture voice in every meeting. They can listen again what actually the lecturer. WUR also provided recorder in Blackboard. Some of the lecturer will be recorded in Blackboard, so you don’t need to take a voice notes. But, sometimes they have trouble to record the lecture, so you better have your own recorder.
In my case, I need to understand the lecture before the class start. Because English is not my first language, so it takes time to understand some of new term. I made my own dictionary for every ‘hard term’ that I met in the lecture. So, when the lecturer gives the lecture, I can understand what he/she explained in front of the class.
Everyday like “Winter is coming”
For native people, they didn’t feel cold in this Autumn. But for international student, especially come for tropical country it is already WINTER! We never experiencing 7 o C in the morning. And don’t forget about the rain, it’s make 7oC become worst.
My friend told me, in the winter the temperate become below 0. So be brave, Jon Snow. “winter is coming!”
That’s the compilation of my experience in first week. so, be prepare for another article about Wageningen University. 🙂
written at Asserpark 10 C
2:34 CET 17 September 2017
while I’m listening Ruqyah Recitation. 🙂