The day I arrived at my University of Applied Sciences on a Saturday and it was open was quite a shock for me. And when I saw that the students spent a weekend's time working there, I was even more surprised. A place where you feel comfortable, with colorful sofas, meeting rooms for group work and work classrooms with efficient touch screens and sound equipment.
Sounds like heaven for education
It must be made clear that in the Dutch system, schools of applied sciences are not considered on the same level as universities. However, the quality of the group work and practices carried out in these centers could easily surpass the master classes of their competitive universities in the case of studies that require more practices than theory.
*Engineering and communication building of the Hanzehogeschool – Photo by Pilar Bebea
The theory may be scarce, a point to lose from these institutions, but you cannot have everything either. The classes have 30 students with their corresponding work rooms and the teachers are available at any time to answer any questions that arise during work. In my Erasmus year, I was able to make a magazine on the exchange in the journalism course and at the end of the second semester I had a mobile application that took me to Dakar, Senegal to take the test on site.
A great practical experience that makes it very clear to the student what their future working years will be like and that opens the doors to possible jobs with companies that collaborate with the University.
If in the end I spent more hours at the faculty than at my residence, it was because the facilities offered by the Hanzehogeschool allowed me to work in a comfortable environment with access to the programs I needed to carry out the different projects.
After all, it's not about being nerds or not, but about feeling comfortable in a strange place that will be your work environment during the months of study. Aside from that, during the winter the rain doesn't encourage you to make any plans other than staying home, and since you're in class, chatting with friends and finishing projects early is always better than getting wet to the skin outside trying to be positive.