Cultural shock, homesickness and other psychological problems

Studying and working abroad can be both an adventure and a challenge. Culture shock is not quite as shocking or as sudden as you might expect. It is part of the process of learning to live in and adapt to a new culture. Upon arrival you may find the new situation exhilarating and exciting, but as time passes you may start to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Your experiences may go from being interesting to sometimes being irritating. This kind of disorientation is normal after arriving in a new culture. This does not necessarily mean that you will need professional help, but if these problems begin to affect your studies and personal life, you can always ask the counsellors for help.

Most personal, academic, relationship or identity problems can be addressed through counselling. These include lack of concentration, fear of failure, anxiety, stress, depression, family and/or relationship difficulties as well as addictions, eating disorders or sexual problems.

Studying in the Netherlands 

The Netherlands gets its name from the fact that around a quarter of this small northwestern European nation lies below sea level. Beyond its traditional associations (think windmills, tulips and clogs), it is one of the most developed and wealthy nations in the world, with a largely urban population. One of the most densely populated countries in Europe, it’s known for its tolerant and liberal ethos, and boasts a wealth of great student cities – none of which are more than a bicycle ride (the nation’s preferred mode of transport) away from some picturesque countryside.

The Netherlands is home to over 81.000 international students every year and although it has traditionally seen a lot of students coming in from other European countries, it is now becoming increasingly popular with Asian students as well. As of 2010, there are said to be around 5.400 Chinese students studying in the Netherlands and each year a new batch of 500 Indian students travel to the Netherlands to pursue a bachelors, masters or PhD programme.

“Universities in Holland perform the same level of teaching and research used at the leading universities worldwide. A 10 point grading system is used in Holland in both secondary and higher education. A grade of 10 is the highest and 6 is the minimum pass grade.

The most popular programme for international students in the Netherlands is Economics. Engineering and cultural studies are also highly sought after. Like most European universities, Dutch universities also have a strong focus on social sciences. International students in the Netherlands choose subjects in behavior and society, language and culture etc.