Studying Technology in the Netherlands: Student Profile | Top Universities

Studying Technology in the Netherlands: Student Profile

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated March 5, 2016 Updated March 5, 2016

Shinwoo Back, from South Korea, is studying a BSc in Advanced Technology at the Netherlands’ University of Twente. He explains what attracted him to both the country and the course, and why he believes this kind of multidisciplinary study is becoming more popular.

After graduating from high school, I had two very important questions to answer. First, I had to decide which subjects interested me most, and then of course I had to find the right university.

In the midst of my uncertainty, one of my father’s friends, who had been working in The Hague, told me this fascinating story about living and studying in the Netherlands.

I was attracted by the country’s reputation for being outward-looking, and the fact that most people are fluent in English as a second language. Internationally, the Netherlands is also considered one of the best places to live, ranking well on reports such as the United Nations Human Development Index.

Entering my third year of studying here, this country which once seemed a far-away fantasy has become like a second home. During this time I’ve also personally witnessed a constant growth in the number of Korean exchange students each year.

I started out in 2010 studying electrical engineering at Fontys University of Applied Science in Eindhoven. My goal was to complete the introductory year there, and get to know the country and my own interests a bit further before continuing my studies.

By the end of this year, I was certain of my interest in natural sciences, and faced a choice of three technical universities: University of Twente, TU Delft and TU Eindhoven.

From the start, I’d been fascinated by the structure of the Advanced Technology program at the University of Twente.

The course is engineering-oriented, focusing on mathematics, physics and chemistry, while also containing some business administration courses.

This combination of multiple disciplines within one curriculum appears to be part of a global trend, which is not strange when you consider the benefits of learning from a wide range of experts in different sectors.

You do need to be prepared for hard work. As the course deals with many different fields of study, you often have to invest more time than other students.

I’m still deciding which major to take, as both chemical engineering and sustainable energy have caught my interest. My long-term goal is to pursue a career based on integrating different disciplines of engineering.

Some might wonder whether this multidisciplinary structure is too vague, sacrificing depth in one subject for a wider knowledge. However, I feel the Advanced Technology course provides a rigorous and solid preparation for any Masters program – and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone with a passion for technology, who’s looking for a challenge.

This article was originally published in October 2012 . It was last updated in March 2016

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