Sander Vermeulen (The Netherlands & Brazil) – Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM)
Rotterdam: Not your typical student city
Sander explains why Rotterdam is an ideal city for students around the world to complete their studies. According to him, it has tons of features that perfectly complement student life.
First of all, the transportation system is a huge benefit because “you can get from point A to B within one hour everywhere in the city.” (03:26) Cities that have such efficient, quick public transit is a definite advantage for students, although Sander jokingly admits that “most Dutch people prefer to bike, no matter the weather… rain or storm.” (03:36).
He also points out that Rotterdam goes beyond being well-connected locally. It’s easy to travel to other Dutch cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Eindhoven within just an hour on the train. Not to mention the fact that Rotterdam has a couple of major airports nearby, making it a perfect jumping-off point to travel elsewhere in Europe or even Asia and beyond.
Rotterdam also goes beyond being a typical student city. Sander describes its metropolitan atmosphere: “You have very nice places where you can have a drink with your friends or colleagues, but you also have very nice student places where you’ll only find students.” (02:57)
Even more, the city itself has a stunning combination of new and old architecture, which gives the city a unique touch: “One of the first things I noticed was there was a mix of old and new buildings… It’s a beautiful outcome.” (02:44)
Why RSM is perfect for international students
According to Sander, Rotterdam School of Management provides a great environment for international students. As someone with quite the international background himself, he admits that Rotterdam’s diverse reputation was something that initially attracted him to RSM when he was just eighteen years old.
“You get to meet other students from different faculties or even different nationalities or the typical Dutch students,” he tells us. (06:40)
There’s also a very active international community within the RSM campus itself. In fact, Sander met most of his friends by living in an international building on campus (04:34).
In addition, RSM has a wide variety of associations that international students can join in order to have some fun and meet new people. “You name it, we have an association for it at the Erasmus University.” (04:45) He muses, “Whatever you look for, there’s probably something that suits you, or maybe you want to try something new.” (04:58)
Network at dynamic career events
Sander describes the dynamic networking and career events that take place through the RSM as well as the Erasmus University Rotterdam more generally.
They provide a valuable opportunity to get to know recruiters from top companies: “That’s a very interesting day, you get to interact with them, you get to solve a case together, and you [usually] get to share your thoughts with a drink afterwards,” he says. (09:24)
He also mentions RSM’s study association called STAR, which organizes recruitment events throughout the year, both online and in-person. These events aren’t only business-focused and a wide variety of different companies attend.
Push yourself in a supportive yet competitive environment
Last but not least, while he concedes that “it is a very competitive environment,” he points out that, “[RSM] pushes you to become driven and aim for your goals.” (10:11) He notes that the kind of motivation you develop in this kind of environment helps you really go for the opportunities you’re interested in.
He also touches on the supportive community that RSM provides. He advises that if anyone is interested in studying at RSM, they should “talk to someone who actually studies here because there are a lot of tips and valuable information that is actually really useful for when you would [arrive].” (11:50)