Elmira's alumni story

Posted 23 October 2018
Student stands against wall at university in Holland

Elmira from Azerbaijan is one of our success stories.

She graduated with a BSc in International Business, having studied the International Foundation Year in Business and Management at Holland International Study Centre.

Arriving in a friendly city

Studying abroad was an obvious choice for Elmira, who had always been adventurous. Her parents had worries about her safety, but were happy when she moved to Amsterdam. Elmira settled in quickly because “almost everyone in the Netherlands speaks English.” The language support given to Elmira at Holland International Study Centre helped her to communicate with ease and explore her new surroundings.

When Elmira completed her year at the International Study Centre, she stayed in Holland for university. It was a chance to build on the background she had been given at the International Study Centre, and to further improve her subject-specific skills and English: “I think during those three or four years, I became more independent. I think it is a really good quality to be a little bit more independent, to know your way, to know what you want. Universities here are good for discovering yourself... You can go and explore things and you will end up with some valuable life lessons.”

Elmira’s enthusiasm for education in Holland, and the chances it has given her, is clear to see: “I think that the opportunity that you get to stay and work without any limitations in the Netherlands is a great one, and you don’t get that kind of chance very often. It’s a chance to work in a foreign country in an international environment because I have a degree in English.”

Big city opportunities

Elmira told us that one of the benefits of studying abroad in Holland was the international perspective it gave her. Working with students from different countries exposed her to other views and life experiences. This international experience is something Elmira believes will help her in the job market: “In Amsterdam, there are a lot of international firms that are based here and also big cities like Rotterdam or the Hague. Especially in Rotterdam with big ports, people with an international background who know a couple of languages are in demand there… If you look for it, you will find a place for yourself.”

Elmira was able to “put [her] theoretical knowledge to use” when she found an internship in sales and marketing: “It is really nice to see how everything comes together. Everything you have learned during these three or four years of studying, how it works in real life and how theory sometimes does not apply to practice.”

Preparing for success

For Elmira (and her parents), graduation was a fulfilling end to four years of commitment: “My graduation was really great. You feel like you have achieved something. You get your diploma and it is something on paper, something tangible for all the years of studying. It was a really happy day for me.“ With her degree as a solid foundation, Elmira’s next step is to “get a master’s in finance or in supply chain management, and after that, find work or a job in that area.” She is confident that her hard work, and the support she received at the beginning of her study abroad journey, has set her up for a bright future ahead.

Watch Elmira’s story here: