In December 2020, a report by the National Ombudsman revealed that Caribbean students experience all kinds of bottlenecks when they go to study in the Netherlands. Every year about 1,600 young people from Curaçao, Aruba, St. Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands start their studies in the Netherlands. The survey shows that 26 percent of the respondents do not feel prepared for their studies in the Netherlands. The report mentions a few main obstacles:
• Limited assistance in choosing an appropriate course
• No ‘Citizen Service Number’ (Burgerservicenummer)
• No Dutch health insurance; unfamiliarity with taxes and allowances
• Dutch society (culture shock!)
Many of our youth leaders and volunteers who go on to study in the Netherlands share that they themselves or their fellow Aruban students experienced similar struggles. We want to point out that it is not only about practical obstacles, but also mental and emotional challenges that you may encounter. In school you barely learn the skills you need to deal with life's challenges and how to make important choices in your life. That’s why we’re committed to strengthening young people to participate in a modern world by providing tools to become resilient individuals who know who they are, what their abilities are, and what they want to achieve. We do this through our multi-day seminars, training courses and workshops for professionals and young adults and through several Impact Activities for youth.
One of our Impact Activities is our podcast Vox Iuventus Impactus. Vox Iuventus Impactus literally means: the voice of the youth making an impact. In season 1 we dedicated a whole series about the subject of studying abroad. The series consists of 6 (!) episodes in which young people exchange their experiences about studying in another country. The series focuses not only on studying in the Netherlands, but on studying outside Aruba in general.
So are you planning to study abroad, or are you already experiencing obstacles after moving abroad? Don’t wait any longer, it's never too late to learn how to deal with the challenges you (might) face. Click on the link to listen to the series "Reality check: are you ready to spread your wings?": https://bit.ly/38Z2wkI (Language Papiamento)
Read the full report on the problems Caribbean students experience in the Netherlands here: https://bit.ly/2KxQZj9