Here you can read about the first student experiences of one of new Master TDM students, Roman Karin. Enjoy the read!

Hey guys,

I visited Breda and NHTV for the first time in the end of July 2016 in order to get some information about the University, the Master in Tourism Destination Management (TDM) program and the application process and deadline. Both the city of Breda and NHTV gave me the impression that this is the place where I belong and to start the next step of my life. Not even a month later I found myself arriving in Breda and now writing this experience blog about my first impressions as a TDM student at NHTV.

It was after a couple of days when I noticed that the first challenge already had presented itself to me – finding a room. Since I started my search quite late, it was not very easy to find a room. I did manage to find myself a nice and cozy place, however the experience itself is worth mentioning. I have lived in several cities before, but I have never experienced such a run for rooms and apartments. I spent the first week in a Hostel with more “homeless” students and almost noticed a kind of desperation within some of them. They thought they would never be able to find a place to stay. There is definitely a mismatch in demand and supply of student housing options. Walking around the streets of Breda I noticed that they are currently building several new student houses, trying to catch up with the growing number of international students coming to the city. Nevertheless, searching for a living arrangement was the only difficult situation that I experienced throughout my first days. The city appears to be a wonderful place to study and live in. You can feel a laid back atmosphere and Breda’s population seems to be not only young, but also very dynamic. This is supported by various festivals and activities that already took place in the city during the short amount of time I spent here.

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The university program started with an introduction day for international students where I first got to meet some of my future colleagues. It was a well-organized day with basic information about the university in general, its history and some statistics about its students. At night there was a pub crawl that was organized by ESN and we found out about Breda’s lively bar culture. It is a good place to go out and catch a drink or “two”.

The actual introduction week for all Master TDM students started the week after. At a program kick off we got roughly introduced to what will be going to happen during the upcoming year.  In the evening we were invited to drinks in the city center and continued to further get to know each other. I immediately had a good feeling about the dynamics within our group. It is not only a very diverse group in terms of the various places that we come from and the cultural background in which we grew up, but also our personalities and our previous experiences. This diversity of the group is the ideal basis to learn from each other which also has been repeatedly named as one of the objectives of the program.

The main part of the introduction week was an interesting mixture of team building, getting to know Breda and Brabant as a destination and a place to live in and learning about its culture. The highlight of the week was our overnight stay at a typical Dutch “Landgoed”. We had a lot of fun during team building activities, playing volleyball and table tennis and at night at our “TDM Party”. It is important that by now we have already shared some great moments and memories and got to know each other on a more private and personal level.

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After we got back from our little trip we had the opportunity to meet some of Breda’s residents. In small groups we went to meetings that were set up for us in order to find out more about the city, its culture and history and the mentality of its people. I had the opportunity to talk to a military historian that turned out to be a very open and smart guy. Over two hours we talked about history, politics, Dutch people, basically anything that came to our minds. It was a great and interesting meeting. The week ended on Friday with an assignment and we had to create short videos that were supposed to capture the impressions of the week as well as of Breda as our new home. A great wrap up of a successful introduction week.

I can say that I have already had a great time in Breda and besides the housing problem (that I, just as everybody else, finally managed to solve) there is nothing to complain about. We all know that this might change once the official program starts, as we have to meet deadlines and need to study hard for our goals. Still, I am one hundred percent sure that the upcoming year will be one of the most exciting and most valuable years of my life. I am greatly looking forward to all of its pleasant, maybe sometimes unpleasant moments, to good times and to challenges.


Roman Karin