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Nathalie Stolwijk

Exhange student - Bachelor level

Where do you come from?
I study Industrial and Organisational Psychology in Utrecht at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.


Why did you choose to come to the Department of Service Management and Service Studies?
I have chosen to enrol in the course Leadership in Service Organizations (15 credits) during my exchange at Lund University. When I read the summary of the course I noticed that I already had some background in the topics and was interested to see a different view on them other then a psychological one, which was offered during the course. Besides the direction I have chosen, leadership skills are useful to possess, and in my home University I did not have a chance to enrol in courses with this specific topic. This course was also more suitable to industrial and organizational psychology then the psychology courses offered for exchange students at Lund University.


How have you experienced your exchange studies?
My exchange to Lund University has been an amazing and unforgettable experience. I did not know what to expect when I got on the plane and my exchange started. But I’m really glad I decided to go on exchange. I have had a really good time studying in Sweden. The only downside is that living in Sweden is quite expensive.


What has been your favourite aspect of studying here?
The classes at Lund University were very small. This created the opportunity to have discussions during the lectures and a chance to have more personal contact. At Utrecht University I sometimes had lectures with around 500 other students. Also, in my home University I was not used to having courses taught in English and for example having to do presentations in English. By having to do this during the course I have improved my English speaking and listening skills. And the courses were more practical than I’m used to, which was a nice addition to the more theoretical courses I have been enrolled in at my home University. There was a lot of freedom offered in the assignments, however the planning was tighter then I’m used to.


What have you gained from the exchange?
Besides the new and more practical knowledge I have gained at University I have formed a lot of new friendships with people from all over the world with who I did a lot of nice activities. Lund University creates a lot of opportunities to experience a complete and unforgettable exchange. Therefore my advice to new exchange students is to engage in as much activities as possible. I also enjoyed the nations (student societies) in Lund, which are open to exchange students. Apart from studying, I got to travel around in Scandinavia. Before my exchange I had never been here before. I have made trips to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Bergen and many more places. During my exchange I started to love the Scandinavian countries and their culture. I also liked the Swedish classes in the beginning of the exchange, which taught me the basics in Swedish. Because you have to organize a lot before and during your exchange, I feel like my organizational skills are better now. I also notice I have broadened my horizon both at an educational and personal level.


What advice would you give to students considering participating in a student exchange in the future?
I think an exchange is a great addition to your regular programme because it offers you unique experiences that you otherwise would not experience and you learn a lot from it. Therefore my advice is to just go on exchange and take this chance to live in a different country and study at a different university.


What do you have for plans after you graduate?
When I graduate for my bachelor I would like to do a Master in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. I would like to find work in this direction as well, maybe in Human Resource Management or a different direction.

Nathalie Stolwijk

Nathalie Stolwijk

"Leadership skills are useful to possess, and in my home University I did not have a chance to enrol in courses with this specific topic."