Applied education and a Pandemic: A conversation with our internship coordinators

Applied education, such as is offered at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, presents numerous opportunities for students to interact with society and industry with a goal to apply their knowledge and skills in the real world. At International Business (IB), one such opportunity granted to our students is our international internship program. Here below an insight into this opportunity and its coordination as discussed with IB’s internship coordinators Mr. Celso Meiller and Ms. Laura Raumane

Our two experts both teach People and Organization specialization at IB. Like many of their colleagues they each present an impressive CV from their time in industry. Celso came to IB with over 20 years of experience in process improvement and as an HR consultant in concerns including IBM and PwC. Laura, following her graduation from IB in 2013, and having specialized in HRM, went on to work in recruiting before progressing to six years in learning and development at Ernst & Young. She is now back at her Alma Mater, sharing her knowledge and experience with new generations of international business professionals. It is easy to see why together, they oversee our internship program.

Lecturer profile picture
Lecturer profile picture

We asked them a few questions pertinent to our internship seeking student, industry partners, and potential new industry network.

Who benefits from the internship? 

Quite a few stakeholders. 

The student benefits by being able to apply their knowledge and skills in the real world. As an intern, students can experience the independence and responsibility the professional world requires of them, while receiving guidance and supervision in their status as students.  

As an internship program, we can help in building the talent pipelines of companies. Most of our students go on to become valuable employees between 0-3 years of graduating. This is testament to the well-known fact that internships are the best job interview mechanisms for young talents. 

By sponsoring interns, companies have a say in our curriculum. At IB we constantly request feedback from companies. This feedback, as well as the active participation of many of these concerns in our business advisory council ensures that our curriculum continues to be future proof.  

Why is this a meaningful role for you? 

Internships offer our students the best scenarios to see how well they can apply their learnings in the real world, it is wonderful to be able to facilitate this opportunity for them. It is also important to connect the academic world with the business world to both ensure that we are helping students acquire a relevant set of skills and competencies, and for industry to help us do so. Procuring companies to make internships available to our students is an essential part of the process and requires you to think parallel to the needs of both the curriculum and industry. It keeps you on your toes.

How do IB students stand out? 

By the time IB students are ready to start their internships, they have been part of a truly international student community of over 60 nationalities. They have practiced international teamwork, communication and crisis management in 6 different semester-long simulation exercises, each collaborating with industry sponsor.  

The IB curriculum offers students four specializations to choose from: Marketing, Finance, Operations and Supply Chain and People and Organization (HRM). However, and before they specialize, our students acquire a broad foundation in each of the disciplines. This allows them to perform as linchpins between two or more business functions in any internship sponsor company.  

In short, our students stand out because they are capable global citizens with a comprehensive knowledge base and problem-solving abilities. 

How does Internship at IB work? 

With almost 30 years of applied education under our belt, we have built up a comprehensive network of industry partners who sponsor internships to our students. This network regularly adapts to socio-economic and technology changes, aiming to offer students an internship experience attuned to the times, Over the last 5 years, a little over 200 IB students completed a semester long internship all over the world in various sectors.  

Throughout the duration of their internship students are in regular contact with an IB internship supervisor, who in turn also has periodic contact with the company supervisor, thus ensuring a useful internship experience for all parties involved.

International Businesss Internship partners per industry

How has COVID-19 impacted the IB internship program? 

The labour market took a hard hit worldwide as a result of the pandemic. At the time when lockdowns and social distancing measures started to be implemented here in Europe, many of our students were already settled into internship rounds that began in February 2020. For most of this cohort this meant that they had to get online and work remotely. Thanks to excellent hand holding from many of the internship sponsors, as well as the flexibility and adaptability of our students, this was accomplished well.

For some students however, the COVID-19 pandemic meant they could not continue with their internships and had to find alternative postings. We are happy to report that this batch have successfully completed their internship semester. Having seen the impact this pandemic was having on the labor market, and especially our internship program, we strategically expanded our internship portfolio for our next batch of students.  We proactively sought sponsorship in pandemic resilient sectors of the economy, such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, agriculture, and IT. Our programme is happy to note that the reception for these internships have been warm and welcoming for all stakeholders. 

What’s next? 

Every crisis is a learning opportunity and, looking back, we are so very proud of the talent pool we recognize in our students. Together with our industry partners and many new internship sponsors we are discovering new ways to engage our students and offer new internship opportunities.  

IB internships will continue to expand its portfolio to include more sponsor companies  in most sectors of the economy. We have adapted our internship program to make blended and remote/virtual internships an important component of our internship program, thus tracking  the new ways of working that the economy is adapting to. 

NOTE: If you are interested in sponsoring students on internships in your company, or would like more information on the IB internship program at THUAS, please mail C.A.MeillerSalinas@hhs.nl.

Student organizations at THUAS

Joining a student organization presents many opportunities to learn more about yourself, your goals, and your strengths. You can learn from how other students handle certain situations and test your current knowledge. You can also find out what you’re good at, whether that’s multitasking, staying organized, generating ideas, or serving others. This self-awareness will be beneficial in your future career.

The following are some of the student organizations/societies and study associations active within The Hague University of Applied Sciences. For more societies and everything to do with studying in The Hague, visit: www.studyinthehague.com.

FOCUS

Focus is IB’s own study association, exclusive to our program. FOCUS has been active since 2015 and works to ensure a strong sense of community among the students of IB. The study association helps organize regular social gatherings, study trips and other activities that are helpful and meaningful to students of International Business at THUAS. You can follow FOCUS on Facebook @thesafocus and on Instagram @focus_studyassociation

Enactus

Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together students, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Enactus is a campus-based program of THUAS. Learn more at enactushhs.nl

Interaccess

Interaccess is an organization for- and by international students of The Hague. The organisation is an initiative of students and staff from The Hague University. Interaccess wants to improve contacts between international students together and the other students from The Hague. Interacces organizes activities for all international students such as discussions, presentations, festivals, trips, etc. Interacces will show you the way in The Hague and the rest of the Netherlands! Contact: facebook/ InteraccessNL

Dutch Caribbean Unity

DCU is an organization for and by students of the Hague. An initiative of Dutch Caribbean students at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. DCU hopes to improve the contact between Dutch Caribbean students, International students and Dutch students. This through the organisation of several activities ranging from discussions and workshops to recreational activities. Contact via: facebook/ DutchCaribbeanUnity

Eurasia SV

Eurasia is a young, dynamic student society for everyone who just wants to make the most of their student life. Eurasia SV can offer something for everyone. Contact: facebook/ eurasiasv

Heart of Africa

Heart of Africa is a student association in The Hague based on the theme of Africa and its diaspora. Heart of Africa aims to empower and educate students with an African heritage or affinity with the continent of Africa on multiple themes. It realizes this with serious and fun activities. Serious such as lectures, workshops and field trips. Along with fun activities such as get-together meetings, cultural events and parties. Contact via: www.facebook.com/HeartofAfrica14/

H.S.R.V. Pelargos

So you want to combine sports and student life? Come join H.S.R.V Pelargos! Pelargos is The Hague’s own student rowing society, and right now we are inviting you to come by and get to know us. All throughout the year we are organizing activities for students who are interested in becoming a member of Pelargos. So if you want to know who we are and get introduced to the number one sport for students, find us for your first rowing experience, society dinner or socials. Contact via: https://pelargos.nl/ 

The Hague Student Union (Haagse Studentenvakbond)

De Haagse Studentenvakbond (The Hague’s Student Union) is focussed on making The Hague more student-friendly and student-like. To achieve this, de Haagse Studentenvakbond is working together with the Municipality of The Hague, higher education institutions, accommodation agencies, student societies and many other organisations.  Contact: nl.facebook.com/haagsestudentenvakbond

PROUD

PROUD s.a is an LGBTQ+ student association based in THUAS. Our goal is to create a safe environment for LGBTQ+ students or supporters in the Hague area. Everyone is accepted, respected and encouraged to feel pride in who they are. If you want to join our community as a queer student or ally contact us on our socials or send us a mail! www.proudsa.org

Team Haagse Hogeschool (Team THUAS)

Since 1989 the Race of the Classics is an important event for students and sailing. Student teams from universities from all over the Netherlands join in a sailing race on the North Sea. Contact: teamhaagsehogeschool.nl

Valerius Student Orchestra

The Valerius Student Symphony Orchestra is an ambitious and fun orchestra in The Hague. All students playing an instrument are more than welcome to join. The Symphony Orchestra, under direction of conductor Arne Visser, holds weekly rehearsals on Tuesday evenings from 19.15 – 22.00 hrs. in the Auditorium of The Hague University of Applied Sciences. After rehearsal, the evening ends with a drink at the pub in front of the university. Throughout the year about 3 concerts are held with rich and diverse repertoires. www.studentenorkest.nl

Student organizations have a lot to offer! Whether you join as a member or choose to lead one, simply taking part in an extracurricular group will enhance your school experience. Gaining skills, making connections, and broadening your knowledge through a student organization will help you become a more well-rounded individual — one that’s ready to take on their future career!

Things to do and see in the Hague

The Hague might seem small but it delivers big. The beach, museums, architecture, politics, culture, nature, nightlife, restaurants and bars, festivals and events, great shopping and good gyms and parks. Visit https://denhaag.com/en to get inspired to explore this beautiful gem of a city.

According to the population index, in 2020 44.3% of the population in the Hague is Dutch and the other 55.7% is of an international background. This international and multicultural population makes for an exciting and flavorful community to get involved in.

The Hague is home to many different international judicial bodies, such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT). The Hague is the fourth major centre for the United Nations, after New York, Geneva and Vienna. In case you are yet to check TripAdvisor – here is a list of all major attractions just in the city of The Hague. There is plenty to do and see all year around just around campus. The city also has plenty to offer in terms of nightlife.

What do you want to see and do as soon as you get to The Hague?

Cost of living in The Hague

The idea of moving to a new country is an exciting one. Before you start making a list of plans, it is best to look at your budget and research the type of expanses that you can expect. For student accommodation in The Hague, you can expect a rental price to start off at €400. Keep in mind, that you can split your living cost by sharing an apartment with friends or classmates.

What’s next? A crucial part of the preparation is to consider your daily expenses. Including food, public transport, books, clothes, cinema tickets, housing and insurance. Cost of living per student can range between €700 and €1,000/month when studying in the Netherlands.

Many bars, restaurants, museums, cinemas and shops offer student discounts. Usually they will ask for proof in the form of a student card from your institution. It is always a good idea to check in advance if a student discount is available where you are going. It may be beneficial to acquire an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), since it provides a range of interesting discounts and offers. More information about this is available at the ISIC website.

Groceries in The Hague:

Groceries shopping in The Hague

Finding supermarkets is not difficult in the Hague, as shown in the map, in close proximity of the main campus one can find various supermarkets.

Besides the large supermarkets, such as, Albert Heijn and Jumbo (and both of these have stores located a 5 minute walk from the main campus), there are also smaller privately owned supermarkets where certain products may be cheaper.

  • Dirk

Dirk is on the cheaper end of the scale. It is definitely not as widespread as Albert Heijn or Jumbo, but with 120 locations in the country you can probably find one relatively close to your location in The Hague and surroundings.

  • Jumbo

Jumbo is the main competitor to Albert Heijn in the Netherlands when it comes to supermarkets, and to gain a competitive edge, it sells the regular products you can find in AH but slightly cheaper. It also has its own branded products, and similarly to Dirk, you can find a wide range of products for your daily needs. Some of their stores are smaller, so we recommend going to the bigger ones if you plan on doing your groceries exclusively from there.

  • Aldi: the cheap and cheerful supermarket in the Netherlands

Aldi is a classic when it comes to cheap supermarkets. It is not the most visually appealing supermarket, as you can find most things in cardboard boxes instead of shelves. It’s great for getting more basic stuff, like bread, pasta, cheese and general household items. They also have weekly promotions, so you can get cheap products even cheaper. While it might not be fancy, it will get the job done.

  • Lidl: another cheap supermarket in the Netherlands

Lidl is essentially the twin of Aldi. It has a very similar format, a similar price range, and the same no-nonsense approach to shopping. It is slightly more expensive than Aldi, but the upside is that you can find a bigger range of products. Unfortunately, they are usually not located close to city centers, so you will probably need to go in the suburbs or the outskirts to find one. Still, it’s worth the journey if you are planning on budgeting or are throwing a dinner party for your friends.

  • The Other BIG option:

Another great option to find cheap but fresh groceries is at the Hague Market. Farmers sell their freshest crops and vegetables, fish, meat, and many more products. For students this is a major way to reduce grocery costs for the month.

We hope this short overview of options to do your groceries is helpful. Next week we will discuss entertainment in The Hague.
Stay tuned!

Student accommodation

Looking for a student accommodation in the Hague? Here is all you need to know!

1. Finding Accommodation:

You are enrolled, getting ready to start your semester on and offline.

If you are one of our students travelling to the Netherlands and looking to begin your first year of International Business from The Hague, then you will need accommodation. Maybe, and hopefully, you have already found a place to stay, or have begun looking. If you are still searching for a house / room / student flat then then a good place to begin is the practical matters section of the course site where many of the housing agencies are listed. It can be difficult to find accommodation, so make sure you start looking for a room as soon as you are officially enrolled.

2. Points of note:

  • Students in the Netherlands generally do not live on campus.
  • Most students are used to living on their own when they start a new study.
  • Often you will find student houses where everybody has their own room but there is a communal space.

3. A quick overview of agencies that work with THUAS:

DUWO Accommodate: DUWO offers furnished rooms close to the main campus of THUAS. The rooms can be rented for one semester to one full academic year depending on your needs and circumstances. Some rooms are larger than others, and include a private kitchen, shower, and toilets whereas smaller rooms share utilities and common spaces such as kitchens and leisure spaces with other flatmate. Monthly rent for DUWO properties range between 450-700 Euros.  

The Y: At The Y monthly rate start at 600 euros. The building is located near The Hague Hollands Spoors train station and within walking distance from the main campus. The Y offers studios exclusively for international students, the students sign a short-stay contract with a minimum rental period of six months up to a maximum of twelve months.

Geste Groep: the monthly rate starts at 600 euro. The Geste Groep offers independent student apartments are fully furnished and have private kitchens and bathrooms.

HousingAnywhere: As finding student accommodation in The Hague can be a difficult challenge, THUAS has partnered with HousingAnywhere to make sure that students are able to find rooms and book them with priority as a student. The rent varies depending on the room/apartment.

4. Other options:

Other housing options can also be found on the THUAS website. There are many more housing providers who are not specifically working with THUAS, but are open to international as well as Dutch students looking for housing.

5. How much rent can you afford?

Here is a simple way to figure out how much is a sustainable rent for you to pay:

First identify the monthly income you will have abroad (net, not gross!), and then calculate how much you will need to spend on:

  • Food
  • Insurance (e.g. Health, Travel)
  • Transport
  • Entertainment/ Leisure
  • Other ongoing costs (sports clubs, phone bills, subscriptions, payments back home, etc.)

The amount you have left after allocating for the above is approximately what you can allocate for monthly rent. It is an approximation as it’s always prudent to keep a financial cushion of one or two hundred euros, either to save for the future or for one of life’s unforeseen events.

Once you’ve settled on your absolute rental maximum, you can apply this figure to all filtered accommodation searches.

Wish you the best as you find your student home in NL!