'You have to be independent and self-reliant'
Halil Kaynak - the Netherlands
'In the 2nd year of my university of applied sciences programme I explored various university programmes. In the end I chose Business Administration because later in life I want to be an entrepreneur. Having the freedom to what you want with your own product, that’s something you can be proud of. During high school I took a lot of career orientation tests. The results were jobs like police chief, army commander, ship’s captain etc. In other words, they all had something to do with leadership and that’s why a management position seemed like a good idea for me.'
Choosing a university
'Choosing a university that suits you is important. You have to look at multiple factors; location, size, international reputation, facilities, and whether you feel at home there. I attended numerous open days and took part in many shadowing opportunities.'
'This gave me a realistic impression of the programme. I highly recommend shadowing opportunities and taster days, and be sure to talk to the students there. They can tell you a lot of what the programme is really like. The UvA is a university that traditionally had few students with a non-western immigrant background. By studying at the UvA I hope to remove the preconceptions about muslims and try to live in coexistence rather than just alongside each other.'
'A university study is a way of investing in yourself and more than just getting a degree. There’s a lot of theory, little practical work and the workload is high. That’s why you have to find a way to learn a quickly and efficiently as possible. Most people are quite individualistic and that is expected of you too. You have to be independent and self-reliant.'
'If you really want to achieve your goals then university life has a lot to offer. For example, there are study associations you can join, you can run for the student council to represent students’ interests, or you can write for the university newspaper. The possibilities are endless, but you have to take the initiative.'