The Grand Finale

Study Abroad
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ITMC Graduation @ NHTV Breda University Of Applied Sciences (July 2016)

My year of studying abroad at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences has been one filled with many firsts. Along with making new friends, exploring new campuses, and cycling to university as a daily routine, I learned so many new concepts and valuable lessons. My academic focus was mostly on international marketing, customer relationship management, travel photography, arts based tourism, and different perspectives of the tourism industry.

I am excited to announce that I received the best grades of my academic career while studying here, with a 3.9 of 4.0 GPA and a weighted average of 8.8. In addition, my independent undergraduate research about mapping the street art culture of Amsterdam has received a lot of attention. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, focused on International Tourism Management and Consultancy on July 1st, 2016. As my family couldn’t be present, some of my great friends came to support me which made me very happy. I have been lucky to be surrounded by some pretty amazing people this year.

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ITMC Graduation @ NHTV Breda University Of Applied Sciences (July 2016)

I am very grateful and honoured to have been the first student from Thompson Rivers University to take place in the new double degree program with this internationally acclaimed Dutch university. I have nothing but great things to say about my experiences here, and I am looking forward to meeting the Dutch exchange students in the coming years, as well as following future TRU students’ journeys exploring this beautiful city.

In the future, I will be spending my summer here in Breda and travelling through the Netherlands and Belgium. After my return to Canada, I will be travelling throughout Vancouver Island with my parents before finishing my last year of my Bachelor of Tourism Management degree at Thompson Rivers University.

Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this academic journey. You are truly the best!

Drum Roll, Please…

Study Abroad
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NHTV Breda University Of Applied Sciences (June 2016)

I am delighted to announce that this afternoon I completed the final step in my undergraduate thesis research. I defended my thesis in a room with two external examiners present and my supervisor with whom I have worked closely on this project with. I was nothing short of nervous, and I had been stressing over this presentation for some time, however, I received very positive outcomes on this project. With one of the top marks, my written work was given a grade of 9.5 and my oral presentation was given a grade of 9, which averaged out to a solid 9. This is considered to be very high, as an average grade is a 7, and 10’s are extremely rare. I was in shock with a huge smile on my face when my supervisor told me this news! (The smile is permanently glued to my face now, of course!) All of the comments were very good and it was commented that my excitement for my topic really shined through in every word. That’s such a lovely compliment. Wow!

Overall, this has been a fascinating process for me, to independently research and make so many connections in Amsterdam’s underground realm of street art. I have not spent this much time (nearly six months) focusing on one project, but it was worth every moment of it. I could not have done this without the help of supportive friends and family members, and all of the incredible contacts I have met throughout my research.

I will post my thesis online in the near future, after one last final review, so that everyone may have a chance to download and read it. Many celebrations will be had throughout this week, including a graduation ceremony with my fellow International Tourism Management & Consultancy classmates. Exciting times are ahead!

First Day At NHTV

Study Abroad, Travel
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ADHD Event at De Boulevard (September 2015)

This morning marked my first day studying at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences. I have a good overall impression of the school and my classes. There is a large mixture of Dutch students and a small amount of international students. Most international students are from Germany or larger countries in the European Union. I am enjoying my classes so far, although I have lots of readings to catch up on already! My class schedule will change weekly, but I think I have most Fridays off. …Hooray for three day weekends! All of my classes, except for one, have about fifteen students. It is interesting to see such small class sizes, as in Canada, the class size ranges from 30 to 50 – and I always thought that was quite small!

I was told today that NHTV has the largest library of tourism related documents in the world. I am definitely going to utilize these great resources! On Saturday night, my friends and I went to De Boulevard to watch some DJs. Did you know that Tiesto and Hardwell both call Breda home? Hardwell now owns the club in the city centre where he first started out. Hopefully, I can see him live while I am here! Martin Garrix, another well known EDM artist, and Afrojack are also from the Netherlands.

I have been enjoying some amazing meals with new friends. Natalie cooked an authentic Mexican meal with tortilla chips, cream, cheese, and a delicious blended tomato and vegetable sauce. She paired it with Corona in a glass with fresh lemon and a salted rim. Last night, Grace and Laura (both from the United Kingdom) cooked dinner with me. We made mashed potatoes, vegetables, and fried Dutch sausage. And tonight, I shared dinner with my roommate Cosmin (from Romania) and his friend Ishay (from Israel). They cooked curried meat in a sauce over rice. Yum! On a final note, this past weekend, there was a festival celebrating all gingers. People with red hair traveled from around the world to make new friends and indulge in Dutch culture. After all, Vincent Van Gogh was a very famous red head!