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Lecturer story: Discover your world at the NHTV Breda University

Student stories 18 August 2010, 15:25

Thinking about study in Europe? Lecturer Anna Voinova tells about her work at the Academy of Digital Entertainment of NHTV Breda University and her life at Breda.

study in netherlands, study in europe, study in NHTV Lecturer Anna Voinova tells about her work at the Academy of Digital Entertainment of NHTV Breda University and her life at Breda.

How did you decide to work in Holland/Breda?

I had moved from the UK to the Netherlands a few months earlier and was very impressed by the set-up and ambitions of the Academy of Digital Entertainment. The wide range of courses available and the industry experienced staff convinced me that NHTV was an exciting place to come and work.

2) What was your first impression of the country?

On my first day in the Netherlands I went out shopping and was amazed at how well everybody I encountered spoke English. Not only that, but people were almost universally friendly and helpful. The Netherlands made a great first impression on me. The Dutch are very welcoming and I immediately felt very at home here.

3) What do you think of NHTV in general?

NHTV is not a University that is content to sit and take pride in what it has accomplished so far, it always seeks to improve itself and ensure that its courses are as relevant and valuable as they can possibly be for our students.

I feel that is a great characteristic; in the Academy of Digital Entertainment I know that all staff strive to improve their material so that we can give our students the very best possible chance to go on and achieve their dreams after they leave their education.

4) What do you think of the international students at NHTV?

We see a wide range of different nationalities at NHTV, students from all over the world, and while it is impossible to generalise about them in most areas I would say that the key trait that unites them is their work ethic. International students are, quite often, some of the most dedicated students I teach and they bring different views and perspectives that are valuable to the native students.

The fact that the courses within the Academy of Digital Entertainment are all taught in English means international students have no problems integrating with our other students.

5) How is the contact between you as an employee and the students?

The relationship between staff and students is part of what makes NHTV such a great place to work. While there is always an air of professionalism and respect, there is also a relaxed atmosphere that allows staff and students to be on first name terms. I am fortunate to work closely with students on many projects and this is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

6) What does a day of your life as an employee of NHTV look like?

There is not really such thing as a typical day when I am working with the second year students on Event projects. Together, we plan, organise and carry out over twenty different events each academic year – all of them real events that NHTV depends upon, such as Open Days, Foundation Awards, Graduation Events, Branch Orientation Days, etc. Because of this, there is a lot of variety in the work I do; some days I am sitting in several meetings a day with clients, other days I am working with the students to help set up an event. The one thing that remains constant is that Events are the public face of NHTV – so the students know that perfection is the minimum that is expected of them!

7) How about your social life in Holland?

I live in the centre of Breda so am fortunate to be able to get out and enjoy the city easily; there are a wide range of bars and restaurants, the Chasse Theater has both musical productions and art-house cinema and Breda has a huge range of festivals throughout the year – from Harley Day, to the Jazz festival – and sometimes it can be difficult to resist going out every night! Not only that, but Breda is ideally situated for travel – you are under two hours from either Amsterdam or Brussels, and Paris is only three and a half hours away by train.

8) Best experience?

There have been many wonderful experiences during my time at NHTV but, probably my best experience has been helping to create the Academy of Digital Entertainment’s Introduction Festival – Camp Lost. It was a huge undertaking – commandeer a field on the outskirts of the city for Introduction Week, build a huge tent and set of facilities and then run a mini-festival (featuring bands, comedians, discos, etc.) for more than 300 students who lived on site in tents for the whole time. Hugely ambitious, very stressful – but when it all came together, the students were so impressed that we now even have other Universities asking us to help them with their Introduction Weeks!

9) Other suggestions?

Breda is a great place to live and study – I definitely suggest to check it out!

10) Is it easy to live as a foreigner in this country?

I have found it incredibly easy to live in the Netherlands, the people are very welcoming of foreigners and the absence of a language barrier means it is very easy to soon find a social circle to move in. I have only good things to say about the Netherlands…

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