By Consie Lozano
September 16, 2015
Back then, it was free and there were two programs on offer called the Dutch as a Second Language State Examination program 1 and 2. It is still the same until now except that it is no longer free. Program 1 is meant for those who want to learn the level of Dutch suitable for intermediate vocational courses or jobs (MBO 3 and 4) while Program 2 is meant for those who want to learn the level of Dutch suitable for applied (HBO) and research (WO) university courses or jobs. When I started, I was placed in the first program in the evenings but few days later I was transferred to the classes for the second program!
While exploring my options - whether to study or work after the integration course, I came to know about a program called HBO-schakel(or bridge/link), a one year Dutch high school where one could either do a 2 year International Business MBO 4 level or a four-year HBO (bachelor) course afterwards. When I finished the integration course in 2007, I did this program and after I got my diploma in 2008, I continued on to get my bachelor's degree in education, major in English at Hogeschool Utrecht (or Utrecht University of Applied Sciences). Yet in the course of the program, I realized that I wanted to focus more on English rather than on teaching.
As I posted earlier (on my Facebook page), Albert Schweitzer said, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
Also, despite of the rough roads, it was worth the ride! As Ruskin said, “it is not what we get but what we become by our endeavours that makes them worthwhile.”
To all of you, I am forever grateful! Consie Lozano M.A. in International Relations Conflict Studies and Human Rights program Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands 8 September 2015
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