Xena Semeleer

I moved to the Netherlands after graduating high school when I was 17. I was underage, and my mom was unable to come with me, this was very stressful because little support or information was offered to underage students at the time. In my first year, I tried to follow my dreams of studying human behavior and psychology at Hogeschool Rotterdam; however, this was only offered in Dutch. Despite knowing Dutch at what I would label a decent B1, it is not on par with Hbo/university-level expectations. My program included a Dutch language test in the first year, and this had to be passed to continue. Unfortunately, even the native Dutch speakers kept failing so.. you could only imagine how badly I was doing on the language test. I was good at going through and understanding the material (mostly in English), but I was still failing the assessments because they were all in Dutch. I quickly realized that following a Dutch program wouldn’t work out for me, and I would need to find a program that fit me best and was in English, which of course, limited my options. At the time, there were probably a dozen programs that were offered in English; this led me to pick one that I would have little to no problem passing but still offered exciting courses (English teacher). Fortunately, I made the right call. I got my Propedeuse in one go, with a pretty good average, and enjoyed most of the content. I really struggled with deciding whether I would go to Uni or stay there when I received my Propedeuse. I ended up staying. Today I’m in my 4th year of the English Education program at Hogeschool Utrecht. My graduation has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances regarding the Covid-19 outbreak in the Netherlands. I live and teach in Rotterdam at the Mbo theater school. Due to a really hectic and tight schedule, the school has postponed classes for the general subject to focus on practical courses; therefore, I cannot conduct any research or perform tasks that I would normally do to work on my internship report.