Moldavian students on studying at Fontys School of ICT
The two third-year Fontys-students Electrical and electronic engineering and Software engineering in particularly praise the practical approach of their study: "Here you're working on solving real problems.'' In Moldavia, their home country, there are no applied universities. Secondary education too is purely theoretical. "I couldn't believe that it's possible to study at this level while still working on practical matters'', says Eugen (21)."If you're preparing for an exam just by cramming, you'll have forgotten everything you learned after a few months. But if you apply your knowledge in a project, you'll never again forget it.''
They both chose for the Netherlands for very different reasons. Mihai (22) was a typical boy who took everything apart that he could get his hands on and later surfed the internet for all kinds of how-to-videos. He was looking for a leading country in technology. He currently works on technology to control devices with impulses straight from the human brain.
Eugen picked a country from a list he made through an elimination process. "I was on a French lyceum, so it made most sense to go to France. But I really wanted to continue in English. That's why I had Great-Britain on my shortlist, as well as Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. I heard some less positive stories about England and I tried studying International Relations in Sweden. But my parents made me promise to try a technical study for at least one year.'' Currently he is an excellent student and he is doing a premaster in mathematics at the TU/e.
Both loved the Fontys' promise of an international classroom. They also reckoned it couldn't hurt that the school is situated in the Brainport. Both have side-jobs in their professional field since their second study-year, so that - with some help from DUO - they do not have to rely on their parents for financial support. Their double passports – Moldavian and Romanian - also help: they just have to pay the normal tuition fee instead of three times the normal fee that students coming from outside the EU have to pay.
The big question
And that's how they ended up giving a neat PowerPoint presentation in equally neat suits to some fellow countrymen that were visiting Eindhoven. Dumitru Chisnenco, liaison officer of the republic of Moldavia, brought an officer from the embassy, who in turn brought his family and two sons who are about to have to choose a study. Chisnenco asked them the big question: once you've graduated, are you coming back to help your country grow? In other words: good for you, but what does Moldavia have to gain in all this?
Mihai and Eugen appear not to be bothered by any feelings of guilt towards their home country. Indeed: they are very clear about the brain drain Chisnenco signals. Eugen: "It's not that smart people leave the country. It's rather that people leave the country because they can only become smart somewhere else. In Moldavia they put university students in a box with old, theoretical knowledge. That doesn't breed intelligence.'' Mihai: "There are good universities in our country, such as the medical universities. But we can't all be doctors, can we?'' [Debbie Langelaan]
Also read: Number of foreign students is increasing
Source: BRON fontys