Also known unofficially as Holland, The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy in
northwestern Europe, bordered on the north and west by the North Sea, on the east
by Germany, and on the south by Belgium. With Belgium and Luxembourg, The Netherlands
form the Low, or Benelux, Countries.
According to a 2001 census, The Netherlands have a population of 16 million. The overall population density is 385 persons per sq km (997 per sq mi), making The Netherlands one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
The nation is heavily urbanized, with about 89 percent of the population living in urban areas. The largest cities are the country’s capital, Amsterdam; Rotterdam, one of the world’s leading seaports; The Hague, the nation’s seat of government; and Utrecht, a manufacturing hub.
AVANS plays an important role in the social, educational and economic life of the region. It is a leading institution of higher education which is both broad and flexible and which focuses on the student. AVANS provides education for more than 12,000 full-time and part-time students. These students are enrolled in 32 different study programs, distributed across five faculties in Breda, Tilburg and Etten-Leur, of which the business program is just one.
The International Business School - Breda
Breda Business School (HEAO Breda) is one of the leading business schools in the Netherlands. The outstanding quality of its innovative, practice-oriented and student-centered education is widely recognized. Important developments such as information technology and internationalization form key elements in each of its study programs. Breda Business School offers students a wide range of business studies to students wishing to prepare for middle and higher executive positions in both business and non-profit organizations. These functions are mainly of an administrative, commercial, business economics, and legal nature, but also include management and information science. WCU students who opt to study one year at Breda will receive a dual degree from Western Carolina University and the AVANS Hogeschool upon graduation.
Going Out In Breda
Breda is an attractive city buzzing with life. Students will notice this as soon as they start exploring it. It has plenty of entertainment, and is especially known for its nightlife. All sorts of pubs, clubs, and outdoor cafés, restaurants, cinemas, and shops are available. In addition, the Chassé Theatre and several museums offer a wide variety of art and culture. A good place to relax is the main market square (‘Grote markt’). A big annual event is the carnival in February. This traditional festivity captures the city for four days. Other annual events include the Jazz Festival in May, and both the National Military Parade and Hot Air Balloon Festival in August.
Problem-Based Learning Model
The education system is based on a problem-based learning model. Each semester is divided into two blocks, one per each half of the semester. All students in the block are placed into a group with each group member given a particular task. The group does the required research in the library, via computer, and by visiting companies in various parts of Holland. Students receive some guidelines from the instructor weekly and a series of steps to use to research the group’s given problem. It is assumed that students will bring their previous learning to the block and contribute to the success of a group. Freedom is given, but self-discipline is essential. The grading system is based on a 10-point scale. 5.5 and above is passing. Hardly anyone receives a 9 or a 10.
At the end of each block, students write a final report with the group and give a presentation of their research. The reports must be in perfect shape, usually consist of 60 pages with 20 color pages that must be copied for each person in the group and the instructor. The report and presentation count for half of the grade and must be 5.5 or higher. In addition, students must take and pass a final examination, or fall subject to failure of the entire course.
Many international students apply for a work permit, but it takes almost an entire semester to obtain one. Students apply for a work permit through ASA or any other temporary work agency; however, use only one agency. The tax office will distribute a SOFI (Social Fiscal) Number that is much like a social security number to have taxes taken out of the paycheck. In order to get the paycheck, students must have a bank account in Breda, as everyone is paid via direct deposit.
Who May Participate?
WCU undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing (2.75 GPA) may participate on study abroad programs. Undergraduates who have completed most of the 200-300 level courses in the Business Foundations of Knowledge can participate. Graduates especially need to discuss the transfer of credits with their advisors before embarking in a study abroad program.
Transfer Of Credit
Students planning to study abroad must seek prior approval from their advisors for any course work to be taken while abroad. The Office of International Programs and Services assists students with this process before they go abroad and when they return.
Student Counseling And Tutors
Counselors can provide students with help and information on many matters. Students can simply walk in if they need advice or counseling or whenever personal circumstances are interfering with study progress. The student counselor is someone all can talk to confidentially if there might be a serious problem. Students can be assured that counselors will always look after their best interests.
AVANS Hogeschool of Professional Education has an extensive Multi- Media Center with a branch in each faculty. Besides books and periodicals, students can also consult other types of modern information media. Through on-line links, students can access the On-Line Public Catalogue of the institution, as well as the Internet. This allows students to access the files of many other universities.
Students will be placed in a furnished dorm room regardless of preference. Rooms range in price from $1,800 per semester.
Financial aid is available through the WCU Financial Aid office. For exchange programs, students’ financial aid packages include: WCU tuition and fees, room and board, as well as the cost of the airline ticket, health insurance, in-country personal expenses, passport and visa. The amount of aid given will differ with each program. In order to determine the financial aid package for the entire duration of the study abroad, students need to submit a current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and a Personal Data Sheet to the Financial Aid office. Students are required to pass 12 credit hours of coursework each semester when studying abroad or lose their financial aid.
Dual Degree Program - browse this page to find how you can earn both a degree from WCU and AVANS Hogeschool
Browse the International Business School in Breda, The Netherlands website.