Wageningen University & Research - Forum Building

What do KI students think of the exchange programme? Part 1

As we approach the conclusion of the exchange programme, what better way to gather valuable insights and resume the entire experience than with a recap? Until now, you’ve always heard only of my personal thoughts and adventures, but now, let’s widen the lens and hear from the other KI students who also came on exchange to Wageningen in August 2023. Allow me to introduce you to Margaux and Raphaela!

Let’s meet them!

Name: Margaux

Home Country: Belgium

Studies at KI: Second-year MSc student in Nutrition Science

Interests: Enjoys simple pleasures such as running, knitting, and exploring nature through hikes ✨

Woman smiling. She has brown hair and a flower shirt. In the background there is a green garden.
Margaux. Photo Credit: Margaux
Raphaela. Photo Credit: Raphaela.

Name: Raphaela (Rapha)

Home Country: Brazil & Portugal

Studies at KI: Second-year MSc student in Nutrition Science

Interests: A dedicated yoga teacher, she also enjoys exploring new countries and cultures 🌸

Why did you decide to go on an exchange? 

Margaux:  I’ve asked for advice from my Bachelor thesis supervisor on the impact of exchange experiences on a CV for a PhD position, and he encouraged me to take new courses and going on exchange was a really good idea!  I got immediately excited about the academic courses that WUR has to offer and I decided to apply for it.

Rapha: I have always had the desire to experience life in the Netherlands, but also to explore the field of food technology, WUR simply represents what I was looking for and so I applied for the exchange. 

What were the highlights during the exchange?

Margaux: I’ve found joy in the simple things of life. Culturally, biking adventures, picnics, catching the sunset, and even biking on a sunny day a 50km ride to Nijmegen have been the highlights. On the academic front, I delved for the first time into the world of data science, particularly once I had to create a data science model – a challenge that I could have never done before.

Rapha: My cultural highlight was also biking, traveling and I particularly remember one evening when we girls had dinner in the garden enjoying the colours of the sunset and then we went to the cinema altogether. Academically, I really enjoyed the laboratory lectures, and learning to how navigate resources and machines independently. 

Biking and catching the sunset along the Rhine. Photo credit: Noemi.
Biking and catching the sunset along the Rhine 💖 Photo credit: Noemi.

What’s the most important thing you learned?

Margaux: I’ve learned the importance of life balance and social activities. Additionally, I understand how important is to trust one’s instincts also known as gut feeling, and I’ve learned that if something is not right or doesn’t feel right you need to stand up for yourself.

Rapha: As for Margaux, the most important thing I’ve learnt is how to keep a balance in my life not allowing the stress to take over the control. To achieve this, maintaining a routine, prioritizing self-care, and incorporating regular exercise has been key for me in overcoming the stress and pressure of academic life.

Both: Thanks to KI, which demonstrated the possibility of maintaining a work-life balance, we were able to apply this principle. At WUR, people are not used to it, they have different habits, perspectives, and expectations. It’s essential to say that we learned and are now aware of this, especially due to our exchange experience ✨

What is one thing you wish you had known before coming here?

Margaux: I wish I had known more about the courses that I selected in my learning agreement, especially the difficulty of courses and their assessments. Understanding these academic challenges in advance would have been beneficial.

Rapha: I wish I had gotten more information about the Dutch weather, and how to find accommodation, and particularly I wish I had known that I could ask for help from the exchange university promptly regarding any matter – I got valuable insights and help from the exchange coordinators.

See you in the next episode 👋🏻

We will continue to answer and recap our exchange in the next blog post 🤩 I hope that this short insight gave you the possibility to get a broader picture of what it’s like to go on an exchange programme! If you have any specific questions or would like further insights, feel free to reach out. My peers and I are more than happy to provide answers and share more about our exchange experience 🥰

Stay tuned for the next blog for more in-depth conversations! 🫶🏻


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