The 26 new St. Maarten students upon their arrival at Schiphol Airport on Monday morning.
AMSTERDAM--The 26 St. Maarten students safely arrived in the Netherlands on Monday, and after a welcome event, information sessions, a good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast, they went to their city on Tuesday.
Upon their arrival at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on Monday morning, the students were met by St. Maarten Minister Plenipotentiary Rene Violenus, Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Richard Panneflek, guidance counsellor and coordinator Roxxiomarah Richardson and several guidance counsellors and buddies.
By tour bus, the students went to a hotel close to the airport where the welcome ceremony was held and they spent the first night. There were several speeches at the welcome ceremony, including a speech by motivational speaker Gino Rombley.
Rombley, who studied computer science and engineering and now works as a cybersecurity sales engineer, gave an inspiring speech about studying in the Netherlands, personal development and how to overcome the challenges of studying in a foreign country where the language, culture and climate are completely different.
Tariq Forbes, a second-year student, gave the students tips on how to survive studying in the Netherlands. He spoke about finding the right balance between social life and studying, how important it is to speak up, to budget and to act responsibly.
Minister Plenipotentiary Violenus also addressed the students, welcoming them to the Netherlands and wishing them much luck with their studies. After the speeches, the students enjoyed a Caribbean buffet-style dinner before turning in after a long 24 hours.
On Tuesday morning, after a hearty breakfast, the students had one-on-one intake sessions with the representatives of the Dutch study financing organisation DUO to go over the documents and to discuss the logistics of study financing. During the digital information session with the insurance broker, students could ask questions about their healthcare insurance.
The students then left for their cities, accompanied by guidance counsellors and buddies. The tour bus made stops at the train stations in The Hague, Rotterdam and Tilburg to drop off the students, where they were received by family members or a buddy to accompany them to their new home. Some of the students studying in Amsterdam took public transportation to their new home.
“The first two days went very smoothly. Things went very well and the students were very excited about starting a next chapter in their life,” said coordinator Roxxiomarah Richardson, who is also a guidance counsellor. The other guidance counsellors this year are Isake Serrant, Sabrina Clark, Classen Omeus and Isairah Baptiste.