Preparatory workshops for Netherlands bound students

Beginning Monday, June 9, 2014, a series of preparatory workshops will be held for all students who applied for study financing from the Government of St. Maarten to pursue their tertiary studies in the Netherlands for the 2014-2015 academic year.
These interactive and themed workshops, organized by the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) and Division Study Financing (SF), will run until the end of the month. They are also designed to address many of the issues that our students face while pursuing their studies in the Netherlands and to help equip them to be successful.
According to SSSD officials, all the workshops will be held in the evening hours from 5 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. when many of the applicants do not have school or have to work. They added that attendance to the workshops is mandatory and participants will be required to sign in and out at the workshops.
The titles and objectives of the four workshops include:

1. Preparing for my Netherlands experience
Objective: Assessing and adjusting expectations: focus on reality.
2. Social/Cultural and personal issues and adjusting to life in Holland.
Objective: Familiarization with new environment: What to expect?
3. Integrating into society in Holland.
Objective: Provide information about maintaining a sense of wellbeing in integration without letting go who you are.
4. General Session.

Some of the topics that will be covered in these workshops include expectations about the Netherlands, day to day living, dealing with missing home or feeling overwhelmed, importance of Dutch language skills, group interaction, dealing with prejudices, living with a room-mate, cultural differences, coping strategies, and the importance of friends and networks.
Once the workshops conclude, there will be a general session for the students where all the workshops will be brought into perspective. In addition, the participants will be provided with tips for success and any questions they may have will be entertained. Communal living will be highlighted in this session and tips for success in this area will be given.
All students who applied for study financing from the Government of St. Maarten are urged to make an effort to attend all the sessions on the respective dates. All students were contacted by Study Financing regarding the dates they have to attend the workshops. The dates for Group A and Group B are different and students are urged to take note of such. Should parents or students have questions about the workshops, they can contact Mr. Michel Chance at the Student Support Services Division at Tel: 543-1235.