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A glimpse into our GRL student community: Meet Helena!

Date:15 November 2023
Helena, Global Responsibility & Leadership student
Helena, Global Responsibility & Leadership student

Curious to meet our Global Responsibility & Leadership (GRL) students? Today we introduce you to Helena, a second-year GRL student here at Campus Fryslân. Helena is originally from Warsaw, Poland, and is very active in the student community along with her job as a Student Assistant here on Campus.

Meet… Helena!
Hi! I'm Helena. I’m 19 years old and come from Warsaw, Poland. I've lived there my whole life and also graduated from high school in the city. I went to a bilingual school for primary and middle school, learning both French and Polish. Continued that bilingual journey in high school, where I studied Spanish and Polish.

Why did you choose to study Global Responsibility & Leadership at Campus Fryslân over other programmes?
It is actually quite a popular choice in Poland to go do your higher education studies in the Netherlands. In my case, I fell in love with Amsterdam when I visited 6 years ago, so I knew my future was going to be somewhere in this country. When in Warsaw, I took a number of orientation tests to try and figure out which subjects I was leaning towards, and it turned out that I had a propensity for interdisciplinary studies. I looked at a number of programmes offered at University Colleges throughout the Netherlands, until my mom pointed at this one as she thought it was very future-oriented, compared to others. So I came to Leeuwarden to attend a Student For A Day, which gave me the opportunity to get a feeling of what the experience on Campus was like. That was such a breakthrough moment! It was super helpful to get a sense of who the people were and what the vibe was like, and then I made my decision.

How is it to live in Leeuwarden?
Interesting question! I first lived in the building in Kanaalstraat, together with most of my classmates. It truly was an amazing start. As it was the first time that I was living abroad without my parents, I was very lucky to meet a nice and big group of people, which is what I always wanted. I can really say that I had a honeymoon phase. After a bit, I felt the change that came with moving from the capital city of a much bigger country to the capital of a province, so I had to adjust to the different pace and vibe. This rollercoaster of emotions all happened during my first year. Now that I am in my second year, I moved in with two of my friends and I feel like I have puzzled my life back into place. I feel calmer and more in charge. I create opportunities to do things and have been starting to see the brighter side of living here. Compared to a big city, in Leeuwarden you are closer to friends and, because of that, it also feels like you have more time to hang out with them. It is easier to get to know people, because the student community is smaller and quite tight. Overall, it is easy to move around and you have everything you need closeby, especially nice sports facilities!

What opportunities do you have to socialise beyond studying?
Many, actually! I signed up for Studentensport Leeuwarden, a student sport organisation with a partnership gym offering all sorts of sports, and very close to the NHL campus. I keep an eye on the events calendar at Neushoorn, for more artsy nights. I am an active member of Nobis Cura Futuri, the Campus’ study association, where I also got to know people from years above mine. This year I am the chair of the Public Relations committee, while last year I was the chair of the Debate committee. I am also an active part of the Green Office community, with which we organise events focused on sustainability. Last year we went to UCSRN tournament, a famous tournament among University Colleges in the Netherlands. It was another great opportunity to get to know lots of people! This year I am in the organising team of the tournament and get to collaborate also with the University College Groningen.

Is there anything else you would like to share to help prospective students decide in favour of this BSc programme?
Something worth mentioning I think is that nature around Leeuwarden is nice and easy to reach. I can bike 10 minutes before I am outside of the city and in a nice field to bike through. In the summer it is just amazing! Every weekend you can swim in the lake, play volleyball and just be in nature!