Student ambassadors

The Avans student ambassadors are international students who are happy to share their experiences with the study programmes and living and studying in the Netherlands with you. They are also ready to answer any questions you might have. Read on to find out more and get in touch with them.

Merlin Croes

Country: 
Aruba
Programme:
Bachelor of Finance & Control (International)
Languages:
Spanish, Papiamento, English and Dutch
Contact:
email

"Hello, I'm Merlin and I'm currently a 1st year Finance & Control (international) student. I am originally from Aruba although I also have Colombian roots, so I speak a total of 4 languages which include: Spanish, Papiamento, English and Dutch." 

"I've only been living in the Netherlands for a few years now, but I love it here. It took some getting used to, but I think I'm getting the hang of it by now! Although I love exploring the city I also enjoy just staying home and cooking while watching a show. On the weekends I like to meet up with my friends to get coffee or go thrifting. If you have any questions, please let me know. I am happy to help you."

Anastasia Rebrova

Country: 
Estonia
Programme:
Bachelor of Finance & Control (International)
Languages:
Russian, English, Estonian
Contact:
email

"Hello everyone, my name is Anastasia Rebrova and i’m an FCI student :) I come from Tallinn, Estonia and would be happy to answer any of your questions and help you during the onboarding journey."

Melanie Maria Urban 

Country:
Czech Republic 
Programme:
Bachelor of International Business (Breda)
Languages:
Czech, English 
Contact:
email | Instagram | Facebook

"Hi, my name is Melanie, and I am an International Business student at Avans in Breda."

"Growing up in an internationally oriented family on two continents (Europe and the Middle East) exposed me to many cultures and diversity of thought. As a result, I travelled very often, which led to my passion for meeting new people, learning about their cultural traditions and tasting ethnic cuisine."

"During grammar school, I knew that I wanted to do my university degree abroad one day. This decision became real for me a year ago. I was not only choosing between different universities but also between countries. It is truly an important decision to make when you plan to live in a foreign country for a few years. You want to like the city, the people, the food, the traditions, etc. It was a hard decision to make, but finally, I have picked the Netherlands. For its safeness and beauty of nature, and Avans as my university top choice because of their programme and opportunities we have as growing business individuals throughout the years."

"Even though I am only a first-year student, I have settled in quite well in Breda. Plus, I have pretty fresh memories of my experiences of being a new student :). I would be more than happy to help you find any information or help with your current decisions, so don’t hesitate to contact me anytime!"

Naia Shephard 

Country:  
Spain 
Programme: 
Enviromental Sciences for Sustainability, Ecosystems and Technology
Languages: 
English and Spanish 
Contact:
email | Instagram

"Hi, my name is Naia Shephard, and I am a short tracker studying Enviromental Sciences in Avans University. I consider myself a very international student since this is the third country I am living in so far. It is my first-time moving countries alone, which has taken a turn on my personal growth. Even though I am just experiencing all the changes of moving abroad now I am more than happy to share and help you through these changes."

"If you want to know more about me, I am 19 years old and I am a very competitive horse show jumper back in Spain. I took a gap year to focus on my personal growth and to focus on sports. I was very hesitant to move abroad on my own, but I took the leap because I knew it was the best thing for me since I had been given the opportunity to study high school in an American school in my hometown. My goals for moving to the Netherlands is to become an independent woman and create a life for myself. I am very excited to see what the future holds for me, and I hope you are too."

Tryphena Konadu

Country:
Germany
Programme:
Bachelor of International Business (Breda)
Languages:
German, English, Twi, French, and currently studying Spanish 
Contact:
email | LinkedIn

"As a Ghanaian born and raised in Germany and having grown up with American media, I have been exposed to different cultures on a daily basis. This has greatly influenced my desire to travel and explore cultures. Ever since I was young, I dreamed of studying abroad and working somewhere where I'd have the opportunity to travel around the world. So I am working to fulfill this little girl's dream.” 

“I am very glad that I decided to move to the Netherlands and study International Business at Avans, because this degree programme gives me the opportunity to combine my two passions – internationalism and business. I think my younger, insecure self is now proud of the woman I am becoming.“ 

“Before and after my arrival in Breda I realised that studying in another country where you barely know the language can be difficult. However it did not take me long to understand that with the right people by your side, you will have an unforgettable experience. Therefore, you can contact me with all your questions, thoughts and doubts and I will be happy to help you and give you tips.”

Lujza Nosáľová

Country:
Slovakia 
Programme:
Bachelor of International Business (Breda)
Languages:
Slovak, English 
Contact:
email | Instagram | Facebook 

"Hi! My name is Lujza, and I come from Slovakia. As a child I did rhythmic gymnastics for 11 years. Many people say that sport builds stamina and stubbornness. Yes, indeed it does. What I learnt the best from these years spent in the gym working hard to achieve my goal I have set is; that no matter what obstacles I had to face quitting is not an option." 

"Furthermore, as I was getting older the school was getting harder and trainings longer. Thus, another thing that stays with me forever is time management. From a very young age I had to make myself a time schedule to have excellent study and competition results. I had to learn from my mistakes, ups and downs to manage everything the way I wanted things to be. Here I realized that it is very important to have a goal and most importantly create a strategy how to successfully reach the goal." 

"I studied at English high school where I found out that I am passionate about English. Hence, I got an opportunity to go on a language course in the USA, Los Angeles and England, Eastbourne. This led me to choose undergraduate programme which is taught in English. Seminar from economics opened my eyes in the field of finance, economy and prosperity. Therefore, I find this study programme the perfect combination of what I am interested in."

"Do not hesitate and contact me if you have any questions about what it’s like studying at Avans and living as an international student in Breda."

Petko Pavlov Marinikov

Country:
Bulgaria
Programme:
Bachelor of Environmental Science for Sustainability, Ecosystems and Technology
Languages:
English and Bulgarian
Contact:
email | Instagram | 
Facebook | LinkedIn

“Since high school, I always wanted to pursue my career goals of being involved in the renewable energy industry, with that came the realization that this cannot be achieved in Bulgaria. I moved to Breda, in the Netherlands in 2020 when I enrolled in the ESSET study programme and I feel confident enough to say that I found my place under the sky for now.”

“As a typical 18-year-old graduate I had a hard time adapting to the environment at Avans and in Breda. However, looking back now I am glad I made the right choice with Avans and the Environmental Science programme which turns out to be really exciting and totally worth moving abroad.“

“After my first amazing year of having such a great variety of different joyful experiences despite the COVID-19 situation, I came to the realization that I want to provide more for the community and applied to become a student ambassador. My goal is to help out prospective students who might struggle with their decisions or just need a bit of support in order to start their future education at Avans as motivated and well-determined students.”

“Moving to Breda as an international might be stressful, but never forget that you don’t have to be on your own while exploring this new environment. The student ambassador team is here for you. So don’t hesitate to reach out for any kind of help or information.”

Daniela Dodon

Country:
Republic of Moldova/Romania
Programme:
Bachelor of International Business (Breda)
Languages:

Romanian, Russian, English, Chinese, currently studying Dutch
Contact:
email 

"Greetings, everyone! My name is Daniela, and I am a first-year student enrolled in the International Business Program at Avans University of Applied Sciences."

"Ever since I was young, my fascination with foreign languages ignited my passion for exploring international realms. This desire led me towards Breda, which I consider an impeccable destination for academic pursuits, due to its strategic location in Europe and prestigious academic programs."

"The city's thriving business culture, teeming with numerous opportunities for career advancement, solidified my decision to attend Avans University."

"As a first-year student, I have already had the opportunity to explore the diverse cultural landscape of Breda and develop a strong sense of community within the International Business Program. In fact, it was during one of the program's networking events that I was inspired to become a Student Ambassador."

"My willingness for pursuing this role stems from my desire to share my experiences with others and serve as a source of guidance and support for prospective students. I am also eager to showcase the unique opportunities that Avans and Breda have to offer and help others discover their own paths to personal and professional success."

"Therefore, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or would like to learn more about my experiences!"

Zdravko Vladov

Country:
Bulgaria
Programme:
Bachelor of Finance & Control (International)
Languages:
English and Bulgarian 
Contact:
email | Instagram

"I am a 19 year old student at Avans, FCI and I come from Bulgaria. I developed my passion for finance in high school, where I studied banking and accounting for over 5 years. I do believe in the importance of studying in an international environment, which is why I applied to study at Avans. Aside from school, I find much joy in exercising, doing sports and – of course – partying." 

Feline Dirkx

Country:
Netherlands, USA, Switzerland
Programme:
Bachelor of Environmental Science for Sustainability Ecosystems & Technology
Languages:
English, Dutch, German
Contact:
email | instagram

“My passion for environmental science started with my passion for house plants which led me to dive deep into environmental sciences. I have chosen this bachelor's after careful consideration between multiple environmental science programs around the Netherlands. In my 19 years of life, I have lived in a couple of places, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and New York City. I have always dreamed of coming to my mother country and now here I am!"

"Being in the Netherlands has been a refreshing change after being in the States where environmental issues are not being taken as seriously as here. I want to be a part of restoring nature and our planet to its previous glory and creating a better life for future generations. This is why my journey starts with ESSET. I’ve had an amazing experience so far at Avans, even with a few bumps in the road. That’s why I decided to become an ambassador, to help you avoid those bumps and teach you about studying in the Netherlands! Feel free to contact me any time with any questions!”

Giulia Dadamo

Country:
Italy
Programme:
Bachelor of Environmental Science for Sustainability, Ecosystems & Technology
Languages:
Italian, English, Spanish (intermediate)
Contact:
email

"I have chosen this course after a long and sideways journey, which first saw me graduating from a degree in a completely different field, which I then realised was not for me. After giving myself the necessary time to understand what I wanted from my future I realised that my curiosity and attachment for the environment has been a constant in my life, hence, I am now studying all about it and, honestly, loving it." 

"I know how hard it can be to make the right choice when it comes to university, that's why I want to help prospective students by giving them an insight of what it's like to be an ESSET student and life in Breda. So, don't hesitate to contact me!"

Paula Velasquez Suarez

Country:
Colombia and Curaçao
Programme:
Bachelor of Environmental Science for Sustainability, Ecosystems & Technology
Languages:
English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamentu
Contact:
email | Instagram

"Since I was a child, I have been surrounded by nature and grew up with the idea that every object we use has a second use. This led me to develop a love for nature. The more I grew up and understood the world I realised that unfortunately only a few people are aware of all that nature gives us and therefore not many do take care of it."

"I am currently studying Environmental Science for Sustainability, Ecosystems and Technology (ESSET). I have chosen this study because I am determined to be part of the change we need. It has been a challenging experience so far, but I would not change it. I have met people that even though we have only known each other for a short time, it feels like we have known each other for years. I have been to wonderful places and have developed new skills such as riding a bike. Yes, I didn't know how to ride a bike until I arrived here in the Netherlands!"

"Life as an international student has had its ups and downs. Firstly, being in a country I had never been to before, adapting to new ways of thinking, and the most difficult one adapting my way of living as this stage requires a lot more independence and responsibility from mw. All this has been a challenge that little by little is being overcome. My family always tells me that the best achievements are the ones that cost the most. On the other hand, living in another country has brought me new experiences and I have met many people who are going through the same thing, and we support each other."

"So, if you decide to make this important and difficult decision, you must know that it will be a big change, but you are not going through it alone. You will be surrounded by teachers willing to help you and by peers in the same situation with whom you can go dancing, partying, travel or maybe just sit in the park and talk. If you have any questions or want to know more about my study or my experience, feel free to contact me. Remember that the only wrong question is the one that was never asked."

 

Maggie Petromianou

Country:
Greece 
Programme:
Environmental science for sustainability (ESSET) (Breda)
Languages:
English, Greek
Contact:
email | instagram

"Hello everybody I’m Maggie and I come from Greece. Leaving my country was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, but i knew that moving to the Netherlands would be a huge advantage for my future. Enrolling for the ESSET program at Avans was the best choice of studies if I wanted to focus on a career around the environment sector. After a very stressful year of searching for the university I was going to attend and the program I would choose I think I made the right choice, with only being here a few months. Being able to leave a country that doesn’t offer a variety of education on this fied was very liberating and knowing that there was an opportunity to make an impact related to environmental sciences. Being a bit lost is part of the procedure on finding the field you are actually interested in and from my experiences it is worth it to pursue your dream."

"Breda is a city that made me feel very calm and not so much as an outsider as many international students live and study there. It is very common to say that new experiences help you develop as a person, but it’s true. And the fact that my stay here already has brought me closer to so many new people is fascinating. I wouldn’t want to be alone with all my questions about Avans and the programmes it provides, so feel free to ask me everything you want to know. Not only about the university but generally about the life in the Netherlands if you are also from abroad or a local."

Malena Capdevila Díaz

Country:
Spain
Programme:
Bachelor of Environmental Science for Sustainability, Ecosystems & Technology
Languages:
English, Spanish, French and currently learning Dutch
Contact:
email | Instagram

"Since I was little, I was taught the impact our actions could have on the environment, so I always recycled and reused things. But it was a few years ago, that climate change started to have an echo, when this field really got my interest. I’ve always been concerned about what happened in my surroundings and eager to find solutions. This made me realize that I wanted to take part in the challenge of building a better future for society. During the pandemic I took an online course about the effects of climate change and that was what inspired me to pursue an Environmental Sciences degree.”

“I am a really social person who loves to travel. I love the international atmosphere as I enjoy learning new languages and traditions. Meeting new people, broadening your horizons and stepping out of your comfort zone are always a challenge but they make you grow and adapt. I have some previous experience as I studied 1 year in Canada and I can tell that studying abroad is a life-changing experience.”  

“Teachers and students at Avans welcomed me with open arms. One of the reasons I decided to become an ambassador was to motivate, help and create an inviting atmosphere for new and fellow students. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to know more about student life in Breda."

Lucy Göler

Country:
Germany and Luxembourg 
Programme:
Bachelor of International Business (Den Bosch)
Languages:
English, German, French, Dutch (B1)
Contact:
email | Instagram 

“Hey everyone! I am Lucy and I was born and raised in Germany by my German mother and Luxembourgian father. When I was 15 years old I decided to study abroad in Canada to improve my English and broaden my horizons. Ever since I’ve been to my Canadian High School, I’ve known that I don’t want to study in Germany. I chose the Netherlands because of the high proficiency of English and the modern education.”

“I am happy that I chose Avans because I thrive in smaller classes (usually 10-20 students) and prefer the learning atmosphere. There is no hierarchy and we don’t have traditional lecturers that only read from slides. Instead, we have coaches that teach us new material and provide support when needed but motivate us to learn on our own instead of spoonfeeding us information. The buildings are also very modern and every classroom and study room has a TV or screen that you can use.”

“I am also absolutely in love with the country and the people. It was a very rough start and there were ups and downs but my Dutch friends and roommates helped me integrate into the culture and learn the language. I am so happy to have had all these experiences and be able to call the Netherlands my home. There is so much more to the culture than you might think when you first come here but once you get to know it you will love it! If you have any questions, want to know more about Avans, the Netherlands, student life, or need help with anything, please feel free to contact me at any time!”