Prior to receiving a Bachelor's degree in Development Management from the University of Wales, I already worked for several years amongst others at NGOs. But when the time came to renew my contract with the public institution I was working for I decided not to but to further my education.
I actually had several admissions from other universities in Europe but finally decided on the University of Antwerp, not only because of the relevance of the multidisciplinary programme to my career but also because I took other points into account such as the multicultural learning environment and the living cost. So I enrolled at the Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB) at the UAntwerp for the one year master programme in Development Evaluation and Management.
Well structured study programme
The study programme is well structured and followed by students from all over the world, which brings a lot of diversity in one classroom. Unfortunately my application came in too late to be considered for a scholarship, but I was qualified for a reduced tuition fee. Some of my fellow students from developing countries were offered a full scholarship.
The biggest difference in the university life between Ghana and Belgium is probably the way of dressing and the role of hierarchy. Master students in Ghana always dress very professional and official which of course also influences the classroom environment. But the level of teaching here is good and the programme itself pretty intense. So time management is something very important. But even so you can turn almost everything into fun and the circumstances for studying are very good.
The library is well equipped and access to online resources/database complements the library. Also the staff and lecturers I approached were very friendly and accessible, trying to help you out whenever they could. It’s also possible to get help from the student volunteers who assist international students in finding a place to stay, since they have contacts with the local landlords.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to follow a Dutch class, but of course I picked up some basics during everyday life here in Antwerp. But it’s no problem to get around with English. Getting around is in general an easy thing here in Belgium, since they have a really well structured transportation system. Since I really enjoy nature, I like to visit the parks around here, such as Park Spoor Nord or the Stadpark. If you are looking for a good spot for running those are some of the places to go!