ALUMNI UPDATES: Naomi de Vries

This month’s Alumni Update features Naomi de Vries (CO’15). Here’s what she had to say!

Note: This interview was conducted by Ms. Linda.

What is your best memory of KIS?

When I think back on KIS, I think back on all the teachers that were really genuine and kind people.

What are you studying and where?

I am currently studying at University College Roosevelt (UCR) in Middelburg, Netherlands. When I graduate this summer I will have a degree in Environmental Sciences and Arts & Design.

Tell us about your university.

UCR is a liberal arts and science school with a wide variety of course options. Coming here really allowed me to explore different disciplines to determine in the end what suited me the most. It is also a city campus, which means that there are different campus locations around the town which really builds a student community in Middelburg.

What will you do after this?

After I graduate this coming June, I will take a gap year. This summer I will be working in a modern art museum called Vleeshal, and in a cafe. Then in September, I’m flying to Costa Rica to volunteer at a sloth & primate sanctuary for 10 weeks. Then I’ll go back home in December and from there travel and work in the fields of art and wildlife conservation in Australia for a few months. I hope at the end of that year I will have a better idea on what masters I would like to do.

How do you feel KIS prepared you for uni?

I feel like KIS was a school that really prepared me for University. I remember in my first semester, a lot of students were struggling with the workload, with writing papers and even with presentations and exams. To me on the other hand, it felt like I was even doing less than I did in the IB.

Anything you wish you had known before going to uni?

No, I feel like I was prepared for the changes that would take place.

What is it like to live independently?

I really love it. At first, leaving Thailand was hard because I had never lived anywhere else in my life. Going to the Netherlands made it easier on me because my parents are Dutch and I can speak the language. But what made it even easier to move away from home was knowing I had grandparents and uncles living in the area my university was at. This really helped me in the beginning. Besides that, when everyone at your university lives on campus, sooner or later you’ll develop that group of friends of which you always have dinner with and ends up becoming kind of like your family.

What is uni life like in the Netherlands?

Studying in the Netherlands is awesome. Being a student here gives you so many opportunities for fun activities. In the past three years, I’ve been to more concerts than I’ve been to in my whole life, only because so many artists come here.

What are you most proud of having achieved?

I’m proud to say that in the last three years I’ve really developed myself as a person through the different people I’ve met, the different courses I’ve taken and by living on my own.

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