Testimonials

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Jessica Navarro (USA)

"Howest was such a welcoming community, from the faculty and professors to my fellow students"

Jessica Navarro (USA)

My time abroad gave me so much insight into myself, it was the best decision I have ever taken. Howest was such a welcoming community, from the faculty and professors to my fellow students. The culture that Howest cultivates for its international students in nothing short of exceptional.

Sabine Steffens (Austria)

"What really surprised me though was how fast I was able to make friends and build a social network here"

Sabine Steffens (Austria)

If I had to describe my exchange semester in Bruges to someone, I probably wouldn’t even really know where to start because I associate so many memories with it. It was exciting, surprising, emotional, fun, and all around a great experience.

Going to another country and not knowing what to expect can be thrilling and a little bit scary but, personally, I only had positive and excited feelings towards starting this journey to Belgium. It took me over 9 hours and some paperwork to get here, but once I had entered the city I immediately fell in love with Bruges’ charm and beautiful architecture. Experiencing another mentality and culture was also really interesting as the Belgians are actually different from what I expected. 

What really surprised me though was how fast I was able to make friends and build a social network here. Being an Erasmus student and spending a lot of my time with other internationals made it pretty easy to find connections and befriend people from all over the world – and some Belgians too! These friendships might actually be the most important and precious thing that I am taking away from this semester and hopefully they will last me for a long or even a lifetime. 

I made incredible memories with my friend group, like cycling over an hour to the beach, travelling through France or exploring Belgian cities! Obviously, we also ate our way through the Belgian cuisine and took part in some fun beer-tasting activities and party nights. If anybody tells me they are scared or hesitant to do an exchange semester abroad because they might feel lonely or not find people to hang out with, I can only tell them the complete opposite! At least for an exchange semester at Howest it is basically guaranteed that you will meet others and make friends because Howest actually does a lot to get people connected and organise bonding experiences. There is also a support system of international coordinators and lecturers who have tried their best to make this stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for me, which I really appreciate. Studying at Howest as an international student is great as the schedule is relaxed enough to still enjoy your free time and explore the country, but also interesting and diverse enough to gain lots of new knowledge and get insight into some aspects that your home university might not deal with in your regular study programme.

Overall, I have to say that going to Bruges for my semester abroad and studying Applied Health & Lifestyle Sciences here was for sure the right decision and helped me make unexpected experiences and grow as a person.
 

Marie Essert (Austria)

"Coming to a country I had never been in and studying at Howest challenged me in ways I never expected"

Marie Essert (Austria)

Going on an exchange semester sucks - but it is the best decision I have ever made. Why? Coming to a country I had never been in and studying at Howest challenged me in ways I never expected. Every day I had to get out of my comfort zone and was confronted with cultural differences and language barriers. During the last five months, I grew so much as a person and I know I would have never had the same growth if I had not taken the step to go to Kortrijk. I was not only able to grow my academic knowledge, but also my knowledge of cultures, languages and people skills. 

While on an exchange, it seems like everyone has one shared thing in their DNA: the love of experiences. No matter if it is cycling to France, bouldering together, taking the train to London, going to karaoke, or just drinking Belgian beers – it is never boring with such amazing people surrounding you. 

When you decide to go on an exchange at Howest, you might expect to just do a semester abroad. But it is so much more: you will meet the best people from all over the world and call Belgium your new home.

Kaisa Gutman (Estonia)

"Howest's staff and lecturers are smart, respectful and understanding, and a solution can be found together for every problem. "

Kaisa Gutman (Estonia)

In my case, being part of an Erasmus program and moving with my family to Belgium to study in Howest (Brugge) is quite unique. Coming abroad to study with family and young children takes a good piece of courage and planning in advance, but it has made us and me stronger and more determined as a family and as a person. Yes, it has been challenging and sometimes there have been obstacles, but it was all worth it. 

Studying in Howest has been useful, experiential and educational. While following the Health and Lifestyle sciences programme, I also learned new skills and learned that I am capable of more. Especially educational and the most enjoyable and favorite courses were eHealth, Solution-Focused Health Coaching, Entrepreneurship and Trends, and a personal development course.

Howest's staff and lecturers are smart, respectful and understanding, and a solution can be found together for every problem. 

My fellow students have been nice, friendly and good communicators. Regardless of the age difference, all of the students communicated freely and in a friendly way, which made integration very easy. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity to study in Howest. 

Conrad Kagoro (Uganda)

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

Conrad Kagoro (Uganda)

It was really a hustle getting all my documents in time for my maiden European experience. Being the first Exchange Student from Uganda at Howest gives me so much delight and gratification because I believe I am going back to Uganda with a lot of life-changing ideas, plus having a European Certificate on my CV is going to take me places I had never dreamt of. How cool is that?

I came to Belgium during the pandemic, and I expected that I would have a different experience than students from previous years.

The Erasmus experience has given me the opportunity to see life a little bit differently as well as grow professionally. I am so grateful to everyone that made this possible. I am already a Howest Ambassador to Uganda. It’s so exciting!

I have really enjoyed myself here in all aspects of life. The people are lovely, and sociable. I will always keep the kindness in my heart always.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh.

Diana Martinez (Mexico)

"Studying at Howest helped me to discover new ways of working in teams and individually."

Diana Martinez (Mexico)

I had the opportunity to study at Howest  in the Collaborative Design Studio program 2021.

I would describe this experience in three words; exciting, challenging and new… and also extremely fun.

Studying at Howest helped me to discover new ways of working in teams and individually. I learned to work with machines and methods that I had never used before and I dared to get involved in projects and activities that I was afraid of. These were the things I learned the most from.

I got to meet not only other Industrial Designers from countries such as Turkey, Spain, Colombia, US, Netherlands and of course from Belgium, but also awesome people studying DAE, MCT, Journalism and Occupational Therapy. 

I arrived to Belgium feeling not that confident in myself as a student, but my teachers, classmates, and now good-friend- for-life, made me realize that I was capable of doing everything I want to do.
For me, studying at Howest was more than studying abroad , it was about learning by doing inside the classrooms, laughing instead of stressing out with my colleagues every time something didn't go as expected.
Other experiences in my past (and future) will never match my experience of studying at Howest.
 

Barbara Veit (Austria)

"One of the best times in my life!"

Barbara Veit (Austria)

When I think about my Erasmus semester a lot comes to my mind. Adventure, frightening, educative, joy and – most important – one of the best times in my life!

From week one, there was not a single day that I regretted my decision. Because the international community at Howest is open-minded and very welcoming, I found new friends very easily. Together we enjoyed the sunset at the Leie, a bike-trip to France, visiting different cities, dancing in the “uitgaansbuurt” of Kortrijk, and cooking different traditional meals. Furthermore, we supported each other during stressful times at university and celebrated successful projects and exams afterwards.

Of course, it is hard to leave one’s new home after the semester. However, I know that we will see us again and that I will always have a place to stay all over the world.
 

Stephany Garcia Henao (USA)

"I can still call Kortrijk my second home"

Stephany Garcia Henao (USA)

Howest has opened doors to help me know myself better on a personal and professional level. Having time to travel and study at the same time is something I never thought could have been possible and I am grateful that Howest encourages students to do so. As a full-year Erasmus-Exchange student, I feel fulfilled with the programs I am doing (IPO). After one semester, I can still call Kortrijk my second home.

Amer al Qadah (Turkey/Palestine)

"An Erasmus+ experience is certainly a journey that you will tell your grandchildren about!"

Amer al Qadah (Turkey/Palestine)

Going to Erasmus was one of my university goals. Getting to do that in Belgium, at one of its most innovative universities (Howest), was something to be grateful for. It was an experience of a lifetime! Especially during our study time, with all the extraordinary (corona) circumstances - and with all of the stories with people that were like family! 

If there were one piece of advice that I could give to students, it would be to go on more journeys that make you find yourself. An Erasmus+ experience is certainly a journey that you will tell your grandchildren about!
 

Marconi Melissa (Italy)

"If it was forever it wouldn't have been so special"

Marconi Melissa (Italy)

Everybody that had been on Erasmus told me "You will find a new family there," but I was like "No way it's going to happen, I already have my safe place at home."

It didn't take long to change my mind completely. These people...I can't really explain. It's like we were meant to meet. They have been part of my life for 5 months and I can't believe it's over. I found caring, kind and special friends. Each of them will have a place in my heart. It's true and sad that Erasmus has an ending point, but as a wise girl told me on our last night together:  "If it was forever it wouldn't have been so special."
 

Doğan Mert Güven (Turkey)

"I made friendships along the way that'll hopefully last a lifetime"

Doğan Mert Güven (Turkey)

I always wanted to see more, hear more and experience more of Europe. Erasmus allowed me to do just that. I made friendships along the way that'll hopefully last a lifetime. I encourage everyone to get out of their comfort-zones and travel all over the world! 

Laura Rabasco Hernández (Spain)

"Devine Intervention"

Laura Rabasco Hernández (Spain)

I feel very fortunate to say that I have been one of the first international students to have the opportunity to study the Design and Development English Bachelor Howest program. And you may never guess, but this picture was actually taken inside Campus Buda located in Kortrijk! (Yes, they have a seesaw next to the main classrooms)!

Howest is all about getting the best out of each student, pushing them out of the box and helping them excel in fields they would never expect to. The creative environment, the friendly touch of the teachers and the interesting projects makes the Devine English degree a really wonderful experience. Besides that, there is a wonderful team of professionals working at STUVO, willing to help the students with any issue or complication we might be facing.

I must say that it is not an easy degree: you need to invest time and give the best that you can offer every day, but all of it will be rewarded. This is just the first year and I'm amazed at how much I have learnt and improved, I promise it is worth the effort. 

My classmates have been a blessing during this course, we give each other feedback and share our tricks in order to be helpful and grow up as a team. I can't say much about the social life at the campus due to the Corona situation we all have been living in, but I can't wait to see what the following years are going to be like! 

Aleksandra Antonova Nikolova (Spain)

"Everything changes, your environment, the language, your daily life, but most importantly, you!"

Aleksandra Antonova Nikolova (Spain)

I never doubted when ex- Erasmus students told me how life changing it is to go studying abroad, but I didn't realize how true that is until I experienced a whole year as an exchange student in Kortrijk. Everything changes, your environment, the language, your daily life, but most importantly, you! In my case, I got to know my pitfalls and biggest insecurities, so I tried to improve everything I could from my personality, I expanded my horizons to the limit and always went out of my comfort zone. I met the most amazing people, the ones I call nowadays best friends and family, we had connection even before meeting in person, by chatting online! We pushed each other to travel, develop, organize and create new experiences together. Of course there were challenges to face, especially the coronavirus crisis this year! That is why with my mates, we tried to keep always the positive aspects: how much knowledge we gained from HOWEST and therefore we developed a much more interesting CV, for our professional future. At the end, I can proudly say that this year was the happiest of my life and I can't wait to put to practice everything learned and to talk about Kortrijk and HOWEST to everyone!

Viktoria Vasileva (The Netherlands/Bulgaria)

"The teachers are awesome, very friendly and are so passionate about their courses, up to the point they transferred their passion to us. "

Viktoria Vasileva (The Netherlands/Bulgaria)

I had heard about Howest DAE before, mainly from classmates as I follow them on their social media. But I never imagined that I would have that opportunity and get to have this experience as I had already chose my study program in a different university. Until one day when I discussed it with a classmate and we though, maybe we could go together on exchange. Then of course the first thing we check was this university and the rest was history! Our dream came true. 

Another university, different studies, different country and people – I was drawn to do it. I found it very nice that Howest use a different system which would broaden my experience and at the same time it would be a bigger challenge to me. But It was one of those decisions you have the opportunity to take once in a lifetime! We were brave enough to jump together and go on an exchange, and on top of that, it was during the COVID challenge. And you can see it on our faces, It was by far one of the greatest experiences ever! 

We had great local buddies that met us with a lot of other students. They took care of us during the whole exchange and they made the experience less stressful for us. The teachers are awesome, very friendly and are so passionate about their courses, up to the point they transferred their passion to us. 

It was a pleasure to share such energy in a great environment. I know we could feel it mainly through the screens and I can only wonder what the full DAE experience would have been if there were not a global pandemic. This means one thing, I must come again and see it for myself. (A second bachelor does not sound that far away after all.)
 

Laura Roothans (Portugal)

"I will never forget this half year that I spent in Brugge. "

Laura Roothans (Portugal)

It’s definitely a weird time (due to corona) to go abroad, but I couldn’t be more grateful and happy that I still went. I will never forget this half year that I spent in Brugge. 

We all know that this could have been a lot different if it wasn’t because of this pandemic, but we also know that we still enjoyed every bit that we were here. Despite all, this has been a true, but good, rollercoaster. 
I met amazing people that are now part of my family. I’m sure that when everything calms down and when it’s possible, we will visit each other. It was mainly because of these people that I had the most amazing months. These people helped me to get through this weird time, we helped each other. We all needed each other. It was the right time for us, and we didn’t even realize it. We were lucky enough to have met each other, that’s all I can say.

 We tried to enjoy the little that we had. We tried to do the best that we could. Enjoy every second of everyday. Enjoy the little moments. Enjoy the present. We had each other and I couldn’t be more grateful. 
This was exactly what I needed. I grew up because of this experience. I learned a lot about myself but also about everything around me. 

I’m really thankful for my experience, not only in Bruges, but also in Howest. I really appreciate everything they did, so that, despite everything, we could have the best months here, and we did. Somehow, they made it through. They were always supportive. They had creative ideas and activities to keep us motivated and to still enjoy our experience. 
 

Sophie Donner (Austria)

"This unforgettable experience gave me the opportunity to grow professionally as well as personally."

Sophie Donner (Austria)

I always wanted to go on an exchange semester to Belgium and I never doubted it even when the Corona crisis became present in Europe. And I am grateful that I made this decision because despite some restrictions such as some online lectures, limited travel options and closed bars, my time in Belgium was unforgettable. That thanks to the special people from all over the world that became true friends. In the student dorm “The Wing” in Kortrijk we made great memories. In addition to that, I really enjoyed my courses at Howest and the practical way of teaching us knowledge. I had the opportunity to learn a lot not only professionally but also personally, to get out of my comfort zone and be more confident. 

I really recommend anyone to study abroad and to live this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
 

Johanna Frey (Germany)

"Due to the ongoing COVID-pandemic I wasn’t sure if it was a good decision to take part at an Erasmus-exchange before my arrival in Bruges, but I must confess that I didn’t regret it a single time! "

Johanna Frey (Germany)

I would describe my semester at Howest as fun, interesting and definitely recommendable.  Due to the ongoing COVID-pandemic I wasn’t sure if it was a good decision to take part at an Erasmus-exchange before my arrival in Bruges, but I must confess that I didn’t regret it a single time! 

The staff members and lecturers at Howest did their best to make sure that everybody enjoyed their semester. From online group meetings, personal talks to the buddy-programme, everybody had the opportunity to join the Howest international community. Especially interesting, I found the study content of my programme “Migration and Refugees”. I enjoyed that the lecturers were so passionate about their modules and as our group was very small, we got deep insight into the topics and had a very friendly and caring relationship with our lecturers. 

In my free time, I enjoyed spending time with international and Belgian students as well as going for a walk or a bike ride at or around Bruges. Bruges is definitely a must-see in Belgium! 

On my way back to Germany, I take along with me international friends from all over Europe, who I hopefully will be able visit once the pandemic will get better; the experience of a way of teaching, which is very different to the one I experienced in Germany and a broad knowledge about migrants and refugees. 
 

Franz Jonzen (Sweden)

"I have learned a lot, developed as a person, met new people and made friends. "

Franz Jonzen (Sweden)

While it has been stressful with the classes and the Covid pandemic complicated a lot, my exchange studies will still be a time that I always remember fondly. I have learned a lot, developed as a person, met new people and made friends. Thanks to everyone that made my time in Kortrijk the wonderful experience it was.

Alessandra Maria Teresa Fin (Italy)

"I really felt at home in Bruges: it’s a city with a magic atmosphere, an elegant beauty and a lot of hidden places to get lost in."

Alessandra Maria Teresa Fin (Italy)

I was very undecided whether to leave Italy or not in this hard and uncertain (corona) situation. Thanks to Howest's reassurances and its way of involving us all with all the initiatives for the international students, I decided to throw myself into this adventure without overthinking. After 5 months, I’m very proud about how I dealt with all the problems of this pandemic era, almost always with positivity. But I’m quite sure that I did it thanks to the people I met: the other Erasmus guys, my teachers and administrative officers, my roommates, the Belgian  students. Without this big family, I think I would not have not enjoyed my time in Belgium. During my experience, I understood the importance of people, of friendship and I’m glad of that: before leaving I took this for granted.

Also, I really felt at home in Bruges: it’s a city with a magic atmosphere, an elegant beauty and a lot of hidden places to get lost in. I found some special places in which I could relax: a new comfort zone.

So I just have to thank everyone who worked to make my time special, because, despite the situation, I’ll always remember my time in Belgium as one of the hardest and at the same time most special of my life.

Johannes Diekmann (Austria/Switzerland/Germany)

"Meeting people from all over the world and discovering a different environment than you are used to is an asbolutly amazing experience."

Johannes Diekmann (Austria/Switzerland/Germany)

Even though going on an exchange semester during Corona proved to be quite complicated, I absolutly loved my time at Howest. The DAE study programme is amazing and taught me an incredible amount for the short time I was there. It was quite a lot of work at times but considering the limitations that we had due to corona I was really happy to have such a good use for my time. 
 
Unfortunatly we could not have in-person classes, but I think the school did a really great job at providing everything in an online format. I was also very fortunate to live in a dorm throughout my stay and so I thankfully was able to meet lots of amazing people even without in-person classes.
 
This is the second time I spent a Semester abroad and I would recommend it to anyone that is interested! Meeting people from all over the world and discovering a different environment than you are used to is an asbolutly amazing experience.