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Passion for internationalisation

Martijn Westerbrink’s passion motivates him to make the most of his position as a coordinator for the International Office. “More and more Tio students choose to spend some time studying abroad or go on an internship in a different country. In my opinion, that is the best thing a student can do – it is a tremendously educational experience for anyone.”

Martijn Westerbrink has completed the hotel management programme in Leeuwarden and he has a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Twente. As a coordinator for the International Office, Martijn Westerbrink is responsible for the student mobility at Tio. This involves both Tio students going abroad and international students attending Tio for a semester (or longer).

Often abroad

He also maintains all contacts within the network of partner universities. “As part of that job, I recently travelled to Denver for the NAFSA convention,” says the coordinator for the International Office. “Not just to renew our contacts with existing partners, but also to bring new partner universities into the fold. At the moment, we have 34 partner universities and we are hard at work to gradually expand that number with new, high-quality partners. The great thing about my job is that these partners have to be visited from time to time. In addition to my dynamic job here at Tio’s head office in Utrecht, I also get to spend a lot of time abroad.”

Working at the head office

Westerbrink thinks the head office in Utrecht turned out great. “Because you are closer to the locations and your other colleagues, it is easier to keep in touch with everyone. Everyone here works hard and there is a great atmosphere. Because I work on my laptop, it no longer matters where I am – Denver or right here, I can work whenever and wherever I want.”

International experience

As mentioned before, the number of students who chose to spend a time abroad is steadily growing. “This academic year, there were circa sixty incoming and eighty outgoing students. It is great to see those numbers grow,” he says. “I expect that the numbers will only keep growing – especially now that we are establishing ties with more and more interesting partners. In my opinion, gaining international experience is the best thing any student can do. You can learn so much.”

Westerbrink himself completed an internship in China and spent some time studying in places like Qatar. “In China, I witnessed poverty at its most extreme, while I saw the other end of the spectrum in Qatar and Dubai. It is strange to see those vast differences. The experience changed me as a person and made me appreciate my own environment even more. I love being able to give Tio students the opportunity to experience all that for themselves.”

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