Douwe Driehuis, '14
Hospitality and Tourism Management
Hilversum, United States
Why did you choose to attend Grand Valley?
I chose to attend Grand Valley because I received a full ride scholarship in the Netherlands. Through that program, I got to pick from numerous schools. Grand Valley has a really nice website in which you can find a lot of information about sports, campus dining, housing, and all the other stuff that is important.
How did Grand Valley aid you throughout your enrollment process?
Most of it went through the Fulbright program, but once I was actually accepted into Grand Valley I got in touch with Kate Stoetzner from the Padnos International Center, who would tell me what's the next step, where would be good to live, what are the options for a meal plan, how all that is going to work, what is the best day to arrive, and when orientation is starting.
What do you like best about Grand Valley?
That it is such a friendly community. Back home most of the universities are all scattered throughout the city, but here it is one big student group living together. And I think it's very good that there are so many international students who can give a perspective on everything in the world.
How has the Padnos International Center assisted you in
adjusting to life in the United States?
They had a great orientation week about culture in the U.S. You learn what you can do, what you can't do, what would be kind of odd, and what kinds of questions you can expect Americans to ask you. It was very helpful the first week.
How has Grand Valley's faculty made a difference in your
One of my hospitality management professors happened to be international as well. He helped me by writing letters of recommendation for my position as a resident assistant, as well as letter's of recommendation for scholarships I applied for. He even invited me for Thanksgiving dinner because at that moment I didn't have anybody to go with yet.
What advice would you give to prospective students?
Ask for a lot of information and make sure you are prepared for when you come here. Also, make sure you get in touch with American students or previous international students who can help you. And make use of the newly introduced Freecycle program in which internationals can pick up stuff in the beginning of the year that has been recycled from last year.