De Vier Daagse
public transportation is absolutely the easiest way to get there. Those who choose to drive are advised to follow the recommendations given on the official website. There are lots of special events in connection with the 4 Daagse. The walk begins on Tuesday, but festivities begin on Sunday and end with the Blister Ball on Friday.
21-24 July, 2009 2009 marks the 93rd year of the 4 Days’ March, which is held in Nijmegen during the last full week of July. The city of Nijmegen has been the centre of the 4 Daagse (the four days‘ march), since the end of World War II. Nijmegen may be the oldest city in The Netherlands. There are Roman ruins to be seen and this picturesque city is built beside the Waal, one of the country’s main rivers. It is well worth a visit at any time of year, but during the 4 Daagse, it comes alive to host the Vier Daagse, one of the largest annual festivals in the country. People come from all over the world to participate. In its early years it was a military march. In later years, civilians were able to join. Now, Nijmegen has the march down to a well-oiled routine with a strong emphasis on hospitality, entertainment and the comfort of its visitors, which swell the city with their numbersfor almost a whole week. The route is different for each of the four days. The three distance classes (30, 40, or 50 km/day) share much of the same route so everyone walks together as much as possible. The 40 km walk is the main event. The surrounding villages which are involved in the 4 Daagse put on an overwhelming display of support with entertainment and refreshments. The railway organizes extra trains to Nijmegen during these days and
Entertainment - Special Events There is entertainment for everyone in all corners of Nijmegen. There are bands in almost every square and green space, and food stalls offering everything from ice cream, fries and typical Dutch snacks to specialties from other lands. Brass bands are popular in The Netherlands and there were quite a few around Nijmegen and the surrounding towns. In 2008, there was quite a special one - an enchanting marching band from Switzerland called Rabümusig Rain and, as soon as people heard them coming, they threw open their windows and doors to look! They attracted a following with their enthusiasm and I eagerly watched for them each day. Sunday On Sunday morning there is a special mass dedicated to the 4 Daagse participants. In 2008, the theme was, ‘What is in Your Backpack?’ The uplifting and joyous songs from the guest choir from South Africa were thrilling to hear. This service was very well done and turned out to be one of the highlights. The Flag Parade on Sunday evening kicks off the beginning of the march. It used to be on the Monday but the participating 4 Daagse walkers weren’t able to enjoy it fully, due to the early start the next morning. After getting off to a slow start due to technical difficulties, the Flag Parade of 2008 later picked up momentum and turned out well. It was worth attending to see the range of creative performances. Monday Trainloads of participants, supporters and partiers arrive and spread throughout the city. Participants go the Wedren to register, then check
into their hotels, and enjoy the festive atmosphere in town.
beautiful scenery and woods. Soldiers from several nations hold a memorial service annually at The Canadian War Cemetery near Groesbeek. I didn’t want to miss this. My father was a Canadian soldier in The Netherlands during the war. I took an early bus to Groesbeek and watched for the Canadian soldiers to come through. The memorial service took place in the cool drizzle around noon and it was a moving experience.
The Wedren is a large car park that is taken over by the 4 Daagse organization. It is the centre of it all - the Start and Finish line, Registration, and for giving out the medals to participants at the end. Essentials can be purchased and sponsors and the media have their booths here. There is food and entertainment and, unusual for The Netherlands, really bad coffee to start the walkers off in the morning! 35,227 walkers finished the day. Tuesday - Day One Out of 43,450 people who registered last year, 39,128 signed in. Of these, 38,432 actually started. What could have happened to 696 people overnight? Well, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the festivities and some of them probably couldn’t get up the next morning!
Friday - Day 4 Cuijk and Malden are the largest villages enroute. The participants are now a cheerful mix of well-seasoned walkers who have the stamina to reach the finish line and then some - and others at the end of their strength for whom every step is torture. A total of 34,962 finished the 4 Daagse.
On this first day of the 40 km walk, the route goes through several villages including Lent, Bemmel, Oosterhout, and Valburg. The largest of these is Elst.
Via Gladiola The final stretch is called the Via Gladiola. Bystanders clutch thousands of bouquets of gladiolas to give to walkers at the finish line. Tucked into hats and strapped onto backpacks, gladiolas are everywhere.
This day, 37,994 walkers made it to the finish line. Most of the untrained walkers drop out in the first or second day. Tuesday night had what I believe is the biggest and best fireworks display in the whole Netherlands. It took place around 11 p.m. when it was dark enough. People began to gather along the riverside a couple of hours ahead of the show. We watched the cruise boats and barges, ate fries and ice cream, and passed the time chatting. Wednesday - Day Two The largest town on this day’s route is Wijchen. The untrained walkers that made it through the first day don’t make it through this one. The experience is described as “being hit by the man with the hammer”. The total number of walkers completing the second day was 36,384. Thursday - Day Three Memorial Service at Groesbeek On the Thursday, walkers pass through the larger towns of Malden and Groesbeek. The route is mildly hilly and passes through some
For kilometres before the finish line, the streets are lined with brass bands playing, flags and balloons flying, and people gathered on sidewalks, roofs and balconies to watch the thousands of weary walkers end their 4 days’ march. There is even front-row space for hospital patients, wheeled out in beds, to enjoy the atmosphere. The walkers cross the finish line on a wave of enthusiasm and support from the crowds, then proceed to pick up their medals and meet friends and family. They can then go home to savour, and recover from, their 4 Daagse experience or stay and party at the Blister Ball. Blister Ball This is one big party at the very end of it all. Does anyone want to dance? For more information: www.4daagse.nl (in Dutch) Margaret Metsala
ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
July 2009 Sun
Kids & Coffee 4 3 CNH 9.00- 11.30 hrs @ Sarah Flynn, Uitgeest
Independance Day, USA
Summer Vacation - 14/08
De Vier Daagse
Connect Family Fun Day 14.00 hrs
Shopping Sunday: Alkmaar, Enschede
Sea Jazz 11 10 North Festival Begins
Full 8 Moon
1877, Start of The Wimbledon tournament
Activity Highlights CONNECT FOR COFFEE Come join us for a chat and a cup of your favorite warm beverage. Dates: 24 July; 21 August; 4, 18 September Time: 10.30 - 12.30 hrs Place: Het Feithhuis, Groningen
CNH Coffee 20.00 hrs @ Anne de Graaf-Bridges, Sint Pancras
CNH Sunday 11.30 hrs @ Johanna's Hof, Johannisweg 3, Bakkum
Independance Day Colombia
15 Bastille Day France
1985, Live Aid Concert Wembley Stadium
1955, Disneyland Opens Anaheim, California Cost:$17 million
De Vier Daagse 21- 24 July Nijmegen
CNH Story Time 10.00 hrs @ Emma Kuhne-McPartland, Alkmaar
Wild Blueberry Pie with Almond Crumble Topping Photo:Noel Barnhurst - www.epicurious.com
CONNECT Coffee 10.30-12.30 Het Feithhuis Groningen
1978. World's first "test tube baby" born
29 1958, NASA created -US Congress
Shopping Sunday Leeuwarden, Utrecht, Zwolle
CWC CONNECT BOOK CLUB Date: 8 September Time: 19.00 hrs Place: @ Ann van Voorden
August 2009 Sun 30
Shopping Sunday Leeuwarden, Utrecht, Zwolle
23 Virgo Begins
24 A.D. 79, Vesuvius erupts destroying Pompeii & Herculaneum
13 Obon (13-16) Japan
1846, Smithsonian Institution created
Full 7 Moon CNH Kids & Coffee
The Average White Band The Oosterpoort Time: 20.30 Cost: € 25,00
Shopping Sunday Alkmaar, Enschede
18 dEUS (music) The Oosterpoort Time: 20.30 Cost: € 25,00
19 CNH Story Time 10.00-11.00 @ Angela BoersmaVeneziano, Stompetoren
Evening Coffee 19.30 Pacific Bar Groningen
La Tomatina Food Fight Festival Buñol in the Valencia region of Spain
CONNECT FAMILY FUN DAY Date: 5 July Time: 14.00 hrs Place: Sculpture Garden "De Hullen" in Gees Cost: Adults € 6.00 Children € 5.00 (up to 10 years old)
Noorderzon Festival Groningen (20-30 August)
9.00- 11.30 hrs @ Emma KuhneMcPartland, Alkmaar
CNH Coffee 20.00 hrs @ Caroline Larkin, Alkmaar
Assumption of Mary Catholic
21 CONNECT Coffee 10.30-12.30 Het Feithhuis Groningen
22 Ramadan Begins Islam
CONNECT FOR EVENING COFFEE Date: 26 August; 30 September Time: 19.30 hrs Place: Pacific Bar CONNECT GRONINGEN MUSEUM CUBAN STYLE Date: 11 September Time: 18.00 - 19.00 hrs Place: Groningen Museum Cost: Adults: €10.00, Children 6-11 yrs: €3.00, Children 12-16 yrs: €5.00. Museum year card: Free + €2.00 extra for the Cuban exhibition. CONNECT FAMILY FUN DAY Date: 13 September Time: 14.00 Place: Verkeerspark (Traffic park) Assen - The fun way to learn about traffic & traffic rules. Cost: €15.95 Adults & Children Includes entrance to the park, all attractions and free food and drinks (coffee, tea, lemonade, soup, sandwiches, French fries, ice cream) CONNECT ADVENTURE DAY Date: 20 September Place: Klimpark Outdoor, Grolloo, Drenthe. For more information see website
Not all events can be listed in the magazine at the time of printing.
ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
September 2009 Sun
CONNECT Coffee 10.30-12.30 Het Feithhuis Groningen CNH Kids & Coffee 9.00- 11.30 hrs @ Angela BoersmaVeneziano, Stompetoren
The Wailers The Oosterpoort Time: 20.30 Cost: € 22,50
Labour Day USA Shopping Sunday Groningen, Alkmaar, Enschede
National Grandparents Day - USA
8 CWC CONNECT Book Club 19.00 hrs @ Ann van Voorden
Shopping Sunday Leeuwarden, Utrecht, Zwolle
International Day of Peace
CNH Story Time 10.00 hrs @ Jo Wolfert, Oudorp
CONNECT Adventure Day Klimpark Outdoor, Grolloo,, Drenthe Info: website
CONNECT Gron. Museum Cuban Style 18.00-19.00 hrs
8-13 Sept 20.00hrs
CONNECT Family Fun Day 14:00 hrs Verkeerspark (Traffic park) Assen
1955, James Dean dies in a road accident in California in his Porsche 550 Spyder aged just 24
What's Not Geocaching
The High-Tech Treasure Hunt
Geocaching is a way to take a walk in the countryside, which is a combination of both sport and game. If you are tired of just looking at flora and fauna whilst
17 CNH Book Club 20.00 hrs @ Jyoti Khullar, Medemblik
CONNECT Coffee 10.30-12.30 Het Feithhuis Groningen
Symphonic Queen - NNO Martiniplaza Time: 20.00 Cost: € 33,50
19 Rosh Hashanah Jewish
Grieg Piano Duo Stars & Music Oosterpoort Time: 20.15 Cost: € 17,50
Grieg Piano Duo
CONNECT Evening Coffee 19.30 Pacific Bar Groningen
CNH Coffee 20.00 hrs @ Ros Clare, Bergen
Cost: € 45,75/€ 50,75
Coffee CNH KIDS & COFFEE Date: 3 July; 7 August; 4 September Time: 09.30-11.30 hrs Place: See website CNH COFFEE Date: 10 July; 14 August; 11 September Time: 20.00 hrs Place: See Website CNH SUNDAY Date: 5 July Time: 11.30 hrs Place: @ Johanna's Hof, Johannisweg 3, Bakkum CNH STORY TIME Date: 15 July; 19 August; 16 September Time: 10.00 - 11.00 hrs Place: See Website PLEASE CHECK:
Not all events can be listed in the magazine at the time of printing.
listening to the trudging sound of your footsteps on a walk, why not take a walk with a purpose that will keep your brain as well as your body fit? With Geocaching, the idea is that with the aid of a handheld GPS receiver (using co-ordinates obtained from the Geocaching website), you follow what is rather like a high-tech treasure hunt. At the end of the hunt, hidden somewhere in the world, you will find a cache. The cache is generally a watertight box complete with logbook (the finder can document finding the cache), and ‘treasure’ inside, with which items can be swapped or added. Anyone can hide a cache and the location is made common knowledge via Internet. Once found the cache is returned to its original hiding place and your Geocaching stories and photos can be shared online at various forums. It is also possible to choose the type and grade of difficulty of the geocache; whether it’s a normal, earth, multi or mystery cache. The earth cache for example is educational, whilst with the multi cache a point has to be reached before the coordinates of the final hiding hiding place are given. Another popular variety is the collation of information found at given points
in a hunt, which lead to the end destination and, you guessed it, a cache. The game has been around since May 2000; Dave Ulmer hid the first cache on 3rd May. In order to play the game one has to create an account and become a member, which is free. Currently there are Geocaches placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents including Antarctica. So dust off those walking boots and take your brain for a jaunt! For the official Geocaching website: www.geocaching.com. For the Dutch website: www.geocaching.nl Sources: www.wikipedia.org Alison Day
CONNECT Coffee 10.30-12.30 Het Feithhuis Groningen
Geocaches in The Netherlands
BUSINESS & FINANCE Unfortunately, as Merklijn grew and gained momentum, her marriage reached its end. This unhappy time was very difficult. Divorced two years ago, Ljiljana has managed to find meaning and purpose in the unexpected direction her life has taken.
The Joy of Creating is Essential to Life My first introduction to Ljiljana Merkelijn was via her business card: Interior Decorating Advice: Colour, Art, Light, Atmosphere - The joy of creating is essential to life. This philosophy aptly describes Ljiljana and her approach to decorating and life in general. We met on a rainy day and, despite the weather, the mood was instantly cheerful. Ljiljana and I talked about her life and her work in The Netherlands. Born in Montenegro, Serbia, she moved at the age of 4 with her family to Brisbane, Australia, and lived there until she was 12. This was where she first noticed her love for houses; all different kinds of houses. Ljiljana’s joie de vivre and gift for making people in her presence feel immediately at ease is one of her greatest assets. Also, her quiet and purposeful time management, which allows her to work through a very busy and irregular schedule, without appearing to be rushed at all. Always gracious, always accessible, Ljiljana answers all of her customers’ questions big and small. No question is insignificant; every inquiry is important. Full of boundless energy she loves to meet people. She enjoys dancing and music in her leisure time and organizes dancing at the Heerenhuis. She is a parent, a business owner, and an employee, and still
finds time for a fulfilling social life and travel. Fifteen years ago, before her daughter was born, she was working in the restaurant/hotel businesses owned by her husband’s family. She enjoyed the hospitality industry and thought that is where she would stay, but that was not to be. Parallel Universe? When her daughter was born, she spent a year as a fulltime mother and started a mother-and-child drop-in centre. This group is still active. Interestingly, Ljiljana started her group around the same time as the one started by Louisa Penton, a founding member of Connect International. Ljiljana had heard about Louisa’s playgroup but, because they were located across town from each other, they never met. Becoming an Interior Decorator When Ljiljana felt ready to return to work on a part-time basis, it turned out not to be an option in the family business so she decided to do something else. That something else was a furniture design business. Ljiljana went to an employment centre to find a part-time job and they sent her to try for this one with the “warning” that they did not know what the owner was really looking for and thus it was difficult to find a candidate he would accept. She went for the interview and was
completely taken with furniture design. The owner, seeing how much she loved it, decided to let her try. After only three months, she had her first client for home decorating advice. On the road to becoming an interior decorator, she went to design school. The cutting-edge creative aspect of design and materials is something she now maintains close contact with through working at Kruit & Kramer. Here, she keeps track of trends, changes in the industry, and how to design something different. Many Clients from Many Cultures The furniture design business she started with was located in Groningen and Ljiljana’s work took her to surrounding towns where Gronings was widely spoken. It proved to be a challenge. To gain clients there, she learned to understand Gronings although she does not speak it. Many of her clients are well travelled. They come from within The Netherlands and abroad. One of the things she enjoys about working in Groningen is helping people get settled into Dutch life and understand the Dutch perspective. This is something she learned as a newcomer long ago and now she can share her knowledge. Merklijn Ljiljana started Merklijn 5 years ago.
To introduce me to the work she does, Ljiljana brought me on a tour through two of Groningen’s largest home decorating venues, Vos Interieur and Kruit & Kramer. The array of choices seemed limitless. Here, Ljiljana was in her element. With the time we had before her scheduled appointment with clients, she introduced me to Leolux, one of the best-known good quality furniture manufacturers in The Netherlands. Leolux, started as a family business in 1934, has its main showroom in Venlo and offers a good variety of classic and modern styles. With her love of meeting and working with people, Ljiljana has built a strong network of professionals, companies, and designers with the knowledge and expertise to fulfil her clients’ needs. When she first meets clients, she helps get the process started with a discussion and questions, to help her learn about their tastes and personalities. This is great fun all around, even for men who might initially feel inclined to leave home decorating decisions to their wives. The tastes of both partners will be brought together in surprising and creative ways. Her goal is to decorate clients’ homes in a way that reflects their personal tastes and, above all, makes them feel happy. Lutherstraat 22, 9746 BK, Groningen Phone: 050 5421287 Mobiel: 06 45 22 00 87 Email: email@example.com Website: www.merklijn.nl Margaret Metsala
BUSINESS & FINANCE Business Club to continue to support the international business community in the Northern Netherlands by organizing future productive events. The mix of national and international business directors and government officials offered a framework for productive discussions to occur, and there seemed to be an earnest desire to redress the issues under deliberation and effect changes as efficiently as possible.
Activities & Accomplishments Continued The CBC meets five times per year, offers presentations in English on topics of interest to international companies, hosts a “borrel” (pre dinner drink) to enjoy socializing and networking, and provides an online member directory to help foster further connections. CBC Visits Kikkoman (Issue #15, Spring 2007) On Thursday 15 February, Mr. A.A. Doesburg of Kikkoman Foods Europe hosted a visit of the Connect Business Club at their soy sauce factory in Sappemeer. The quality of the ground water in Sappemeer was one of the major factors in deciding to build the plant there. Kikkoman has been producing naturally brewed soy sauce for over 300 years. After opening in Sappemeer in 1997, the company has exceeded expectations and expanded its onsite facilities every year.
How’s the Weather? Mr. E.H.T.M. Nijpels, Queen’s Commissioner Fryslan hosted a very special event at his home to officially launch Connect’s Honorary Board. The members of the Honorary Board at this time were Mr. E.H.T.M. Nijpels, Mr. A.L. Ter Beek, Queen’s Commission Drenthe, Mr. J.G.M. Alders, Queen’s Commissioner
The atmosphere of the event was quite lively and animated conversations arose among small groups or between pairs of people, facilitated by the delicious buffet dinner. The consensus forecast seemed to be: partly cloudy, but with the promise of sunny days to come! Plug In and Connect The impressive Mediacentrale building in the new Europapark in Groningen was the CBC setting in June 2007. The theme reflected the role that the Mediacentrale plays in the promotion of Groningen as the ICT city of the northern Netherlands. Because the intercontinental glass fiber optic cable from Tycom con-
The CBC toured the factory for a step-by-step view of the process, which takes several months from start to finish. Professional tasters sample and approve the final products. Business, Bradworst and Beer (Issue #16, Summer 2007) Doing business in Germany was the theme on April 26, 2007, at the Golden Tulip in Paterswolde. Our guest speaker, Mr. Eric Neef, Manager, Eems Dollard Region (EDR), gave a presentation on the establishment of this cross-border Dutch-German region and the various projects it promotes. The EDR was established in 1977 to promote co-operation in the areas of economic development, tourism, work and social life, sport and culture, education, nature and environment and transportation. Afterwards, Marcel Scheltens from the Golden Tulip gave a German beer and wine presentation. We tasted six different beers and three wines. During the “connecting time” that followed, participants could choose their favourite beverage for further consumption. How’s the Weather? & Plug In and Connect (Issue #17, Autumn 2007)
Groningen, and Mr. Siem Jansen, Director, N.V. NOM. The theme was “International Business Climate in the Northern Netherlands: How’s The Weather?” Because the three countries with the most companies located in The Netherlands are the USA, UK, and Germany, Connect was pleased to host several special guests: Mr. Andrew Schofer, Acting Ambassador and Political Affairs Counselor, and Ms. Karen Enstrom, Economic Officer, both from the US Embassy; Mr. Neil Brigden, Head of Trade and Inward Investment, UK Trade and Investment from the British Embassy; and Mr. Wolfgang Gaerte, Counselor Economic & Commercial Affairs from the German Embassy. Mr. Klaas Feenstra, Director of MKB Noord Ooost Nederland for ABN AMRO Bank accounced that ABN AMRO was happy to promote the activities of Connect International by becoming a sponsor of the organization. The contribution from ABN AMRO will allow the Connect
nects at the Mediacentrale, the head office for the Groningen Internet Exchange (GN-IX) is here. From the GN-IX there are direct broadbank links to Amsterdam, Hamburg, and the Mediapark in Hilversum. RTV-Noord is the major occupant of the building. Mr. Frank Schouten, Commercial Manager for RTV Noord, gave us a tour of their spacious facilities which, boasts two TV studios, a radio studio, editing facilities, dressing rooms, newsroom, offices, café, and reception area from which they operate the TV station and Noord tekst, radio channel, and Internet site. First on the agenda was a guided tour of the building from Mr. Robert Hogeling, former Commercial Manager for TCN SIG Real Estate (currently Managing Director at R. Hogeling Projectmanagement BV), who was instrumental in developing the former Helpmancentrale power station into a creative centre for Internet and media companies.
The building has a central hall that can be rented and outfitted for various usages including receptions, musical performances, dances and conferences. There is an on-site restaurant, Brasserie Bites. Most tenants in the building are involved in the ICT or media sectors. A new CBC member, Delisjeu (a top catering business for every occasion) sponsored the “Delisjeu” borrel afterwards. Football, Banking and Business (Issue #20, Summer 2008) On 28 May 2008, the CBC learned about the services of ABN AMRO Bank, one of Connect’s sponsors, while enjoying the ambiance and a tour of the Euroborg, the beautiful stadium of FC Groningen. The venue was the ABN AMRO Business Corner on the second floor, with a great view over the playing field. A full tour of the facilities gave everyone a chance to see what most people cannot: the comfortable padded seats in the outdoor business section, the locker rooms, press room, and some of the skyboxes and their different styles: one was like an English pub; one was an ultra modern restaurant and another was decorated like a ship. ABN AMRO is a leader in providing services to international residents of The Netherlands. They provide financial advice in English, free Internet banking in English, and English-language information about products and services. Joyce Foorthuis, Preferred Banker, gave a brief history of the bank from its beginning in 1824 and its subsequent mergers as an introduction to the then current merger with a consortium of Fortis, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander. Preferred Banking is offered to those customers with a monthly household income of at least EUR 5,000 or an investment or savings capital in excess of EUR 50,000. Preferred Banking customers can even make use of the Preferred Banking Lounge at Schiphol Airport while travelling! Customers also receive personal service from their own all-round Preferred Banker. To facilitate opening a bank account, the ABN AMRO Bank in Groningen has come up with a procedure whereby a new resident can open a temporary bank account without a BSN number. Within one month, the customer must show their BSN number in order to keep the account. This effectively addresses the problem that expatriates frequently experience because of the delay in receiving a BSN.
EDUCATION & CULTURE
2I B S
New MBA-Programmes At The
The International Business School at Hanze University Groningen currently has a choice of two MBA programmes in English, both with a distinct international focus. The IBS is pleased to announce that the two new MBA programmes in English will begin in September: a 2-year part-time MBA and 16-month MBA in EurAsian Business and Management. The content of the part-time MBA programme will be similar to the full-time MBA and will be offered fully in English. The part-time MBA requires 3-5 years of relevant (preferably management) experience, a Bachelor’s degree and a sufficient level of English. Because the part-time MBA programme aims at people who are presently fulfilling a management position, the programme will focus more on the direct application of the knowledge and skills learned in the students’ work environment. Coaching will also play an essential part of this MBA. This EurAsian MBA programme is developed closely with businesses to meet the growing economic activity between Europe and Asia within a fast-moving global arena. Students work intensively on current business issues in small seminar groups that represent the diversity of Europe and Asia.
Interpersonal and inter-relational competences are critical learning consists of 2 semesters of courses, one in Europe and one in Asia. The third semester can be in Europe or outcomes of this programme that
prepares students for management positions in EurAsian business settings. This MBA programme Asia, when students do applied research for their company-based thesis. The four MBA programmes contain all the quality elements of good MBA-programmes: a thorough body of knowledge, teaching by excellent academic and business practitioners, application through business cases, a superb personal skills programme, and all of this among a highly international student body and a global context. Moreover, we are highly business-driven, meaning that students write their MBA thesis at a well-known company, working on an actual problem for that company, which can result in job offers while writing the thesis. The Dean of the International Business School, Paul Ganzeboom, notes: “At the International Business School of Hanze University of Applied Sciences, first and oldest in The Netherlands, we have trained several generations of young and ambitious (future) businessmen and women, who have found their way to business careers easily and successfully, at both bachelor’s and master’s levels. Our BBA programme is currently the highest-ranking programme in International Business & Management Studies in the Netherlands of which we’re very proud! To our very international masters’ students, we are pleased to offer highly appealing and business-driven MBA programmes”. One graduate says: “I would like to recommend this programme to any
business student because it gives you generic management principles to manage any challenge in the global work place”. In summary, prospective students can now choose one of the following four MBA programmes offered in English: · A full-time (14 months) MBA programme aiming at students that want to take up more senior management positions. · A full-time (14 months) MBA and MA (double masters degree) in International Business and Management in cooperation with Anglia Ruskin University of Cambridge (UK). · A new full-time (16 months) MBA in EurAsian Business and Management programme. · A new part-time (2 years) MBA programme aiming at students from the North of the Netherlands or Germany who are presently occupying a management position.
LEISURE & TRAVEL
I spent the last three months as a graduate student living in Brussels. Since I was there for such a relatively long time, I had a chance to explore the city in a more leisurely fashion than the usual weekend excursion would allow. I got to know the Belgian supermarkets, took long walks in the parks, and spent a lot of time in my little apartment reading. I took my time and poked around town with no plan at all, so I have seen some of the sights, but there are still more for me discover. Where to Eat As a student, I ate plenty of pizza, noodles and frites, but I also enjoyed some very memorable meals. Brussels has plenty of culinary options for any taste and budget. As always, I avoid fast food chains and opt for the local options. In a hurry at lunchtime, why not pop into a sandwicherie and pick up a made-to-order baguette laden with your choice of toppings. Need a quick snack in the train station? Grab a freshly made waffle, slightly sweet with the perfect balance of crisp and soft. Got a hankering for pizza? Drop in to Mamma Roma’s for a quick, pay-by-weight option. Belgium is, of course, known for its beer. One restaurant, Restobiers, prides itself on its beer-infused menu, from salad dressings made with cherry beer to chocolate stout mousse for dessert. The food is creative and tasty, but the real draw the night we went was the owner, Alain Fayt, who had us all up and dancing in the aisles by the end of the evening. He is a friendly and flamboyant fellow, who takes care
of his eclectically decorated restaurant as though it were a member of the family. Brussels is a very diverse city boasting an abundance of ethnic restaurants. I love many Asian cuisines and was happy to find plenty of variety sprinkled through the city. One restaurant we visited, Izaka-ya, was worth the slightly higher price tag. The restaurant serves typical Japanese fare like noodle soup, dumplings and sashimi. For an interesting take on sushi, try the Sushi Shop on Avenue Louise. The restaurant offers some tasty fusion sushi combinations that may not appeal to a sushi purist. The good price and quick service have lured me back more than once.
squares on the floor in the exhibit halls. Wandering through the three floors, you will see and hear musical instruments from all over the world, representing many centuries of innovation, creativity and celebration. The museum also holds concerts in their performance halls. Check in the lobby for a schedule. Our group of three, all avid musical lovers, was thoroughly educated and entertained by the museum’s exhibitions, and the musical earphones also make it a great place to bring school-age children.
To me, brunch is an institution. Belgians seem to understand the importance of this weekend meal and offer plenty of options from crepes to omelettes to grilled sandwiches as standard fare on many restaurant menus. If you are looking for someplace with a few more options and friendly service, try Sucre Sale on Place Fernand Cocq. This café offers a full array of egg dishes, soups, salads and delicious pastries that is sure to meet your brunch cravings.
Where to Stay The Grande Place is, of course, right in the center of everything. History, museums, restaurants, bars and pubs galore will surround you. This is perfect for a quick weekend trip. Down a bit further on Avenue Louise, you can find the more expensive, exclusive hotels great if you really want to indulge yourself. A bit further afield, you might want to consider the more residential district of Ixelle, where you will find a funkier atmosphere, plenty of ethnic restaurants and lots of unique shops. Many Brussels hotels offer weekend deals, since many of the city’s business people and Eurocrats head out of town when the workweek is done.
Places to Go There are museums a plenty in Brussels. My parents and I spent a wonderful afternoon in the Musical Instrument Museum, just a ten-minute walk from Central Station. The museum provides you with a pair of earphones that activate when you walk over special
Transportation The best way to see the city is by bus and tram. Not the open-topped tourist buses, but city bus. All of the downtown attractions can be reached by bus or tram, both of which are easy to use and fairly direct. Good lines for sight seeing are the 71 and 38 that both take
you through downtown. The metro is also a quick way to get around, but it’s underground so you miss seeing the sights. Also, it can be a bit dank down there and very crowded during rush hour. Either way, public transit is the way to go. You can pick up a free transit map from any metro station kiosk, including the ones at Central and South Stations. Public transportation tickets are called “Jump” tickets and you can buy them for five or 10 trips, with the price per trip reduced the higher the number of trips. You can buy a single ticket on the bus, but jump tickets must be bought at machines near major stops or in metro stations. You should validate your ticket at the machines in the buses, trams and metro platforms. Tickets are valid for as many transfers as you want to make in an hour. If you are doing a whirlwind tour, take advantage of the day ticket that costs only € 4,50. Getting There Brussels is served by two airports: the Brussels Airport to the northeast of the city and Brussels South, which is actually in Charleroi. That said, the easiest way to get to Brussels from the Netherlands is by train or car. The train ride is five hours from Groningen, with two changes on a normal traffic day. You can get direct connections from Rotterdam, The Hague, Schiphol and Amsterdam Central. Driving takes a little less time, but means you have to deal with parking and traffic in Brussels. Nina Langlie