Hindsight is 20/20
Likando Mukumbuta from Zambia, stole the show at the International New Year Reception on January 19th with his passionate address about Golden Rules, titbits of invaluable hindsight wisdom from departing MSc students.
Learn a little Dutch to communicate greetings and other phrases.
Pay more attention to having an international attitude and be willing to learn from other people.
Try to learn to cycle, and get a good bike. Treat your bike like your best friend, for you have to cycle a lot between the various departments, and don't forget to secure it with a good lock!
Don't stay in your rooms and hide, or travel only between the classroom and your home. Be more direct and get involved. Ask for assistance when you need it. Just because somebody doesn't directly offer to help you, doesn't mean that they are not willing.
Beware of the urge to compromise quality for bargains. As you shop for anything from video machines to cars, realize that you may pay more later for the repairs.
Don't just put the information package from the Dean's office on the shelf. It is packed with useful tips on shops, markets and where to reach a doctor, etc. Read it!
Take advantage of the opportunity to visit surrounding countries if you can afford it.
These pearls of wisdom were gathered during the evaluation of the MSc programmes. Whether the students' other recommendations concerning the MSc programmes lead the university to make serious changes to the programmes, remains to be seen. Outgoing students probably have a better chance of influencing the lives of future students through these Golden Rules, especially if Mr. Mukumbuta has the job of giving an introductory speech!