These last months have been a rollercoaster. My daughter, M. has done her final exams from high school; It was stress during the exams, a deep fun senior trip, stress anticipating the results, a good choreografed graduation ceremony, preparing for college/university and (the last family-??) holiday.
She passed and was very happy with the results; Almost like a big nose to the universities/programs who didn’t accept her, even though she was already conditional accepted at the program or her first choice.
In the Netherlands when certain programs get too many applications they will hold a raffle for who’ll be able to enrol, or not. The idea is that everybody will have an even chance to get accepted, and not only the highest grades, prominent named or otherwise privileged students.

Anyway highschool is done, over, fini, basta. An era has ended. 
And now slowly it starts to kick in that in a month a whole new life will start. M. is ready for the new challenges and adventures ahead. She got the advantage that she has 2 older siblings who did it before her, she saw the exciting possibilities and freedom of student life but also the struggles. And unlike her brothers she got her family close in the Netherlands.

For many of us is being a student is/was a very exciting time of your life; Finally able to fly the restrictions of the home nest, being able to find out- and live your own life; Living in a new city, a new home/living conditions, new friends, a new study, independency, responsibilities.
The other side of the medallion is that there are new responsibilities, obligations and expectation from a young adult, in so many unexpected, other and different ways. Specially for our International Students, who also struggle with a culture shock, on their own, homesick, different language and teaching/learning methodes.
The drop out rate in the first year under Dutch students is 40% the rate under international students 61%,  according a survey from the Student-representative organisations (LSVB, ISO and ESN).
We know those numbers and have seen the diverse struggles from close by with International friends. M. Is determent not to be one of them which brings again another type of stress and pressure. Our rollercoaster keeps on going.

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