|Course Title:||European Studies|
|Name:||Jennifer Flöeter |
|Nationality:||Brazilian, German and Dutch|
As she nears the end of her European Studies Bachelor’s degree, Jennifer Flöeter looks back at the program and ahead to the many options that will be open to her.
Nowadays it’s not unusual to have two nationalities and speak two languages, but Jennifer Flöeter (22) holds claim to more – nationalities and languages. Being born in Brazil of a German father and a Dutch mother meant she acquired three nationalities at birth. And on top of that she speaks six languages: she is a native speaker of English, German and Dutch, she can speak and write French and Spanish, and she learned Russian to intermediate level at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THU).
To Jennifer, who is on the home straight of The Hague University's Bachelor in European Studies program, languages have always been important. She feels a strong need to expand her language skills, and was pleased to find she could study Russian at THU. “I was in Russia just once, when I was 11. Learning Russian is a huge challenge. I like to communicate with people in their own language, especially if I am in their country. And when you know the language, learning about the culture follows automatically.”
The final part of Jennifer’s Bachelor program European Studies, a work placement with a small NGO called Join the Pipe, is perfect for her. Join the Pipe wants to redistribute the world’s water to bring drinkable tap water to those who don’t have it. By installing water taps outdoors in public areas and selling reusable bottles, it also funds hygiene and sanitation projects. In March, Jennifer represented her temporary employer at the Comedy & Congress Drink Water event at THU. She appreciates the emphasis that Join the Pipe places on people using their own initiative: “This really is a hands-on learning experience for me.”
For her final dissertation Jennifer has to follow extra courses and do in-depth research, but the reward is worth the effort: she will receive a double degree, from THU and Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. But even then her appetite for education will not be sated. Her Plan A for the next academic year is to go for a Master’s degree, making her even better qualified to work for an NGO. Failing that, Plan B entails enrolling for a training course to teach English as a foreign language. It seems that Jennifer will continue to broaden her knowledge – whatever happens.