Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out




Name of the University: Universiteit van Tilburg
Names of the students: Ane N. Hellum, Jannike Vold, Minela Gujic, Mette Skattebo
Exchange semester: Fall 2010

Tilburg University is located in the southern province Noord-Brabant. It takes around 1 ½ hour
by train from Amsterdam. The university is located outside the city centre, approximately 15
min by bike. The university has several faculties such as Economics and Business
administration, Law and Social and behavioural science. There are about 12000 students,
and approximately 900 of them are international students.
The teaching situation and study structure is different from course to course. Some courses
are based on a lot of work groups and interaction during the class, while others are just
normal “sit and listen” classes. In general they have more theoretical focus in their courses
than BIs more practical mode.

Information before you left
The welcome package from Tilburg came in the middle of April. Included was a lot of
information brochures about Holland in general, Tilburg University, the welcome week and
practical information about the accommodation.

Visa Procedure and travel experiences
You don’t need a visa in Holland. Flight tickets are really cheap to Amsterdam, and it is really
easy to take the train to Tilburg from Schiphol airport. However, you need to change train at
least once.

Academic Calendar
The semester starts in the end of August. The end of the semester depends on the exam,
which normally starts in the beginning of December. Lectures normally end in the middle of
December. Many students had all their exams before Christmas, while others in January.
There is also a one-week break in October.

The reception was exceptionally good. There was transport from the train station in the city
centre to the school 3 days in a row, as well as we got transport from the school to our house.
Upon arrival everything organized smoothly, we got all the information needed, our bank
accounts, Dutch sim-cards, and all information about students’ unions. We recommend you to
buy a bicycle at the University the first day of arrival. Though they are more expensive, it is
very difficult to find used bikes in Tilburg. Ask Jules and You if you can buy bikes from them.
You can also buy bicycles online:

The university cooperates with housing companies (Wonenbreburg – Exchange students).
We lived in a house where we were four people, but the spacing was good. The general
standard of housing in the Netherlands is much lower than Norwegian students are used to,
so keep your expectations the same. The student housing at “Professor Verbernelaan (Verbs)
is close to the university, and makes it easier to get in contact with other students. However,
you live 18 people at one floor sharing one kitchen, two toilets and three showers in a
bathroom. Therefore, it is also much more noise here. Our housing company, Wonenbreburg,
was very helpful when we encountered problems.

Housing is a bit cheaper than in Oslo, approximately students pay between 350-450 euros
per month. Books are basically the same as in Norway. Food is cheaper than in Norway, and
so is dining and drinking out. A beer costs 1.60 euro, drinks 3 euros. Train expenses are
similar to NSB prices.
The International Office
Kim Horsten is responsible for exchange students in Social and Behavioral Sciences, and she
is very helpful as well. We always received the information and the assistance we needed.

Social Activities
Tilburg University has a student union especially for exchange students. This is called
Erasmus Student Network (ESN). They organize parties, excursions and other social
activities so you get to know other students, both Dutch and international. Before the
semester starts there is an introduction week. ESN show you the school and you can join a
trip where you get to know the other exchange students. Every Tuesdays they arrange
mentor dinner, where every group cooks food from all over the world with a different theme,
and the evening ends at a local pub called LG. We recommend you to take part in these

Culture and Language
Most Dutch people speak English quite well, also outside the university.
It is possible to take Dutch courses at Tilburg University. You have to sign up for this before
you arrive.

Cultural and Social Effects from the Exchange Experience
The Norwegian and Dutch culture are more different than what we expected. We have
experienced that living in a country where you don’t know the language can be quite
challenging some times, but also very interesting. We think that this experience, by going
abroad, will positively affect our career possibilities, showing future employers that we are
able to adapt to other cultures.

The Teaching situation
All courses are taught in English, and the lecturers are in general easy to understand. The
level at Tilburg University is a bit higher than at BI. However, this will depend on which
courses you take. The amount of literature is basically the same as BI, but in most of the
courses you have work groups in addition to the lectures. These are, for the most part,
mandatory and you have to prepare well. It is also harder to pass an exam than at BI. They
expect more of you, and it seems like the level of the exams is higher, and does not really
reflect the level of your lectures.

As we experienced, the professors were really friendly and helpful! If you meet difficulties or
just have questions, you are welcome to send them e-mail or stop by their office. You also
need to make an appointment with your professors’ assistant, if you want to stop by their
office. It is generally a good vibe in the classroom, and the students are very friendly and
helpful. Though, it seems to be more accepted (by students and lecturers) that students talk
to each other while the lectures talk, than what we are used to from BI.

Required Literature
All mandatory literature is in English, and the level of it is about the same as at BI. The books
are normally used for a broad overview, while articles and lectures are used for a detailed
knowledge in the courses. Exams are based on both literature and lectures, but this depends
on the course and the type of exam. We experienced the lectures to be more relevant for the
exams, than what it is at BI. Exam questions can contain issues based only on the lectures or
only on the literature.

The type of exam depends on which courses you take. In some courses you have
assignments/presentations that you either only have to pass or it counts like 20% of the whole
grade, and you have an exam or paper at the end of the semester. The grading system is
different than in Norway, the grades are from 0 to 10, and you need above 5.5 to pass the
course. Nine and 10 are never, or only occasionally given.
The library is open 08.00-23:00 every weekday, and 10:00-18:00 in the weekends. This also
counts for the exam period. There are a lot of computers in the library and it is also possible
to reserve computers in advance, online. Though it can be difficult to find seats at the quiet
zone in the library, and there are limited places for group work. Tilburg University use
Blackboard to communicate with the students.

Description of Courses
   Please list all the courses you are taking in the form below:
 Name and code of the course
 Prerequisites, if any
 Exam form
 Comments: Relevance, Difficult/easy, Practical/theoretical, Enrolment problems

Course name:           Prereq.          Exam                               Approved as
440803 Complexity within       Cases in work groups (40%),                  Advanced course
       organizations.          individual term paper (60%).

440810 Cultural Identity in Interaction Term paper (in pair) (100%).       Advanced course

760802 Management of diversity       Written exam (50%), poster         Advanced course
                                     and hand out (40%), poster review (10%).
880460 Negotiation Strategies    Written exam (50%), Analysis paper (50%) Advanced course

760801 Strategic Human Written exam (60%), group assignment (40%) Advanced course
Resource Development

440803 Complexity within organization: This course started in the end of September, and all
the work groups were completed during October. It mainly consists of work groups where you,
as a part of a team, solve new cases every time. This case solving is peer- reviewed and
together with a presentation in one of the last work groups, it counts for 40% of your grade.
The theoretical framework stems from Scott (2003), and the course is basically an extension
of the course Organization science (GRA 6026) at BI.

440810 Cultural Identity in Interaction: A very interesting course containing very different
subjects than the courses offered at BI. It was only about 15 students participating in this
course, which gives a good arena for learning. The main lecturer really made this courses
both interesting and challenging.

760802 Management of Diversity: This course requires a lot of work. It contains of both
lectures and work groups, and you really have to use a lot of time preparing for the work
groups. Also, you have to make up a research proposal on a poster, presenting it on a poster
conference (together with a hand out), as well as reviewing other posters and revising your
poster after the conference. In addition to this it is also a 3 hours written exam. Though the
course was really interesting, the course almost only contains Dutch literature and research
(in English of course), and the course topics is colored by being held in the Netherlands.

880460 Negotiation strategies: A fun class with a very skilled and engaging lecturer. The
analysis that is to be done based on a two week real life electronic negotiation with a student
from Germany or Austria (identities concealed) as participants of a research project. Even
though this course started late in the semester (November 1 ) the amount of work was evenly
distributed and did not feel as unreasonably much.

760801 Strategic human resource management: This class requires a lot of work. Especially
the paper requires at least 5 interviews within a large organization with key strategic people
from different hierarchical levels of the organization. This can be challenging for exchange
students as we are missing the network to easily get access to an organization. The lecturer
was helpful finding one, but we lost a lot of time looking beforehand. The course book is also
challenges to grasp as it is not a book for students and can feel abstract. However, when you
grasp the meaning of the course it is very interesting and the value of it is considerable.

Any other experiences:
You have to sign up for all courses, lectures, work groups and exams at Blackboard. If you
experience any difficulties with this, Kim Horsten is very helpful.
Also, Dutch students do no always aspire for good grades, as BI students do. It was very
fruitful working together with them, but their ambitions are not always the same as ours. Some
of the students are only striving for a pass in the courses (5.5).

Names and e-mails:
Ane N. Hellum-
Minela Gujic -
Jannike Vold -
Mette Skattebo (Double Degree)-

To top