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The newly-arrived St. Maarten students with Minister Plenipotentiary Jorien Wuite (3rd from right), Amsterdam Youth Mayor Avianka Aventurin (2nd right) and the new Director per August 1 of the Minister Plenipotentiary’s Cabinet Carol Voges |  Suzanne Koelega

HOOFDDORP–The 26 St. Maarten students who left their island on Sunday arrived safely in the Netherlands. After a warm welcome at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on Monday morning, the students took part in an introductory event at Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Hoofddorp that same evening.

The students, a bit tired from their long trip and anxious to start their new adventure, listened to motivational, inspiring words and some good advice from Minister Plenipotentiary Jorien Wuite, the students’ guidance counsellors, representatives of the student support service TuranGoeloe, and others.

“Don’t isolate yourself, but mingle and get to know your new surroundings. It won’t only be about your grades and your achievements. It will be about much more than that. You will face challenges and realities,” Wuite told the 26 students, all recipients of study-financing from country St. Maarten. She noted that the majority of the new students were female, and that there was a great variety in studies and cities.

Today, Tuesday, the students will leave for the cities where they will be living and studying. The majority of the students will go to The Hague, but a number will also make cities like Rotterdam, Tilburg, Leeuwarden and Amsterdam their home for the next few years. In the cities, the students will be supported and guided by buddies.

Alain van de L’Isle whose St. Maarten Sports and Arts Foundation brings together young athletes, told the students that when he came to the Netherlands five years ago he had learned that things were not always easy. “You will run into obstacles. But there is no need to feel alone. With the buddy system we will help you to get through it.”

Entrepreneur and emcee of the introductory event on Monday evening, Duarte Smith mentioned that there were many successful St. Maarteners in the Netherlands. “They are talents of my age group and we can be very proud of them.”

Guidance counsellors Xaviera MacDonald-Archangel and Roxiomara Richardson told the students they would be receiving two years of support. “We are not here to take over the role of your parents, but we will be strict when necessary. We want your first and second years to be stable so you can be successful. We will be very hands-on and we will see you often.” They urged the students to communicate, to participate and to focus.

Halima Turan and Lushena Goeloe of the student support service TuranGoeloe explained a bit about their role. “We want to do it with you, not for you. Together we will work on your self-reliance.” They explained that there would be five to six buddies, who together with assistant buddies would help the students get acquainted with their new surroundings and provide support whenever the students needed it.

For most of the students this is their first time in the Netherlands. Some have been to the Netherlands on vacation once or twice. The students will take part in workshops, a city tour, shopping for furniture and other necessities, and there will be house visits and individual coaching to help them through.

Carlvin Brooks of Unleashed Potential Group (UPG) explained that his organisation assisted in the process of getting graduated St. Maarteners back to their island. He advised the new group of students to ask questions and to ask for help. “Students often underestimate the Dutch language. Keep asking questions.”

Wuite was positive about the students’ future endeavours. “It will be challenging, but you will pull through. You can do it, because you are St. Maarten and you are strong. I know you will accomplish and be successful. Remain positive and enrich your life. And when you have completed your studies go back, because your return is critical to your island’s development.”

Photos and videos of the students’ arrival on Monday morning can be found on the Facebook page of the Cabinet of the St. Maarten Minister Plenipotentiary.

Attending the event on Monday evening was Amsterdam’s Youth Mayor Avianka Aventurin, who has been in office since February.

Bron: Daily Herald

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1 reactie

  1. Hoewel het aantal bursalen van SXM kleiner is komen de percentages wel overeen met die van Curaçao.

    Het schijnt dat 40% in de criminaliteit eindigt, 30% als uitkeringstrekker, 10% achter de ramen en 20% maakt uiteindelijk hun studie af.

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