A Quarter Abroad in the Netherlands

Guest Post By: Victoria Ecker, a Full-Time MBA Candidate. She is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient, and she studied abroad through Foster MBA Exchange at the Rotterdam School of Management in Rotterdam, Netherlands during Winter Quarter 2024.

During a 2-year MBA program, me and 5 of my fellow UW Foster MBA classmates decided to study abroad in the Netherlands. Our quarter abroad was nothing short of a transformative experience. If you are reading this and wondering if you should study abroad- do it! For any amount of time! Stop reading, go apply, and come back.

Hi, welcome back! The Netherlands marks my 3rd study abroad experience. Paris for a summer during my Bachelors, Portugal for 2 weeks in the first year of my MBA, and now Rotterdam. These experiences stand out as some of the most significant, memorable times of my college years. This trip was special, as I got to travel with 5 of my classmates, whom I consider close friends. And who doesn’t love traveling the world with their friends?!

While my time studying solo in Paris was a beautiful and unique experience, being with friends this time around introduced me to a brand-new kind of magic. Between hosting weekly dinners where we’d catch up about our weekend European excursions over delicious bottles of wine, and biking around the Netherlands no matter the weather, we were never short on laughter and shared awe over getting to experience this as a group.

Over the course of 7 weeks, we were lucky enough to study at the highly esteemed Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University. A university built for welcoming exchange students, we befriended classmates from the Czech Republic, Germany (shoutout our new best friend Carolin from Hamburg who always joined our ‘family’ dinners), France, Switzerland and more.

Outside of classes, we zoomed around on our bikes frequenting the street markets, food vendors at the popular Markthal, and vintage clothing shops around town.

This time abroad led me to explore 4 new countries, and revisit 2 others that I was able to see in a new light- like witnessing Paris get a makeover for the 2024 Olympics! I kept busy by hiking to a castle in Prague with my best friend from Seattle, skiing in the Austrian Alps (where I wore a vintage ski suit that I thrifted in Rotterdam!), and walking along my favorite canals in Bruges and Amsterdam. And, of course, exploring my home base of Rotterdam.





If you love seeing exquisite architecture, enjoy eating incredible food, and are ready to get out of your comfort zone, then studying abroad is an experience you can’t afford to miss out on. Be curious, be ready to learn, and lean into the unknown. I came to Foster excited to collaborate with, and learn from, classmates who offered a more global perspective than I had been privy to. With my natural desire to surround myself with diverse perspectives, paired with my plan to work abroad, studying in the Netherlands solidified my love for working on global teams. Getting to bike every day and having easier access to vegetarian options? That was just icing on the cake.