A better life


Today, 18 april 2018, we visited our ISK (International Link Classes) building. ISK is a school where immigrants go to, to learn Dutch and the Dutch culture. It is a small part of the Valuascollege, our school. We talked to eleven students, who told us about their dreams, past, and opinions. It was very interesting and we learned a lot. The ISK is not a very common part of our school. The average student of our building doesn’t know much about it and has never even been there. So that’s why it was not only interesting for the exchange students, but also for us, the Dutch-ones.


First, we talked to Ayni, from Somalia and Sara, from Syria. They spoke Dutch and we were really surprised by how fluent they spoke to us. They said that Dutch is not a very difficult language, unlike what they expected it to be. The most noticeable differences in the countries for them are that in the Netherlands there are much more rules and strict guidelines. Also, there’s more respect and freedom for everybody in the Netherlands. We also asked about their dreams. They had a beautiful answer, at least we thought. They both want to become a doctor for children.


After our little chat with Ayni and Sara, we had a conversation with Dominik, from Poland and Farzad, from Bangladesh. They came here because of their parents’ jobs. They too, thought that the Dutch language is very easy, except for the grammar. Their goal is to become a sports teacher and an actor.


Our favorite interview was with a guy named Alex, from Poland. At first, he was very scared when he came to the Netherlands, but had a very good reason for the migration. Alex’ dad already worked here and fell deeply in love. After two years Alex decided to move to the Netherlands as well. He believes that he has a bright future ahead of him. He would like to go to other countries and learn other languages.


In summary, all of the ISK students were very pleased to be here, in a country with work and safety. They all haven’t got any problems with the language. They are all very bright and positive about their future and possibilities. Their teachers are also very supportive with their big dreams. In all conversations, the students said that they haven’t had any negative experiences with racism. This was the most important and pleased thing we have heard in all of the interviews.


Anne van Heeckeren and Kim van Duijnhoven