ROTTERDAM–The Netherlands started the external integrated investigation along with the BES islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba) and other three countries of the Kingdom – Curaçao, St. Maarten, and Aruba – on November 12, regarding the transition of Dutch Caribbean students to the Netherlands.
Rahul Sharma, a student at Erasmus University Rotterdam, represented St. Maarten. Amongst other officials, he presented his story to the Ministers of Education, Culture, and Science of the respective countries.
“During this investigation, students from the [BES islands and the other three countries – Ed.] were given the opportunity to represent their [islands] and speak about their experience of moving to the Netherlands,” Sharma stated in a press release on Friday.
In his speech, Sharma focused on the expectations he had prior to moving to the Netherlands; mental health issues regarding culture shock, the weather, and feeling homesick; how he had dealt with these factors; and, of course, the wonderful opportunities he had since he moved.
Additional factors mentioned were budgeting and time management, the release stated.
Sharma said that during his presentation he had given recommendations as to how St. Maarten could help students who have moved or will move to the Netherlands. Some of these recommendations were hosting mental health workshops, having students who live or have lived in the Netherlands speak to those who recently moved to the Netherlands, and practical workshops on what to expect and how to overcome obstacles.