Brian Downey



I came to the Netherlands in 1970, not intending to stay "for ever"! I felt comfortable straight away and found that Brits are pretty popular over here! After completely a Master degree in English (!) at Leiden University, I worked for a business school in Rotterdam for several years teaching and helping to set up an international degree programme. Later I moved to Amsterdam and joined IUAS as a lecturer of Business Communication, English and later of Asian Studies in the International Business & Management Studies (IBMS) programme.

Dutch society is (especially in Amsterdam!) is very relaxed and multicultural, which is really what has kept me here all these (40!) years. The Dutch are broad-minded, good at business and international by their very nature. It is relatively easy to find (part-time) work here even without speaking Dutch, simply because virtually everyone speaks English, be they residents or tourists.

Studying in IBMS (or any of our international degrees for that matter) you will work with people literally from all over the world. Getting things done as a team is not the easiest of tasks even in one's own culture, let alone when all the other members are from different parts of the world! Understanding where others are coming from in their approach to things is key and doing this on a regular basis throughout your studies makes you an expert!

The world itself is becoming ever-more global, so there is no need here to convince you why such skills are essential. IBMS is, in my view, a particularly good start for anyone doing a first degree, since it gives you a grounding in all the areas of business and allows you to specialize in chosen fields as well, equipping you with the competencies to either further specialize in Master studies, or to secure a position in the job market.