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A truly international education: How two siblings used their Cambridge qualifications to study in the Netherlands

Cambridge Learners  Higher education  Cambridge Pathway  Europe   AlumniCambridge PathwayIGCSENetherlandsSpain

Like most siblings, Raquel and Agustin Aycart went to the same school, studying together at CBS, The British School of Seville in Spain. Now, armed with their Cambridge qualifications, they are both pursuing higher education abroad in the Netherlands.

Cambridge qualifications are known for being truly international – our Cambridge IGCSEs and International A Levels are taken in over 160 countries. But have they helped Raquel and Agustin when it came to their search for education overseas?

“I never doubted that my qualifications were enough to study abroad. It was clear on every university webpage that stated the requirements for students coming from a Cambridge curriculum. This was very different from my friends applying with qualifications from other schools,” says Raquel, who is also a previous Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award winner.

For many students, choosing to study abroad is a dream come true. Raquel’s younger brother, Agustin, says one of the drivers to moving to the Netherlands was improving his English.  

“There were several reasons influencing my final decision. One of them was that my older sister was studying there. She advised me strongly to study abroad, specifically, the Netherlands if possible. Even though she was studying there, I had other reasons.  I wanted to improve my level of English, so I searched the requirements of the university, and thanks to my Cambridge qualifications, it was possible to study abroad. I thought about staying in Spain, but I decided the best option was to go abroad.”

Moving to the Netherlands posed a bigger change than the siblings had anticipated, but the change has been positive. According to Agustin, he is more independent, responsible, understanding, and steps out of his comfort zone every day, qualities similar to those that his Cambridge qualifications have helped him develop.  

“The principle of the Cambridge International A Level curriculum is to know how to apply concepts rather than memorising without understanding,” says Raquel. “Understanding concepts gives you a huge long-term advantage over memorising for the short term, and for this reason, my background knowledge is much richer than other students who did not follow the Cambridge system.”

Agustin’s qualifications have allowed him to broaden his experiences of different cultures and he is grateful for the support and guidance from his teachers. “Because the exams are internationally recognised, I have been able to meet students from other countries. Plus, during my school years, I felt I had a lot of resources to pass the Cambridge subjects I was studying. The teachers were a fundamental resource – they were always helping and supporting me in my learning.”

Speaking about the future, the siblings say they are optimistic about what is ahead.
“Studying in English means I can work for the biggest companies in the world, I have developed conceptual thinking, curiosity, and a great passion for learning,” says Agustin. He envisions himself opening and running his own industrial company in the next five years, and says he plans to take advantage of studying a semester at another university in the near future.

*Raquel is currently in her second year studying Industrial Engineering and Management at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She also works at her university as a learning coach for first-year students studying the same degree, giving academic support to 21 students every week.

* Agustin gained his secondary diploma from the British School of Seville in Spain, achieving 5 Cambridge IGCSEs and an AS Level in Business, Spanish and Travel, and Tourism. He is currently studying International Business at Hanze University in the Netherlands.

Many of our degree programmes in the Netherlands are taught in English or Dutch, with over 2100 programmes offered entirely in English. Find out more on how to apply here.

Read more student stories here

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