Students from the BES islands depart for the Netherlands

The students said goodbye to family and friends, before entering the departure hall. Photo: ABC Online Media

KRALENDIJK – On Monday evening, a large farewell was bid at Flamingo Airport to the young people from Bonaire who are going to study in the Netherlands. The students departed to the Netherlands with KLM.

According to Freddy van den Heuvel, supervisor of the guidance organization TuranGoeloe, a total of 38 young people are involved. “Today, 20 students are leaving for the Netherlands to live and study. There are already 18 who went on their own and are waiting for us to join them. We also expect students from Saba and Sint Eustatius.

All students will initially go to The Hague to be welcomed there. On the first day after their arrival, the students will have a meeting with the TuranGoeloe guides. The organization has been guiding students from the BES islands who continue their studies in the Netherlands for three years now. According to Van den Heuvel, finding accommodation was once again a challenge for all students.

“Usually, the majority of students move to another room after the first year, creating space for new students. But last year, most students stayed where they originally ended up. By now however, all new students have found a place to live.”

During the first month, the students will not yet attend school. During this time, they will focus on integration and arranging practical matters, such as registration with the civil registry and opening a bank account.

First step

Nina den Heyer, representative of OCW in Bonaire, gave words of encouragement to the departing students. “Today is a bit difficult day for you, but you are strong enough to pursue your dreams. Now you are going to study in the Netherlands and find your own way. Today is the first step towards your future career,” said Den Heyer.

Den Heyer also urged the students to keep their parents informed after their arrival in the Netherlands. “Remember that your parents always want to know how you are doing. Stay in touch with your family, even though you are far away.”

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