National ombudsman praises peer-to-peer support service for international students

On 24 October, the National Ombudsman, Reinier van Zutphen, visited the International Student Helpdesk (ISH) of the UM Student Services Centre. He was very interested in the services provided to international students by this helpdesk. 

Some of the topics we discussed together:

  • What do UM international students encounter in their contact with the government?
  • Are there certain bottlenecks that keep recurring?
  • How do ISH (student-)-employees interact with government authorities?
  • In what situations might it make sense for ISH (student-)employees or international students to contact the National Ombudsman themselves?

As UM, we are proud of ISH's peer-to-peer support which has been active since 2015. Dutch students help international students who have questions about government documents or procedures. In addition, students can ask questions about opening a Dutch bank account, taking out appropriate insurance. Or just walk in with a letter in the Dutch language from an official body that they cannot read themselves.

We are pleased that ISH's services are positively rated by the National Ombudsman. We have also made follow-up agreements to make even better use of each other's expertise and services in the future.

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