When Lars Hoitink moved with his family from The Netherlands to New Zealand ten years ago, he barely spoke a word of English. But within a year’s time he became fluent and flew through his school years at Napier Boys’ High School. It took him only two and a half years to complete his Bachelor in Business Studies at EIT and now the 21-year-old is embarking on a new exciting journey.
Despite the pandemic still raging in Europe, Lars will soon depart for postgraduate study at the Hochschule Furtwangen University (HFU) in Germany, one of EIT’s partner institutes in Europe.
In October, Lars will start his Master of International Management. “I was over the moon when I heard that I got a place. I really love New Zealand but it is a small country and I’m looking forward to the change of scenery and to new adventures.”
Furtwangen is located in the Black Forest region in the south western corner of Germany, close to the Swiss and French borders. Lars says that the next one and a half years are also open for spontaneous plans and trips. Thanks to his Dutch passport Lars will be able travel freely through Europe and also visit family in Holland, soon hopefully without restrictions.
Lars will leave behind family in New Zealand while he completes his study. Lars’s parents own the Holiday Park in Bay View where he has been working as a receptionist on the weekends.
His younger sister Dinja is currently studying towards a nursing degree at EIT while his older sister Annika graduated from EIT with a Bachelor of Business Studies.
In his second year of study Lars undertook an internship at My Ride Pedal Power in Taradale that lead to a permanent job. “I assisted with marketing but also helped implementing a new multi-staged ordering system. Now I’m a sales person and stock manager. I’m taking away so much from this work.”
Lars says that the skills gained at work complemented what he learned during his studies. “The lecturers were awesome, so encouraging and engaging. I enjoyed the industry-based learning, everything was relevant. The term-based system is also great. The eight-week courses were really intense and we got great insights in a lot of different topics.”
Although Lars is still undecided where his qualification might take him, he says that he always wanted to get a Masters’ degree. His Master programme will start in October following a two-week intensive German course. “I’ve already started to learn German. It’s similar to Dutch, yet speaking will be a different thing altogether. But it’s part of the adventure.”