International alumni interviews

Thianye Zheng



Field of study

Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology


2009 - 2014

What did you study?

“I studied Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology (ESSET).”


Why did you choose to study at Avans University of Applied Sciences?

“A lot of my friends were looking at studies in the States and Great Britain, because of the language. But I wanted something different. I met an agent who told me about the Netherlands. When I dove into the possibilities, I thought it would be a perfect match.” 


What did you like about your studies? 

“ESSET is the only environmental course in the Netherlands. I liked its programme structure. You have to do 2 internships. I did an exchange programme in Finland, and we went on study trips to France and to various factories." 

Did you have problems?

“I struggled for the first 3 months. Because of the language barrier and the cultural differences. But I never wanted to quit. I had made the decision to do this, and I wanted to keep the promise to my parents.”


What do you do at the moment?

“I’m doing my master’s in Environmental Technology at a research university in the Netherlands. What I learned at Avans is quite valuable for my studies now. Alongside a lot of lectures and assessments we have to do lab experiments. Because of the practical nature of my studies at Avans I have a valuable advantage compared to the other students.”