Last weekend was a busy one for educational institutions from around the globe and for the Dutch and Belgian students who are dreaming about going abroad. On Friday and Saturday (November 24 & 25), the third edition of The Go-Abroad Fair (BuitenlandBeurs) was held at the Jaarbeurs conference venue in Utrecht. The following day the first edition of The Go-Abroad Fair in Belgium kicked off. Many interested students and their parents attended one of the events and received inspiration for their plans to go abroad. The fair in Utrecht attracted 6,692 visitors and the edition in Belgium 1,047.
Jarre Middeljans, board member of Nederlandse Wereldwijde Studenten (Netherlands Worldwide Students), responsible for a big part of the lecture programme was very pleased with their participation in The Go-Abroad Fair in the Netherlands: ‘We have teamed up with The Go-Abroad Fair for the third year now. The enthusiasm and hunger for information from the students visiting the lectures and our booth are a big source of inspiration for us as a student organisation. The fair was perfectly organised!’
It was the first time The Go-Abroad Fair Belgium took place in the same weekend as the fair in The Netherlands. This was done to make it easier for universities and other (educational) organisations to attend both fairs and visit two countries in only three days.
Renilde Knevels, Policy Advisor at Flanders Knowledge Area (the Belgian agency for internationalisation of higher education) experienced a surprisingly good first edition of The Go-Abroad Fair in Belgium: ‘There was a constant stream of visitors at our booth. We didn’t even have time to grab lunch or have a chat with fellow exhibitors. During both of our presentations the room was packed. That is definitely not always the case during fairs like this in Belgium.’
Mieke Zwanenberg, account manager at OGZ, the organisation behind the fair, is delighted with the results of both fairs: ‘The Go-Abroad Fair has established itself as the premier event in The Netherlands when it comes to going abroad for study, internship, gap year or (voluntary) work. At the end of day the second day of the fair in the Netherlands we hopped on the bus from Utrecht to Ghent. Together with about 50 exhibitors. We arrived in the evening and after a good night sleep it was time for the fair in Belgium. A first edition is always exciting, but everything went really well. There is such a positive vibe at both of the fairs actually. It is so nice to see all these Dutch and Belgian students walking around with a smile on their face.’
The dates for next year's fairs have already been announced by the organisation. The edition in The Netherlands will take place at Jaarbeurs Utrecht on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 November 2018. The Belgian edition at Flanders Expo Ghent on November 25, 2018.