Extended Education and International Programs

International Programs

Student Spotlights: Kevin van der Vliet

Curious about life as an international student? We asked your burning questions to current and former students!

Meet Kevin!

  • Major: Communication Design (Electrical Engineering @Home Country)
  • Home Country: Netherlands
  • Program: Semester@ (Spring 2020)

Kevin's advice for new CSUMB international students:

"Join clubs, the International Club for example. This will help you in meeting new people. Don’t be afraid to talk to them!"

Kevin van der Vliet

What is your background? Where are you from and when did you arrive at CSUMB?

I am an Electrical Engineering student from the Netherlands. I attended CSUMB during the Spring Semester of 2020.

What are you studying at CSUMB? What did you gain from your experience?

I studied Media Tools I, Multimedia Design and Programming, Introduction to Animation and Motion Graphics. These courses are very different from the ones from my major (expect Multimedia Design and Programming). I chose these courses because I wanted to learn more about designing. I have done some designing in my free time but these classes really expanded my knowledge.

What is your favorite aspect of studying at CSUMB?

The size and location. The school is not too big, so you can really get to know a lot of people very well. The location is beautiful and close to the beach.

Where is your favorite spot on campus?

I will say the Library. It is a beautiful building and a nice quiet place to get some work done.

What is your favorite restaurant in Monterey?

Panda Express.

What have you learned about life in the U.S. that you hope to bring back to your country?

I learned how to be more open and talkative to strangers. I learned about the American culture and my international friends also taught me a lot about their culture.

What has been the hardest challenge of adjusting to life in the U.S.?

It wasn’t really a hard challenge but I would say the culture difference was something I needed to get used to.

What do you miss most from home?

My family, friends and the food.

What is the one thing that a new international student must do during their time in Monterey?

Explore. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, go to the beach or the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. All those places are very pretty.

How has studying abroad impacted you?

Studying abroad impacted me the most academically. The way they teach and grade you is different in the U.S. than from back home. I really liked it. It gave me a lot of motivation, enough to make me want to study in the U.S. again.

Take a look at Kevin's final motion graphics video!

When it was time for the final project, I knew I wanted to do something with an international aspect. I like flat art design and CSUMB made me love sea otters, so the idea was there. The professor and International Office gave me some good feedback on the project.