Four FHK students make their study abroad dreams come true

Ambience photo Fontys

By Tim Durlinger l Tilburg, June 11 2018 l This article in Dutch, dit artikel in het Nederlands

By providing scholarships, the VSB Fund stimulates graduates to continue their studies abroad. This year, 165 scholarships were granted, nationwide, representing a sum total of 1, 33 million Euros. Eight Fontys students were ‘awarded’, including four FHK students. Who are these four and what inspires them?

Margot Kerstens

Ambience photo Fontys

As a (almost) graduated student of the Bachelor of Education in Dance, Margot Kerstens has been trained to become a teacher of dance, a dance maker and a performer. However, the 28-year old from Etten-Leur realizes that it is crucial to stand out in order to build a successful dance career. She already made up her mind: “I want to specialize in the expressive elements within contemporary dance.“
And she already knows where she is going to pursue this objective: at the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Ga’aton, in the North of Israel. According to Margot, it is one of the most authoritative dance companies in the world, with a renowned five-month international dance programme. Thanks to the 6,000 Euros scholarship provided by the VSB Fund, she can travel to Israel for the first time in February 2019.  “I want to do research in the various tempestuous occurrences in the country and how they affected the development of the art of dance. As a teacher and creator, I want to use these experiences to expand my view of the world and no longer look upon it from an exclusively Western perspective.”

Jet Robert

Ambience photo Fontys

As part of her graduation research at the Bachelor of Education in Dance, Jet Roberts instinctively realized that she wanted to focus on one particular topical event: the refugee issue. Jet asked herself in what way dance could be beneficial to refugees in their process of integration into Dutch society. “I gave dance classes in an asylum seekers centre and did a dance performance with two boys from Syria,” the 23-year old from Utrecht explains. It was an overall success and in July of last year she graduated as a Teacher of Dance.
Now Jet is looking for a more in depth approach. Last summer, Jet came into contact with the Gibney Dance Center in New York, which is specialized in contemporary dance. “Gibney takes dance to places where, as a rule, it can seldom be experienced. This includes working with vulnerable groups of people who normally would never get into touch with dance.” If Jet should be engaged by Gibney, she will leave for New York for a period of six months. The 6,000 Euros scholarship provided by the VSB Fund will be most convenient in realizing this goal.

Sake Wijers

Ambience photo Fontys
In June, Sake Wijers (21) graduated from the Academy of Music Theatre and Musical Theatre. Thanks to the 7,000 Euros scholarship provided by the VSB Fund, he can start as a master student of ‘Musical Theatre’ at the Royal Academy of Music London on September 3.  
A year of intense dedication and working on yourself as a performer, together with the best people the trade has to offer. I have witnessed at close quarters how helpful it can be for people to experience a narrative on stage, a narrative they can relate to, which makes them roar with laughter or brings tears to their eyes. If I succeed in building a career in the Netherlands, I hope to be able to connect to as many people as I can with my work; people whose lives are not always easy and whose worries I might be able to alleviate somehow. I also want to offer evenings full of entertainment to the elderly and to people in need; help them to escape the daily grind, albeit for a short time.”


Ambience photo Fontys

The world of the arts is in full swing.  As a future art and culture educator, Joost Nikkessen (22) from Chaam, recently graduated from the Bachelor of Education in Visual Arts and Design, wishes to anticipate this development.  He is convinced that the things he learned during his training as a Bachelor of Education in Visual Arts and design will be obsolete, somewhere in the future. The two-year Master bridging programme ‘Cultural Studies’ at the Catholic University of Leuven offers him a chance for an even better preparation for that future.

His goal is ‘to serve society’. “As an educator, a writer and curator or as a speaker, I want people to encounter the arts because I am convinced that the arts possess the unique power to interconnect separate worlds.  A scholarship will enable me to move closer to this ideal because, in this way, I can professionalize my commitment, particularly the theoretical part of it. “The VSB Fund awarded his appeal with a 10,000 euro scholarship.


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