Fast track, what does that mean?

Choosing a study can be very hard. After I finally decided I wanted to study International Media and Entertainment management (IMEM) I had another difficult choice: do I want to do the regular track or the fast track? Eventually I chose to do the fast track and I will explain you why!

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First, what does the fast track actually mean? With the fast track, you will do your hbo study in three years instead of four. The first two years are combined in one year and the third and the fourth year will be the same as the regular track. For this reason, fast track is only for students who finished their vwo or a comparable pre-education in high school. (You can find more information about the procedure on the website of NHTV.)  I am in a special fast track class, this is nice because my classmates and I have the same level. Some of our courses are the same as the regular track, so then we have lectures with the first or second year. Some examples of these courses are:

  • Fundamentals of storytelling (First year)
  • Image editing (First year)
  • Media legislation (Second year)
  • Qualitative research (Second year)

However, we also have courses that are combined, for example: Financial management 1 & 2 and Marketing plan and marketing communication. For these courses we have double the content of what the regular track has in one block. And because all the courses of two years are too much to handle in one year are some courses removed from the fast track. For example, the course Presentation skills and most management courses are removed.

When I chose the fast track last year, I was scared I didn’t make the right decision. I was just an average student in high school, so wouldn’t be fast track too hard for me? And could I still enjoy my student life besides school? After this first half year of school I know I made the right decision. There is enough challenge for me in the fast track, my grades are high, I have motivating classmates and I have useful and nice courses. For myself the regular track would be too easy, the courses would go too slow. Now you might think: ‘Probably only nerds will do the fast track’. I can convince you this is not the case. I have nice classmates and I still have time besides school to do fun things, like going out and doing things with friends.

Still, there some disadvantages of the fast track. This is the first year that this study has a fast track, so there are some bugs in the courses sometimes. For some courses the school still has to find out what works and what doesn’t work. Furthermore, there are less practical courses, because you will miss the practical part of the second year, which is quite a lot. And last but not least, the fast track can’t go to Flagstaff or Hilversum. This is an excursion where the second year goes to Flagstaff or Hilversum for three weeks to have some experience in television production. This definitely is a pity. Because we don’t have this international experience, the fast track has to do either the internship or the graduation abroad.

I am happy I chose the fast track. After these three years, I will have a lot of knowledge about media, I will have done two internships, maybe an exchange and I will have international experience. Then I can always do a master degree on a university, so I will have the practical knowledge of the hbo and the academic knowledge of the university. If you have finished your vwo, you decided to do hbo and you are willing to learn, then fast track will be a good choice for you.

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