Lots has happened. As I have been very busy this past year I did not really write updates on my blog. But here I got a new update, as my student life has ended.

This summer I graduated as a healthcare technologist at Avans Hogeschool. Probably an unknown field for many people. In short my studies are about how you can improve the quality of life or the healthcare by adding technology. So which form of technology will work best within a specific situation. It could be very broad with everything that the healthcare touches and then also with technology which starts with simple devices,  up to robotics or e-health and systems.


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After my exchange in the USA I moved pretty fast to Tilburg where my studies was based. The first two years we learned a lot about the different fields within the healthcare and also getting the knowledge of the different sicknesses that exist and what you have to think of working with those people. Then we had some practical lessons about different kinds of technologies. Every semester we had two running projects in groups. The first year it was more like case studies while we went to the fields in the second year. For example, we looked into safe solutions for a closed care home where they didn’t want to hurt the privacy of their clients. Also we did a project with mentally disabled people. The care group used smartwatches to monitor their clients, but it was not validated. And as they wanted trustworthy data, they were wondering what the alternatives were to get the data from their clients. Next to the projects within the field we also had projects with designing for or advising about several case studies.

In the third year of my studies I started of going to Bali with the minor International Sustainable Development. Often I had the feeling the healthcare in the Netherlands is already really good and I really wanted to take the step back for myself to the basics. Back to the why. Why are we working on this, where did we come from? Bali was part of a 3rd country culture. The people are poor and their income is mainly based on the tourists coming to the island. As I lived for four months in Singaraja I really experiences the whole different culture. During my time on Bali I went to the local university to learn about the culture and the basics of ‘bahasa Indonesia’ (Indonesian language). I also set up my own project on Bali. As the minor did not have projects yet in my field. I worked with physically disabled people in Bengkale and Singaraja. Visiting those people really gave me the insight on how ‘spoiled’ we actually are in the Netherlands. But the people are happy with their lives and they are always there for each other. During my project I first braided many Inke baskets, and later on when I visited the disabled people I gave them advise on simple solutions which could help them to live in a more independent way with less complaints of their injuries. I even managed on two people getting new wheelchairs by contacting a local foundation.

Next to getting the insights how good we have it in the Netherlands and how ‘spoiled’ we might be, I also learned how to communicate better with people and how to respect the other values and accepting it is not all the same. The people are happy with the way they are living, we can help them. But their culture is so different that solutions that might be best in the Netherlands won’t work at all on Bali.

The second semester of my 3rd year I did my internship at UMC Utrecht. For the people who don’t know this place: it is a hospital in the Netherlands. At UMCU they were testing an online support program for the partners of people with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Being a caregiver can get rough and with the support program they got tips on how to handle specific situations and they got personal coaching. As the program was build up in a basic student learning platform, it did not really fit the target group (people aged +- 40-60 who might not be so experienced on the computer). During my internship I looked into the program and tried to pick out the difficult parts for the users. Then I gave advise on how they could change the program so there would be less mistakes made by the users. As the program was build in an external program it was hard to change it myself. But I made a mock-up as example and further the hospital was super happy to have everything on paper.

In the beginning of my fourth year I did the minor ergonomic design. During this minor we learned a lot about how to design something for specific target groups. During the minor we did two projects. The first project was about the LEA robot, this robot is similar to a walker. As many people want to take more stuff on the robot, we got asked to design something that would make it possible. We ended up making a kind of tray that allowed to carry more on the robot. With the other project we did reverse engineering. Here we redesigned a Fidget Lap Pad to the next product phase.

During the last stage in my education, year four, semester two. I did my final internship at Health2Work, a company that focusses on an ergonomic working environment. They are offering this exoskeleton that is designed for the industry and were wondering if it could have an added value within hospitals. So that is what I worked on for half a year. I visited lots of hospitals, figured out within which hospitals fields the exoskeleton might have an added value. I got the chance to test the exoskeleton within the ultrasound and I could demonstrate it at the OR (operating room). I also looked up what the obstacles are to implement the exoskeleton and what the best ways are to overcome these obstacles. I really loved my internship here and finished it with a 8,5/10. My last grade that I got as a student.

Now my life as a student is over. I will be looking for a traineeship or a job and hope I can start a next adventure and challenge soon!



Volunteer Summer Summit 2018
Civic Education Against Extremism

Utøya, Norway l 10-15 July 2018

Workshops followed:
–  Grandma also has a say
–  Diversity; a big mess or a useful tool
–  ICL outside AFS borders


This year I was one of the lucky ones to get a funding for the Volunteer Summer Summit 2018. I want to thank EFIL and AFS Netherlands a lot for this opportunity! I learned a lot, met many great people and had an amazing time on Utøya!

The venue was at the island of Utøya in Norway where many people were shot on July 22nd 2011 by a shooter with very extremist thoughts. I think it is an honor that we could talk about this topic at this specific location. The location itself felt really peaceful, which made it unreal that something that bad could happen here. I think it was a good thing to see during the VSS how we can work towards the AFS strategy 2018-2022 to empower people of all ages and all backgrounds with the intercultural knowledge, skills and understanding required to take action and make a positive difference at home and around the world .
To be together with many AFS volunteers from all over Europe and some other countries outside of Europe was amazing. All people are very open minded which made the atmosphere great at the VSS. It was not really that groups were formed. You could just sit down with whoever you wanted to sit with and have great discussions about serious topics and less serious topics. Also you just had to open your arms and there would be someone around you to give you a hug if you needed it. I think just the way people act with each other at the VSS is part of the great VSS experience!

During the VSS I followed three workshops. My first workshop was called: ‘Grandma also has a say’. This workshop was about what view elderly people have and how we can connect that to the AFS spirit. For this it was important to realize when someone belongs to ‘elderly people’. Everyone agreed we cannot just put a number to it. It is just how people feel. And also, there are already gaps in between different generations close to each other. Due to the many mobile devices, social media and other possibilities the young children from now will grow up with a different perspective than the teenagers from now or young adults. It is important to realize this. During this workshop we also talked about how we can get elderly people involved in AFS. Like many people just sit at work and might like to do volunteering work. Or maybe we can do some volunteering outside of AFS at elderly homes to get connected with those people. The most important thing is to start ask people directly for what their needs are and see in what way we can help.

My second workshop was: ‘Diversity; a big mess or a useful tool’. In this workshop we talked about diversity, how do people see this and is it a good thing or can it also be bad? First it was our goal to see what diversity exactly means. Also on what aspects people can be diverse. This can be on many aspects from looks to culture and values and beliefs for example. We got the task to divide our group in two as diverse as possible groups as possible. This was pretty hard and we got a very interesting discussion. Like what is the goal behind this, what do we need the groups for? Which aspects do we think are the most important to divide the group? Like we can split up in gender, nationality and looks. But at the same time our qualities within a group might still be the same. The discussion went on for a very long time before we finally managed to put ourselves in two groups before the coffee break where the discussion continued. I think the most important thing from this workshop to remember is groups can be diverse in many ways. And just wanting to be diverse can influence the quality within a team. So people will really have to see in which ways it is best to be diverse to get to the best results as possible.

My last workshop existed of two workshop time-slots. So it was pretty long! It was about Intercultural Learning (ICL) outside of AFS borders. The first part of the workshop we talked about ICL, different culture models and how to use it. As many people have different views within the group, I sometimes thought it was a little bit confusing after I thought I understood. The second part we were more interactive. First we brainstormed about different target groups we may be able to reach through AFS to teach about ICL. Through a participatory democracy we ended up with four target groups: kindergarten kids, high school students, teachers and companies. For these groups we had to make a plan on how to teach these target groups about ICL by making a workshop. I ended up working on the kindergarten group. We got so excited during our work and we ended up with a great plan were the kids can travel during each session to a specific country on a magic carpet which is activated by the ‘if you’re happy clap your hands’ song. They will see and experience things about the culture and country during the trip, this could be done with the help of an AFS exchange student who is in the hosting country at that time. After the kindergarten kids fly back home they can make a free drawing about what they experienced. Every session they will see another culture and in this way we hope to show the kids at young age that all cultures are different, very interesting and not scary. As we were very excited of what we came up with we made a WhatsApp-group to work this plan out in a better way. There were also some volunteers who work with kindergarten kids who said they might be able to test this idea. So hopefully it will become reality! ?

The whole week of VSS was amazing for me! I really loved being there in Norway for this event. There were many interesting discussions, outside the workshops we could just hang out and we did a community project where I went with part of the group to the local Red Cross office to paint. Overall it was a great experience!

Thanks everyone so much for everything, and see you next year in Austria? ?

Below some pictures of the VSS, by clicking on the arrow you can navigate through the pictures.

Volunteer Summer Summit 2018

So lately I’ve been trying to talk more and more Bahasa Indonesia, and surprisingly, it goes better than expected. I’m far far away from being fluent. But sometimes I can understand what people are talking about or answer simple questions in Indonesian.

*Fun fact Bahasa Indonesia = Indonesian = literally language Indonesia.  So Dutch would be Bahasa Belanda = language Netherlands. There is actually a logic behind the language. I just have to find it.

So what does the title: ‘Pengunjung dan Gunung Rinjani’ mean?
Pengunjung = visitors (YES! I had visitors here on Bali!)
dan = and
Gunung Rinjani = mountain Rinjani (or Vulcano)

So this blog is about my visitors and climbing the Rinjani Vulcano! Welcome to my new blog!

Let’s start with my visitors: MY PARENTS. My parents went to Bali for 12 days. They arrived October 23th on this beautiful island. I just had to go to school and to my project, so I couldn’t meet with them right away. Instead they had their own driver Ngurah who showed them around. Before I saw my parents they already saw and heard a lot about Bali and they loved it. They went to Ubud, Tanah lot, ricefields, tried Luwak coffee and they saw some more temples / places.

Bali 2017

Thursday was the day I would see them again. It was kinda weird. I’d been living on Bali for only a month and they would already visit me. A month goes by really fast, so it didn’t feel like I hadn’t seen them in a long time. It was just a couple of weeks. So after going to my project in the morning I went to Lovina later that day with Sanne to welcome my parents. I booked a hotel for them 2 weeks prior to their arrival while I was sitting at the pool of the hotel and video calling with my parents.

Bali 2017 cellphone picture

In the noon my parents, Sanne and I walked to Lovina beach which was very close to the hotel of my parents. Sanne just relaxed at the beach while my parents and I went snorkeling in the sea. First we did not have the best places to go snorkeling (only sand), but a little later we found a spot with some coral and pretty fishes. My parents really loved it! (Orangtua saya suka snorkeling in Indonesian). After we went snorkeling I took the time to enjoy the warm shower in my parents’ hotelroom. The first month I stayed here we did not have warm water in the shower at home because something was going on with the boiler and they didn’t bring the boiler back yet. By now they luckily brought it back after having to shower cold for 4 weeks. So we can finally take warm showers at home again.  At night I showed my parents how ‘cheap’ food could be here, we ate at apple where you can buy a good meal for €2 or cheaper. Way different than the Netherlands where you easily pay €15 for a meal. Here I usually go out to eat because prices are not that high. In the 1,5 months I’ve been here I never cooked at home. I only made some eggs and French toasts.

On Friday I decided to join my parents. I woke up at 4.45am to watch the dolphins at Lovina, on the way back from watching the dolphins we stopped at the snorkeling point and went snorkeling for about an hour. Then it was time for (second) breakfast at the hotel of my parents. While we ate breakfast Mylène also came. Her project was not working out well and she couldn’t do anything that day.

We decided to go to the Buddist temple which is not that far from Lovina. Walking around in Lovina we found a taxi driver who could bring us there and afterwards to Singaraja where I showed my parents where I live during these months. We also ate lunch at the harbor of Singaraja and I brought my parents to the traditional market which is on walking distance from my house. Here my parents bought bananas to give to the monkeys on the way next to the road to the South. Later that day we wanted to go to the waterfall, but this was further to drive and our taxi driver asked more money for that. We decided just to go back to Lovina and go snorkeling (again) at Spice Beachclub, the place I have my diving classes at. From my parents’ hotel we had to drive here with the scooter.


Sanne, Mylène and I would join my parents for the weekend in the South of Bali. On Saturday morning 10am we got picked up by my parents and their driver Ngurah. On Saturday it was just a lot of traveling with stops on the way. The first stop was at a restaurant with a view on mount and lake Batur. Here we ate a little before we would go further. On the way Ngurah tested our Indonesian skills. Here we told some of the stuff of which we had learned. One of those words is Hati-hati which means: be careful. But our teacher also told us it could mean have fun. Well the moment we told that to Ngurah he started laughing, because that meaning of the word is definitely not possible. He made fun of us the rest of the weekend…

At the start of our road trip this weekend ? We've seen many things and it was a lot of fun!

Een bericht gedeeld door Anke Prinsen (@ankeprinsen) op

The second stop on the way was at the temple Tirta Empul. Here we were able to ‘clean’ ourselves in the holy water. For this we had to rent a special sarong, because you are not allowed to walk around in a temple with a wet sarong. It was a very pretty temple and you could already see some of the preparations of Galungan, the holiday that was coming up.


The third and last stop before we went to the hotel was Best to Buddha. At this place they make the Buddha to Buddha jewelry. Here we stayed for quite a long time and everyone bought something (except my dad).

Then it was time to go to our hotel. It was very busy on the road and some road were closed. So it took some time until we reached our hotel. In the evening we went to eat at Hard Rock Café. Unfortunately way more expensive than all the other food that I usually eat here, happy I still had a coupon. With this we could get one of the meals for free. After eating and buying my souvenir shirt we walked around in Kuta and visited some stores.


We did not buy anything that night, but Sanne did see swimwear that she really liked. So the next morning Sanne and I went back into Kuta looking for the one store with the swimwear. We also had to hurry, so not being able to find the store at first did not really help us. We had to be back by a certain time because Ngurah would pick us up again for the next day. After a nice walk on the beach, and walking around all the stores we finally found the store we were looking for. Here Sanne tried on and bought a bikini and a swimsuit in less than 10 minutes. After that we had to be fast going back to the hotel. We were already looking around us, because our driver would have to go over the same street but we did not see him. After finding out we were really late we took the first cab we saw to go back to the hotel. Driving in the taxi to our hotel we saw that the car in front of us Ngurah was. So if we waited 10 seconds longer we could drive with back with him to the hotel. Now we just drove the last 100 meter on the driveway of the hotel with him.

That day we went to Pedang-pedang beach and to Uluwatu. At the beach we had some time to relax, enjoy the views and to swim. It was very pretty here. Then at Uluwatu we were warned that there were monkeys who would get anything from you that is shiny. So we left all our stuff in the car including our sunglasses. That was the worst decision ever. I am that person who cannot see when it is bright outside. So I was sitting with my eyes squeezed all the time and I got a little headache. I really missed my sunglasses during the time we were there.





Then it was time to go back to the hotel already. Sanne, Mylène and I got our bags at the hotel, bought some snacks at the store and got into our next taxi which was from family from Ngurah. We still had to go to the university the next day. On the way back we gave the bananas my dad bought in Singaraja to the monkeys. They didn’t really feel like taking a lot. So I just put all the bananas that were left on the side of the road where the monkeys usually are. My parents would stay for a couple more days in Bali before going back to The Netherlands. They also wrote a blog about their trip to Bali, feel free to read it at http://www.aafkeprinsen.nl/bali-2017/ !



And here a picture with me, my parents and icecream. My dad is like obsessed with the Creme brulee magnum over here haha


In the night I had to do my laundry very fast and pack for my next trip to the Gunung Rinjani. Monday morning I still had to go to school, but Tuesday we would be off because of Galungan. Galungan is a holiday on Bali where they celebrate that the spirits of the people who had died come back to Earth. During Galungan there are a lot of ceremonies at the family temples. We heard that there are not really parades or something, so we decided to go to Lombok to climb the mount Rinjani during our holiday. There are people who went there by motorbike, but I decided to join the group who went with the bus. We left Monday after school. I just had a little time to buy some extra groceries for on the way and to finish packing.

It was a long trip to Lombok. After a 3 hour dive we had to get on the boat, which took us 4 hours to get to Lombok. This was during the night. But we could not be that comfortable to get in sleep well. Towards the end of the boattrip I got so tired that I fell asleep easily. Then at Lombok the next taxi was already waiting for us with some students of the University at Lombok. These students would also be our guides the next days. The first night we stayed at a homestay somewhere towards the East in Lombok. We arrived late at night, so the first goal was to go to sleep. I shared the room with Sanne. At this homestay many things were open which I didn’t like. I know the malaria mosquito is active on Lombok so I did not like that our ‘window’ in the bathroom was just a hole in the wall. So we tried to keep all doors in between closed. Also from our bed we could just see the roof tiles through the hole in our ceiling. There were also huge spiders at the homestay which I didn’t see until the next day. They were as big as your hand and some might even have been bigger. We stayed during the day at the homestay and at a shop nearby where some students bought some more stuff for during the hike, we would hike up the Rinjani with a total of 12 students. After lunch we left with a bus to the next homestay from where we would leave Wednesday morning to do the three day hike. On the way we stopped at a place where we could enjoy the view of the Gunung Rinjani before we continued. Arrived at the next homestay we got our bags ready for the hike, ate, got some information for the next days and we went to sleep.




On Wednesday we had to leave early for our first day hiking. After breakfast we left Sanne and Lieke behind who did not join us hiking but did other fun stuff instead. We had to sit with 12 students in the back of a truck and drive for like an hour. It was a fun experience. But just before we arrived at registration I lost my cap. So the car had to stop so I could get my cap back. The rest of the ride I just held the cap in my hands. Then it was time. We were really gonna start our hike. No turning back anymore. The first part was still a little flat, but we were walking full in the sun. So we had to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. At the 2nd pos we had lunch: noodles with veggies, a boiled egg and fruit.





After the lunch we had to climb further. I just walked easy because I knew I still had to save my legs for the next two days. After a few hours, and a small nap of our guide, we arrived at the crater rim where we would spend our first night in tents. We arrived just in time to see part of the sunset, but after that we still had to find the rest of our group. After finding the group Mylène and I went to our tent. After dinner we went to sleep because it would be a short night.




At 1.30am we woke up again. We were going to climb up to the top and see the sunrise from there. It was a very hard climb up to the top. There were parts that looked like dunes. So just a lot of sand that we had to climb up to, and it was pretty steep too. I also noticed that my body was not entirely awake yet because I had the feeling I could fall asleep while walking. It was also very cold and windy. So 200 meter before we reached the top Valerie, Merel and I decided not to go further and we made some great pictures at that point. Later Mylène and Puck came to the same spot. Mylène went down with me and Puck would try to go a little further up the mountain. No one of our group reached the top. It would not be save there. I also heard someone saying that this climb at that day would be as hard as climbing the mount Everest. So I think I can be very proud of myself of coming that far.






When we got back at the tents we ate our second breakfast before we would continue for the day. This day was going down to the lake and going up to the crater rim on the other side. I like going down a lot more than going up to be honest. Our descent took a little longer than expected. At the bottom of the crater we went to the hot water spring which is warmed up by the volcano. For me it was too hot to ‘bath’ in, so after walking further and further away I found a spot that I could handle to sit in. Only, the water was not that clean. So after smelling because we could not shower these days, we smelled even more because of the hot water spring. After the hot water spring we still had to walk up for a while. During our walk up it started to rain. So we had to get our ponchos out. After walking further for a while it started to get dark. So at the end we had to walk up a scary path where we had to climb straight up with a ravine next to us in the dark. When we got up we were at the place our next camp was at. Back in the tent and after a game of UNO with some of the other students we got our dinner. The tent of Mylène and me had a problem. The zipper was broken and it could not close. Our sweet guides helped us and fixed the zipper of the tent. So after that we could go to sleep.

Where we slept the first night:




Do you see the rainbow?

The next morning we had an amazing view from our tent. We got ready for the next hike and made a group picture. We had to wait a little before we left, because one of our group lost her phone. Unfortunately we did not find her phone. With a little delay we started the hike of our 3rd day, the descent back to the living world. On the way down we went through a jungle. Here the monkeys were almost walking down with us. We also had rain on the way down, it looked like a rainforest. Later it didn’t rain anymore. But it still felt like rain, because water stayed dripping down the trees.









After many hours we arrived down where we got picked up by a bus. This hike was so amazing! I want to thank our guides / friends for the great time I had. And I also want to say I have a lot of respect for the people carrying lots of stuff for us and preparing food. They were just walking on flipflops or bare feet up and down the mountain.



After a great week of hiking the group met up with Sanne en Lieke again. From there we went with the bus to the first homestay we stayed at in Lombok, here we got some dinner and picked up some stuff that was left there. Then from there we had to drive a couple more hours to the hotel we booked. The drive was long, but I think our driver might not have understood that we weren’t going to the harbor. He missed exits and because of that it was very late when we finally arrived at the hotel. First we were afraid all gates were closed. But after yelling for a while and trying to open the gates someone came, let us and brought us to our rooms. All of this was around 1.30am. So it was a very long day again. We just slept in the next day. Our breakfast at the hotel was very good and we just relaxed at the beach and pool. Around 11am we left to the boat to go back to Bali. On the boat it was storming! There was water everywhere. At the time I could not stay dry anymore sitting outside I went inside where it was very crowded. A couple of hours later when we were back on Bali our taxi driver was already waiting. He drove us back to Singaraja with a break to eat dinner on the way.





So it was a busy week with 2 trips. On Sunday I just rested and Monday school started again with our cooking class. But I think this blog is long enough for now, so more about that the next time! I hope I get time to write soon about that soon, because I’ve done a lot more after that already.

Sampai jumpa!