Vrije Hogeschool – Coaching

Coach / mentor

Since 2014 I am involved as coach / mentor at the Vrije Hogeschool.

Although we have no idea how the world will look like it over 20 years, we can assume that not only our creative and entrepreneurial skills will be needed, but also our empathy. In order to determine a path of life, young people want to talk about their purpose, ideals, destination and routes. A solid choice for a study and working career can be based on a broad orientation on life. Who am I and what can I offer my fellow human beings, myself and the world? What does the world ask from me today? These questions we ask our students at the Vrije Hogeschool.

The Vrije Hogeschool is a Liberal Arts Foundation Year program for young people with questions that fit our time and ask for developing responsible leadership. The Vrije Hogeschool is committed to the positive development of young people, in their ambitions and dreams. Students are expected to develop the ability to successfully put their ideas into practice, in their study and in life. Students learn to be creative, ambitious and convincing in a program that combines arts, science and social development.

With students we think about:

  • Who am I, how do I get to know myself and what are my talents and shortcomings?
  • How do I relate to one another? Do I want to relate to the other – even to the one that is far away?
  • What is love? What is empathy? Why would I like to deepen this?
  • How can I feel home in this complex world of information and opinions, excess and unpredictability?
  • What is my role in this society?
  • Should I be responsible? If so, how should I take my responsibility?
  • How do I develop empowerment in the world and how do I learn to rely on my own power of expression?

In the weekly coaching sessions we reflect on the process of the students in the courses, with the underlying practical focus of the final study choice. Components like: portfolio talks, their own biography, Ted Talks, art performances, a personal manifesto and entrepreneurship form the material that will ultimately lead to a plan for the future.

In the coaching sessions, it is not so much about digging into ‘the self’, as well as to shape and control the ‘self’ in a social context. Wilhelm Schmid describes his philosophy of the art of living as follows: “The art of living fundamentally is to understand the possibility and opportunity to live life in a reflective way, and don’t simply let it happen in a unconscious way.”

Below is a film report of one of the travel experiences that are part of the Foundation year Liberal Arts at the Vrije Hogeschool.