Well I’m finally at the halfway point of my study at Utrecht University in the Netherlands! The experience so far has been absolutely incredible, and has gone past so fast.
Studying’s a bit different here – there’s a bit more coursework to do outside class, and you do have to go the vast majority of your classes, especially because the lectures aren’t recorded. It’s definitely doable though, even with travel on weekends! Plus, the grades you get while away don’t affect your GPA at home, so it takes a bit of the stress off.
I’m living about a 5 minute walk from the university, and a 5-10 minute walk to the city centre, so it’s perfect! It means I don’t have to ‘go Dutch’ and ride my bike as often as I’d like, but it [is] super convenient. To anyone thinking of studying at Utrecht, I’d definitely recommend looking into accommodation as soon as possible, because it’s insanely competitive, and I’ve met people still staying in hostels 2 months in – definitely not ideal.
I share a room with a brilliant girl from Germany, who I’ve become really close friends with. I’m in a flat with 12 other people from 10 different countries, so of course there are some cultural differences, but for the most part, we all get along really well! I’ve made some amazing friends so far, everyone in Utrecht is obviously super friendly – it’s a university town, so there are heaps of exchange students who are experiencing the same thing you are.
Staying in the Netherlands is super convenient for weekend trips, because everything is so close! So far I’ve been to Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Kinderdijk, Den Haag, Munich, and Belgium, with Scandinavia coming up in a few days, and more planned. The Netherlands has so many amazing places to visit which are so easy to get to by train, so you can see heaps of cities and the countryside.
Studying in Utrecht has been amazing so far, and I can’t wait to see what the last three months bring!
Kristen Kahl, a Bachelor of International Tourism student, Semester 2 2016 exchange at Utrecht University, the Netherlands
- Read Kristen’s pre-departure post here