SO where do I even begin!?
Since my last blog post I have well and truly settled into my home away from home! The accommodation where I live is where I spend most of my time (apart from being on campus studying of course) with 25+ amazing house mates from all over the globe; Germany, Canada, Brazil, Slovenia, USA, Scotland, Poland, Denmark etc. The housing is a similar to a dorm; we all have our own rooms but share communal kitchens and bathrooms. There is 7-10 people per kitchen/bathroom area and there have been no problems apart from the odd couple dishes left in the sink… The kitchen/common area I use is where we ‘socialise’ on the weekend as it is the place that cancels out noise to our neighbours (not that it does the best job), so as you can imagine there would be quite a mess on Sunday mornings – heck even Tuesday mornings! But we also study there too of course as its the closes place to coffee!
Classes here in The Netherlands are quite intense, I genuinely had some form of assessment due every week that counted towards my final grade, PLUS on top of that there are weekly literatures to read that are discussed in class that are pretty much compulsory. It is very content heavy mainly because you only are doing 2 topics at once but in half the time so it is a blessing and a curse. Utrecht University itself is celebrating its 380th birthday this year, I thought that was pretty cool comparing to Flinders celebrating its 50th. Another comparison is the trouble with finding a park on campus…. its pretty similar with timing however we are parking our bikes not our cars! So you have to be ready for rain hail or shine for the ride home, my first rainy day was refreshing to say the least.
I have not done as much weekend travel as I was planning to but while being over here I have visited the U.K, Greece, Hungary, Vienna, Croatia and obviously The Netherlands. Utrecht is so lovely, it has surpassed my expectations immensely! If you have been to Amsterdam or seen pictures of the pretty canals, it is just like that but ZERO tourists! It was named one of the happiest places to live in 2013 and I completely agree with that! Now I have almost hit the half way mark of my studies (just one 3000 word paper to go then I have two new subjects (woohoo)), and am excited for my new topics – they are all humanities/media focused. Also it is now the last month of Autumn here and it is already hitting the minus degree mark! Winter is definitely coming….!! So until next time when I will frozen and ready to defrost in the Australian Summer!!
Cheers, Gemma 🙂
Gemma Colman, a Bachelor of International Tourism student, Semester 2 2016 exchange at Utrecht University, the Netherlands
- Read Gemma’s pre-departure post here