Starting off on the wrong foot

Just over 2 weeks ago my six months abroad commenced. I flew to Europe prematurely to travel prior to starting my studies at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. In a desperate search of sun to prepare for the bitterly cold European winter, I jetted off to Portugal to indulge in some well needed vitamin D and to relax on countless beaches whilst embracing the Portuguese food. But not everything was smooth sailing and my pre-exchange travelling was abruptly put to an end. Clumsy me decided to tumble down a flight of stairs and break my foot one week in! So here I am cooped up inside with my foot in plaster (ideal hey!?). If anyone needs help in the future with travel insurance claims or seeking help in an emergency situation, I am your girl!

I elected to apply for a semester abroad after previously living in the Netherlands for around 2 years and becoming obsessed with the tiny country and its contagiously crazy culture. I am the type of person who cannot sit still and thought what better way to have an adventure and study! The Netherlands played a huge part in me enrolling in my study of International Tourism and Languages, it opened me up to new experiences and immersed me in a different language which I grew to absolutely love! I am hoping this exchange program will spark another light within me and fuel me with different life long memories and drive me to pursue other dreams.

I do have a little bit of an advantage from this previous experience so that made the lead up to this process much easier! I have already developed a strong network of friends, a grasp of the Dutch language and overall insight into what to expect in the coming months! But hey, this time I am expected to be studying! Which will be quite a difference. Although being quite a confident person by nature, I am still nervous to be starting at a foreign university and a variation of curriculum, with only doing two intensive subjects per term rather than 4 subjects per semester.

I am really eager to get underway into the upcoming semester and moving into my new apartment with my future pals (hopefully). It’s time to put my best (only) foot forward and commence this wonderful opportunity!


Hayley Elkins , Bachelor International Tourism/Bachelor of Languages student, Semester 2 2017 exchange at Utrecht University, the Netherlands 

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