So it began. Life as a exchange student, or ‘Erasmus’ student as they say here. Life here is awesome. No one word can describe this land, except maybe freedom. Weed is legal, prostitution is open, and per capita the Netherlands is top 5 in the world when it comes to refugee intake.
The main means of transport here is bike. The air is noticeably fresher and ive never felt so invigorated after a morning ride to university! Who needs coffee anymore? Its a shame that us Sydney siders havnt been given the gift of flat ground (everywhere! literally). The highest peak in the Netherlands is around 300 metres! So it makes sense that bikes just work. You go to a shopping mall, the bike parking is bigger then the car parking. They have bike parking above ground, underground and everywhere else you can imagine. If you dont have a bike here.. everyone has a bike here who am I kidding.
Ive been blessed to be living in a smaller city rather then the crazyness of cities such as Amsterdam or Rotterdam (mind you they are only an hour away from train). Eindhoven at first seemed very different and modern compared to all the other cities in the Netherlands, such as Utretch, Delft and Amsterdam. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was the electronics brand Philips. Yes Philips was born, brought up and started his company in Eindhoven. I did’t know this only until I got here, and boy can you notice. Eindhoven locals are obsessive about Philips (literally every building has a Philips sign on it). World War 2 resulted in Eindhoven being very heavily bombed and history had to be re created from scratch – and the biggest accomplishment known for the locals post world war was Philips.
Just like any living thing that grows at a young age, its growth is exponential. This applied to this city also, because its so new I later found at Eindhoven got dubbed the most innovative city in the WORLD (this is going to look so GOOD on my resume haha). Per capita they release and publish the most patents in the world. Second is the city of Boston (Harvard).
Anyway, beer is really cheap. Food is the same price as Australia. But beer, lets get back to beer. Boy is the beer good here and cheap, did i say that. My go to point of comparison to my friends back home is a Belgium beer call Duvel. In Australis one schooner of this liquid gold goes for about $10, here in this magical land – a 6 pack goes for 6 euros!!
As you can imagine, parties are crazy here. Not only is there house parties of 150+ erasmus students from all over Europe every weekend, but Eindhoven has within it and special little street named Stratum. This magical street has the most bars/clubs in the whole of the Netherlands, with about 60 bars/clubs stretching across the street. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night we can see the night begin no earlier then Midnight. Or if you fancy a beer or two during the week, you usually go to the Beer Professor establishment, where you are treated with 200 different types of beers that are from the regions of Holland, Belgie and Deutchland.
In terms of study. The level of skill required and amount of work is definitely higher here. They have better machines, technology and resources I’ve noticed compared to Sydney. In terms of MY study, yeah about that…
Netherlands is such a beautiful country. Im so glad i picked a european country – I’m sure the others who did also would agree with me when i say this. I have so many options for travel its crazy. Especially with summer coming around, I think life here will just keep getting better! I truly am thankful for UTS for giving me the opportunity! So much fun!