Tilburg University – Netherlands

Coming to Tilburg on exchange is definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. I can’t believe I have been away for nearly two months – time has really flown by. I began my exchange with a few weeks of eating my way through Italy, and a short stop in Brussels on the way to the Netherlands. My first week at Tilburg is a bit of a blur. I was met at the station by people from IESN (the international students’ association) and within a few hours I had signed up for a bank account, bought a bike, joined IESN and picked up the keys to my room.

I live in a big building filled with exchange students, called “Verbs.” There are 5 floors to the building and each floor has 17 people. We all get our own rooms but share a kitchen and bathroom which is interesting but really not as bad as it sounds! There is always something going on or someone to chat to so its very hard to get bored. Living with people from all over the world is one of the highlights, especially watching what everyone cooks (food being a big interest of mine).

One of the best parts of my exchange so far has to be TOP-week, which is like O-week but on steroids. All the exchange students were put into groups of about 25, each with 3 mentors who are local Dutch students. This group was our family for the week, and we still meet weekly for dinner. TOP week consisted of multiple parties, BBQS, a pub crawl, a games day, a city brunch and the best bit – the Beer Cantus. You really have to come to the Netherlands to experience a Cantus for yourself but basically it consists of a LOT of singing and a LOT of beer. With all these events, it was so much fun and very easy to meet loads of people.

My experience at the university itself has also been really positive. The campus is really nice, with modern buildings and nice areas to sit. My subjects are interesting; they are very different to what I study back at UTS which is a nice change. The workload isn’t too bad, about the same as UTS, and the teachers are all well renowned in their fields.

For the first couple of weeks in the semester I only had 2 of my 5 courses running. This gave me a great opportunity to do some travel. So far in my first month of Uni I have managed to go on trips to Amsterdam, Paris and London. I have many more trips in the works. So being in the Netherlands really does have its perks!

Finally, Tilburg itself is a really nice town, very typically Dutch. It’s a student town so there are plenty of places to hang out and get a drink. There is also some really nice cafes and restaurants. I was pleasantly surprised to find that you can get a coffee here almost at the Sydney standard.

I couldn’t recommend doing an exchange to Tilburg highlight enough!

Emma Stiles 11030537

Emma Stiles 11030537

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