Six weeks into moving on down into the southern part of the Netherlands, it’s already feeling like I am well and truly becoming a local. The first impressions of Dutch life have been overwhelmingly favourable, ranging from the incredible accessibility of their compact cities to the laidback and helpful attitude of the people. Other than trying to avoid being run over by the sheer number of bikes on the road, the only frustration lies in the wildly unpredictable weather.
Whilst my exchange is at TU Delft, I am actually living in The Hague. This gives me the opportunity to get to know two cities really well, each very different to the other. Delft is the stereotypical old Dutch city of canals, small leaning houses and cobbled streets whilst The Hague is a bit more ‘big city’ with big new developments and its status as the seat of power for the country.
The ease of moving around The Netherlands has let me get out to other cities quite regularly. Rotterdam is just 15 minutes away on the train, whilst I’ve also made the treks to Amsterdam and Utrecht.
In terms of the university, Delft has a massive architecture school that I am still getting my head around. They refer to the building as ‘BK City’ and it does feel like trying to navigate a city just to get around. Still, it’s a great setup filled with many different spaces to work in. The previous architecture school got burnt down a few years ago and this was only meant to be a temporary arrangement, except it has been so successful they will likely stay. The courseload is pretty demanding, but it’s all been a fast learning curve.
Based on how the last 6 weeks have gone, I’m expecting the rest of my time in The Netherlands to be a pretty enjoyable ride.
Nick Wenham (11038965)