A little over a month into my study placement in the most bicycle-riding, fries-eating and hill-deprived country in the world. Tilburg is a predominantly student-focused city in the south of the Netherlands, about a one hour bike ride from the Belgian border. Terrific restaurants, bars and shops equip the city centre with a great night life and social scene, and yet a beautiful forest with a labyrinth of walking trails resides just minutes away on the other side of town, making it a very balanced and pleasant spot to spend a semester.
I live in the quintessential Tilburg international housing block – Verbs. Hundreds of students from all around the world, crammed into 1960’s built flats with sinks filled perpetually with unwashed dishes, uncomfortable plastic mattresses and a bathroom to resident ratio of 1:9. Sounds like hell? Not at all. The people have really made the trip for me – on my floor are Singaporians, Italians, another Australian, Hungarians, Spanish, Ukraines, Norwegians and Israelis. We all get on great, with big communal curry cook-ups, movie nights and outings all frequent occurrences
Tilburg University itself is a terrific institution – I’m studying electives in EU Human Rights law, privacy law, cybercrime and Dutch law. The lecturers are engaging and modern, and subject matter really interesting. And alongside class, the uni organises great events, such as a recent trip to Munich for Oktoberfest, periodic Beer kantus festivals (a huge song medley where students sit at huge long tables and chug beer at the conclusion of every song), trips into Amsterdam and other countries.
And on weekends, trips to surrounding cities and countries are a must – thus far we’ve been to Eindhoven, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Germany and Belgium, with a trip to Paris, Hungary and Slovenia on the cards for the upcoming fall break.
In a word – fantastic. I’d highly recommend Tilburg.
>> Aidan Howes (11220908)