As a student in Amsterdam I have been lucky enough to experience the European student life, encompassing all the highs and lows of dorm rooms, country-hopping in almost the same time it takes to get to school in Sydney, and the vibrant student community filled with people from all across the globe.
It’s hard to put a finger on what exactly has made this experience so valuable, but it has undoubtedly been the time of my life.
Amsterdam as a city is a perfect size for an exchange student to become fully immersed in all its wonders. The freedom of being able to bike anywhere within half an hour at any time of the day is a dream come true for Sydney sider who understands the struggle of transport.
Biking home after class in “peak hour” along the picturesque canals and the world heritage buildings is an example of the simple things that make this place so enjoyable.
The liberal culture and social awareness of the community has been a highlight for
me. There is a variety of free events on every week targeting students that include seminars, documentary viewings and open mic nights that have opened my mind to notions I have never been exposed to before.
Balancing work and play has been a challenge with the abundance of social events and festivals, unique to Amsterdam such as Sunday rooftop spa sessions with live music. With plenty of independent cafes, bars, shops and markets only a bike ride away it’s hard not to fall in love with this city.
The teaching style is similar to UTS with little contact hours, which means that there is ample time to focus on all the additional preparation for class each week and to develop my subject knowledge in a place that is so liberal and open minded. This has been useful to me as a media student, it’s an environment that has opened up a new dialogue to me, one that I am hoping to take home.
The people I have met during my exchange have undoubtedly made this experience so unforgettable. Living with mostly international students we have been on this mysterious and wonderful journey together almost like a family.
We’ve shared meals, hospital visits, holidays, triumphs and taking down the trash.
I would recommend international study to anyone because not only have I been immersed into a new culture and new ways of thinking, but I know that I have made solid friendships that will keep taking me new places in the future.
Anabelle Kemplen 12143691 FASS