Going on exchange has always seemed like an exciting, life-changing adventure. From listening to the experiences of my friends, I knew that my semester in the Netherlands would be incredible. However, the day before flying out of Sydney the doubts began to creep in – would I make friends? Would I be disappointed by the hype of exchange? Would I get too homesick? Now that I am here and settled in Tilburg, it’s safe to say that my doubts have completely vanished.
Tilburg is a small university town. Whilst is may seem like it lacks the excitement of a bigger city such as Amsterdam, the city centre is surprisingly big and lively – the bar street in particular is a great place to hang out! Tilburg is also a very popular place to study; many international and Dutch students choose to do their degrees here.
TOP week (orientation week) was definitely one of the highlights of my time here thus far. Students are placed in mentor groups, and spend the week exploring the city and participating in activities together. It was a great way to be introduced to the city and to also make some amazing friends. One of the activities was the Cantus – a Dutch tradition that involves drinking beer and singing! This is all made possible by IESN (International Exchange Erasmus Student Network). If you are studying in Tilburg, I highly recommend joining. In addition to organising weekly parties and dinners, they also organise trips to Oktoberfest, Amsterdam, Prague and Morocco. However, it is also incredibly easy to find other students to travel with – Tilburg is a great base from which to get to a lot of other European countries!
I have also made many friends by living at Verbs. The flats are right next to the University, and each building has 5 floors with 16 exchange students. My roommates have become like my family away from home! Living at Verbs, I have met exchange students from all around the world – Brazil, Greece, Colombia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Mauritius, the US and Canada…just to name a few. Although I have only been here for three weeks, I have already travelled to Breda, Rotterdam and Brussels with the friends I have made.
As a law student from Australia, subject options are limited, as we do not have pre-requisite knowledge of EU law. Whilst this is a bit frustrating, there are definitely some interesting subjects to pick from. I highly recommend Tilburg to anyone thinking about studying in Europe!!!
Alysha Prakash (11235660) Law