I had travelled Europe extensively for 4 months after finishing high school, but this experience is one that is completely different because its not just travelling, but living and studying in a foreign country which you grow to love!
I started my trip visiting a friend on exchange in Copenhagen and wow what a perfect way to be introduced into the life on exchange as I got to witness what I had in store (of course in a different environment) in which absolutely blew my mind.
The city of Rotterdam not as wide spread as Sydney which I was not used to but I enjoyed that because I felt a warmer community and also the fact that everything is reachable through a quick bike ride. Although its small, there is plenty of stuff to do such as weekly markets, good food, great nightlife (also with Amsterdam only 30 minutes away) and plenty of places to grab a nice cold beverage (even in the wintertime!). Rotterdam is not as traditional as other Dutch cities but definitely provides enough of the Dutch culture with its architecture, canals, flat roads for cycling, beautiful little lakes and parks and of course the traditional cafes… In contrast to this, Rotterdam is also a modern city with unique architecture which provides a sense of that city life that I’m used to which was nice.
It’s been quite an experience living on campus with lectures and classes only a matter of minutes and maybe even seconds away if I’m in a rush but the campus itself is nice and compact with a big pond in the middle which takes away the strain of studying as you look out to it from the library haha. Living with students on campus has been one of my favourite parts because it’s as if you’re living next door to all your best friends who are going through the exact same experiences as you in terms of exchange, studying and the countless nights of staying up late and partying
Throughout exchange so far I have been able to do a lot of travelling and exploring with some being trips intercity such as the cold Christmas spent in Amsterdam or the carnival festival in Eindhoven where dressed up in costumes getting drunk with both young and old Dutch people and watching a parade. Some of my other trips have been to Germany and Dublin where we celebrated St Patricks day drinking Guinness and singing songs with the Irish which was an incredible experience.
Its saddening about the idea that exchange is coming to an end, but with that, it has easily been the best experience of my life so far. Its made me deal with situations that I had not previously faced in my life which has made me grow both mentally and socially. I’ve been able to travel, meet loads of new people, partially study and experience different aspects of life. I would say that it’s a huge missed opportunity for any student who has the chance to go on exchange and does not take it!
Dylan Felsher, 12009611
Bachelor Of Business
Exchange at Erasmus University, Rotterdam