The Netherlands is a beautiful, rich, diverse country that is a fantastic place to live, work, and study and is the perfect location to choose for UTS Global Exchange. I am studying a Master of Architecture at Technische Universiteit Eindhoven.
I had the opportunity to undertake an internship 3 months prior to beginning the semester at TUE. Arriving in Amsterdam in November 2017, I began working instantly and had an early chance to get familiar with Dutch culture, and the weather. This was also the first time living on my own which was a great and intimidating challenge, and being in a foreign country made it all the more nerve-inducing yet exciting, when you are thrown into the deep end you have to learn to swim.
Eindhoven itself is a wonderful and delightful city. It’s small size makes for a very comfortable and cozy lifestyle, and getting around is easy and pleasant taking just 15 mins on bike to get from one side of the city to the other. Because it has a relatively small population, there isn’t a lot of hustle and bustle like you would find in larger cities giving a kind of vibe that makes it feel more like ‘town’ rather than a city.
As an exchange student, the accommodation for the whole semester in Eindhoven is managed by a student housing company who provide apartment options for international students. My apartment building is located in the district known as Strijp-S, which is an area of Eindhoven that was the former site of the Philips Electronics factory. The area was previously a very industrial area, but in the past decade has been reformed into a new residential neighbourhood, with cool cafes, hip bars, and large event spaces, in the old factory buildings.
Before going on exchange I was terrified that I would have a hard time making friends, but I could not have been more wrong. Meeting people here has been wonderfully effortless, there is always something happening, or someone who is up for a drink. And how could you say no when beer is so cheap. Relative to Australian prices going out is quite inexpensive, and at the University bars (13 bars on campus) beer can as low as 0.80 cents. And significantly better than any beer in Australia thanks to the amazing assortment of fantastic local and Belgian beers.
Overall I have been quite happy with my time in Eindhoven and with the course at TU. The Netherlands and Dutch culture has such a uniquely different yet familiar feeling, that I have found it to be quite easy to adapt to the way of living over here. Being here just feels so comfortable. I just know that when the end of the semester comes around it’s going be hard to say goodbye to what has been home for several months.
Coming overseas has given a lot of insight about what I would like to achieve in the future. It has been a great experience and opportunity to grow and learn so much that I would not have had the chance if I did not choose to do Global Exchange.
Master of Architecture
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven