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Tilburg University, the Netherlands – My exchange journey

Although it has only been my third week here in Tilburg, my experience so far has been amazing. Getting off the train at Tilburg University Station, I was immediately greeted by friendly I*ESN (exchange student association) mentors who picked me up from the train station and drove me to the university. The administrative aspects of exchange such as orientation week registration, bikes and setting up a Dutch bank account were so easy to organise once I got to Tilburg University. Most importantly, the activities run by I*ESN really made me feel like home – these activities included a city tour of Tilburg, welcome drinks, TOP Week and many more!

Highlights of my time so far in Tilburg include:

TOP Week

TOP Week is the week-long orientation program run by I*ESN. You are put into mentor groups where you meet other exchange students from all over the world. In my mentor group, there were students from Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Kazakhstan and Taiwan. As a mentor group, we participated in many activities such as a sports day, pub crawl, scavenger hunts, Cantus (will talk about this more later) and an outdoor cinema. At night, there was always a party at Carpe Noctem (the university bar) and plenty of beer to make sure we all had a good time. It’s a great opportunity to bond with other exchange students and I highly recommend all exchange students to attend TOP Week, you won’t regret it!

Cantus

Cantus involved sitting in a large warehouse with hundreds of other students while singing songs and drinking beer. After every song ended, everyone had to drink beer. It’s an amazing experience and by the end of the Cantus, most people are standing on the chairs/tables having the time of their lives.

The People

Throughout TOP Week, my mentor group did many activities together which allowed us to bond and get to know each other well. Everyone in my mentor group is so friendly which has made it so easy to make friends. Even after TOP Week, we’ve organised weekend trips to Breda and Rotterdam. Also, I’m currently staying at Professor Verberneelan where I’m sharing a floor with 17 other exchange students. My floor has 3 bathrooms, 3 showers, a shared kitchen and a common area where we eat our food. It’s been great to meet exchange students from so many different countries such as Spain, Hong Kong, Colombia, Sweden and Peru. I highly recommend staying at Professor Verberneelan but securing a room can be quite competitive so log in to the website as soon as room registration opens.

Also, a tip for students who are going to study at Tilburg University is to get a bike as soon as you get to Tilburg. You’ll literally be using your bike for everything you do from going to class to riding home from the city centre after a night out. I recommend going with a bike rental company called Swapfiets because their bikes are in good condition and it’ll only cost 12 euros per month to rent a bike.

Although Tilburg is a small town, the exchange program here is great and it truly is a student town. If you’re still undecided about what university you want to go to, look no further and give Tilburg Uni a go!

Also, feel free to email me (Andrew.X.Chen@student.uts.edu.au) if you have any questions.

Andrew Chen
Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Law
Tilburg University
Netherlands

For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au

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