While Rotterdam used to be lost in the shadow of Amsterdam as it was severely affected by the bombing of World War II, it has now been rebuilt into a contemporary and culturally rich city with striking modern architecture. Although I was concerned I would miss the traditional landscape of a European city, Rotterdam has the perfect mix of old and new, with hidden gems to be constantly explored.
Rotterdam has a strong student base, so it is very affordable to live here. With food markets every Tuesday and Saturday you can pick up a range of fruit and veg for just 5 euros. You can easily find funky bars, cafes and restaurants in the city that allows you to treat yourself to a tasty meal out without breaking the bank. To get around, it is essential to get a bike, with the designated bike paths and flat terrain make travelling throughout the city a leisurely trip. My suggestion would be to get a Swapfiets bike, a company which allows you to rent a brand new bike at an affordable price!
I was lucky to be placed in student housing on campus (Hatta building), which allows me to slip out of my room 10 minutes before class and meet fellow students super easily. My accommodation is an apartment within a large building that I share with two other international students (however we all have our own very spacious rooms!), it is clean and features great facilities such as a bar, gym and a cafeteria.
The Lectures and tutorials are pretty similar to my communication ones at UTS however the tutorials are 2 hours and 45 minutes long…which in comparison to the 2-hour tuts back home, I struggle to keep focused! Luckily they are very interactive, and student presentations occupy a large part of the learning structure. Attendance is very strict, when you miss two tutorials, you have to do a makeup assignment, or if you miss three you fail the course! I would recommend avoiding putting classes on Mondays and Fridays, so you essentially get a four day weekend every week, optimizing time for travel and exploring! Also, the central location of Rotterdam means you can be in a new country in less than an hour! Rotterdam also has a great ESN program, so you are always flooded with events and activities that allow you to get involved and meet new people!
Overall, after being here for just over a month now, I would definitely recommend Rotterdam! With a strong culture that differs completely to back home, it is a chance to experience a whole new way of life!
Bachelor of Communications (Media Arts & Production)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
The Netherlands G
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au