I have now spent almost two months living in the beautiful town of Tilburg in the Netherlands, and have loved every minute of it!
I am living in Verbs, the accommodation reserved specifically for Exchange students. My floor has 17 people all up with a shared kitchen and bathroom. It might sound crowded, but your floor really does become your exchange family. I love living with people from all over the world – on my floor we have students from Australia, Canada, France, Brazil, Chile, Turkey, Slovenia, Singapore, USA and Hong Kong, just to name a few! I would definitely suggest trying to get a room in Verbs, but if you can’t, don’t stress! There are plenty of student housing options nearby, and so many opportunities to get to know people.
The orientation program kicked off with TOP week, with parties, a city tour, ice-skating, a movie day, and even a Cantus (basically just hundreds of students packed into a hall singing songs and drinking beer). You get sorted into mentor groups of about 20 students who you spend the week with. It’s a great chance to meet people, and the best way to start out your exchange – make sure you sign up!
Tilburg is a really great town for students. Even though it’s small there are plenty of bars, cafes and shops in the city centre, all an easy 10-minute bike ride from Verbs (pro tip: try and get a bike on one of your first days here. You’ll need it for most orientation activities, and ride it literally everywhere you go in Tilburg. Best option is to rent one from one of the local bike shops). Tilburg is also the perfect central location for travel. In the time I’ve been here I’ve already visited Belgium, Poland, Sweden, and Germany, as well as some beautiful Dutch cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Delft.
Academic life in Tilburg is not so different from what we’re used to at UTS. Most of my classes are lectures, although I do have one class with fortnightly seminars that involves a higher degree of class participation and discussion. Bear in mind that most law lectures here aren’t recorded, so you’ve got to really push yourself to get up and go to class, even on those cold and rainy mornings! The main difference from UTS is that most of my subjects have 100% final exams, meaning close to no assignments or homework during semester. I’m taking a variety of subjects on topics such as international law, legal history, legal philosophy, and am even doing an intensive legal negotiation skills workshop.
My time here so far has flown by and I have honestly loved every minute. I can’t recommend Tilburg enough to anyone thinking of applying for exchange. The university and IESN (International Erasmus Student Network) put so much work into making exchange students feel welcome, it’s the perfect location for travelling all across Europe, and you’ll make friends for life.
Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Communication
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au