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My Time in Tilburg

What’s it like in Tilburg? Well so far, it has been two of the best months of my life. I arrived in the sixth largest city in The Netherlands on a cold and rainy Friday afternoon and was immediately greeted on the station platform by some students from I*ESN (the international student society). They assisted me with getting to registration at the university campus and going to sign my rental contract for student housing. Immediately, I felt accepted as a new student of Tilburg Uni and began to settle in.

TOP Week (like Orientation Week) was a great time and allowed me to make many new friends. We had heaps of activities planned for the whole week, such as ice-skating (not great for Australians), a tour of the city, a sports day and of course Cantus, the traditional Dutch beer sing-along where you sing classic songs by the likes of The Beatles and Neil Diamond mixed in with German/Dutch drinking songs and then chug your beer. 

I am living in the infamous Verbs (Professor Verbernelaan). This is the hub of many international students. My floor somehow ended up with 4 Australians on it, but we also have several other friends living here from many areas of the world. Each floor of Verbs has 17 people living on it which means it is always an energetic and fun place to live. You truly bond with the people you live with and we regularly enjoy ‘family’ dinners together on Sunday nights where we cook and eat together. You’ll always be able to find someone who is willing to hang out, head into town, hit the gym, have a picnic in the sun or a drink.

Academic life at Tilburg is reasonably similar to back home, although only having to pass the subjects here means that there is a lot more free time that would usually be spent studying. The teaching style here is more lecture-based, with only one of my subjects having the occasional tutorial. However, the class sizes are generally smaller, with only about 30 students per lecture. The subjects on offer here are quite different to back home, and I am learning about topics which I wouldn’t have the opportunity to pursue back home, particularly focused on European Union law.  

Living in The Netherlands is also great if you are interested in travelling. Tilburg is in such a central location in Europe and is in close proximity to both Eindhoven and Amsterdam airports. This means that it is easy to duck away for weekend trips to several countries. You can also jump on a train if you want to explore somewhere a bit closer like Belgium or Germany. So far in my time here I have explored the UK, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland and have many more trips planned – Ireland, Iceland, Germany and Italy to name a few.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.

Matthew Keevers
Bachelor of Communications / Bachelor of Laws
Tilburg University  
The Netherlands

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

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