Hoi, aanghenam! Two months into my exchange in Rotterdam and I’m already wishing it was longer…
The academic standards in Rotterdam are fairly high and the teaching styles here differ quite a bit from back at home. Erasmus School of Economics breaks down their semesters into smaller ‘blocks’ and each block has its own teaching period followed by final exams. All my subjects in my first block were only a single lecture per week with some assignments, though one subject was a 100% final exam. I would not say that the workload is too much harder than at UTS, though there is a fair bit more self-teaching involved. My block now is taught as a seminar which is completely new to me but it’s an interesting change.
ROTTERDAM & THE NETHERLANDS
Rotterdam is the second biggest city in the Netherlands, behind Amsterdam of course. Personally, I love Rotterdam so much more in comparison. I’ve been to Amsterdam on previous holidays and the amount of tourists really does take away from the experience. Rotterdam is a lot more chilled out, still has the cultural aspects present but is also super-modern given its history. The Netherlands is also very central to so many parts of Europe – so far I’ve been to Belgium, Poland and Italy with many more trips planned and upcoming. The fact everyone speaks practically perfect English makes living here very convenient and easy!
So I took a bit of an unorthodox approach towards my accommodation. For my first block I stayed at the Student Hotel which was pretty pricey but also really close to uni (5-10min bike ride). Having many early classes the day after a big night, this was definitely a blessing! After the first exam block concluded I moved into an apartment in the city centre which I found on a Dutch real estate website. Now that I’m only at uni for one day a week, being close to amenities rather than uni is perfect and I have all my mates walking distances away. I definitely have no regrets in regards to my choices!
To be completely honest, I didn’t do any of the orientation activities. I got really lucky and managed to meet most of the friends I’m hanging out with at the first introductory presentation, but my circle seems to grow every week. My advice would be to just be yourself and that like-minds seem to attract. However, the exchange students at Erasmus are really tight-knit and friendly. Everyone gets along really well. There’s always parties being organised amongst the group and you’ll find that everyone tries to stick together and look out for each other, whether that be in regards to uni, socialising, etc. Just be friendly, outgoing and remember that everyone is feeling the same as you!
I am absolutely in love with my exchange, this beautiful city of Rotterdam and I don’t want to leave!
Bachelor of Business
Erasmus University Rotterdam