Today marks about a month and a half of living in Tilburg. It’s been a pretty full-on month, with a lot of partying, traveling, making friends, and maybe a small amount of actual studying.
From the very beginning, Tilburg University did a good job of making everything easy to navigate. I moved into my student accommodation, bought a bike, handled all my immigration and set up my bank account pretty easily.
In addition to all that, there were plenty of opportunities to make friends because first few days of your life here will be an orientation week is called TOP Week. It’s basically 5 straight days of getting to know your fellow exchange students through activities and nightly parties. It’s all organized through the international student group IESN, who also plan weekly parties and cheap overseas trips for exchange students.
Living in student housing is also an experience. I currently live in ‘Verbs’ which is a housing complex that involves sharing a kitchen and bathroom with 16 other exchange students. Despite how messy things can become when you’re sharing a living space with that many other people, you also get to know the people around you really well because you’ll basically hang out with them 24/7.
As far as studying here goes, it feels more like an extended holiday than a semester of university. Most of my classes here are either lectures or seminars, and the teaching style is quite similar to UTS. Although the difficulty of the course content is similar to UTS, the workload seems to be slightly less intense. Almost all of the subjects I’m taking have one large final exam as the only assessment for the entire semester. I haven’t had to stress about any major assessments, which has been great for allowing me to freely plan overseas trips every other weekend (because let’s be honest, that’s what we’re here for).
If you’re wondering about travelling, the Netherlands is very centrally located and is a great base for exploring the rest of Europe. Travelling, whether by plane, bus or train, is usually relatively quick, easy and inexpensive. It’s a refreshing change to be able to regularly hop on flights that cost less than $50 and arrive at your destination in under 3 hours.
Tilburg really is a very charming and welcoming place and I recommend doing a semester abroad here. Although it is a small town and might not sound as exciting as say, Paris, it is a great place to be a student. Everything is truly set up perfectly for exchange students, so you’d really have to try to have a bad time here.
Bachelor of Business/ Bachelor of Law
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au