One of the key reasons that I went on exchange was to travel around the world. I based myself in Amsterdam not only because I was very interested in Dutch culture and the university had an excellent reputation, but also because I thought it was a great place to base myself to go travelling around Europe.
Boy was this a good decision. I have just returned home and I am looking back on my travels. In seven months I went to 16 countries, took 23 flights and had an amazing time right around the world. I decided to travel via the USA on the way to Amsterdam and spent 31 days there in December before the January start. On the way home, I spent a few days in Iceland and a week in Canada. It was not more expensive to stop in these countries as a layover, so it is a perfect time to explore North America.
In Europe, there are cheap flights all over the continent. Often flights are as cheap as 100 euros return, and it is easy with the uni workload to go travelling for 4-5 day long weekends and get a feel for the continent. I went on 5 trips during my studies (about a trip once a fortnight) and travelled between and after my studies finished too. Personally, I found the workload less than in Auckland, and was able to travel with people from around the world. I feel that you will never get another chance to travel as much as I did when on exchange, so I am glad I made the most of my opportunity.
I leave you with a series of photos from my trips around the world as inspiration for your future trips overseas!