Sadly this is my second and the last blog 😢
Honestly everything is still like a dream for me. I’ve never imagined this is how I ended my exchange journey. At the beginning of coronavirus outbreak, I didn’t see leaving the Netherlands as an option. I didn’t realise how serious the situation was and how fast it spreads. Then friends around me started being called back to their home country. I then reconsidered the option of dropping out from the exchange programme.
Everything was changing so fast before I left. I (or most of the exchange students) wasn’t sure whether I would stay or go. I’ve only got 2 days from the day I booked my ticket and the day I left the Netherlands. On the night that I booked my flight ticket, I was at my friend’s farewell party. Ironically, I turned out to be leaving before she did. Although my exchange wasn’t quite the same as I pictured it (5 weeks instead of 5 months haha) and I had only gone travelling once, this is still one of the most precious experiences I have had.
People is definitely what made me so reluctant to leave Utrecht. I’ve made a bunch of life-time friends who never gave me chances to feel lonely or isolated in a place I had never been to. I chose to stay in a 12-people flat. At first, flatmates were my most worrying part. HOWEVER, this is the BEST decision ever. I love all of my flatmates. This is by far the most homey flat I’ve ever lived in.
Dutch people are also very friendly. There were a time I was struggling with Dutch in the supermarket. I reached out for help. The lady was walking around showing me which one is which and gave me a little Dutch session 😉
The advantage of being an exchange student is to be surrounded with people from very different backgrounds. I’ve got so many opportunities to view things from different perspectives, know new things and explore. I got to know how to say basic phrases in Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Cantonese and so on. I went to the Netherlands. However, the environment gave me the opportunity to learn the customs of many other countries.
Utrecht University has a couple of campuses. My courses were mainly at Science park which is the biggest campus located 15 minutes bike away from city centre. The campus is huge, beautiful and very W-I-N-D-Y.
Utrecht University is definitely worthy of the reputation. The lecture time didn’t seem much compare to UoA. However, it was never easy to pass courses. I found that the Dutch classroom was so active. Everyone was very willing to express their thoughts! Both students and lecturers were open to different perspectives.
I’m missing my life in Holland so much. Utrecht was such a beautiful city. It’s so young and attractive. I miss biking around the alleys and stopping by a random canal. Till next time!