Thursday, 28 February 2019

Starting at Slieve Donard

Hello Again, Sinead here and this time I am checking in after my first month of work placement in Slieve Donard Hotel, Co. Down. The Slieve Donard hotel is located at the foot of the Mourne Mountains along the picturesque coastline in County Down. Its located within a short walk to the small town of Newcastle. 

After arriving and settling into my new surroundings I started work. I will admit I was a bit nervous about beginning work but my classmates, Rob, Saoirse and Aine who worked here before me reassured me about how welcoming the team are. They couldn’t have been more accurate, everyone in the kitchen and beyond were very welcoming and I instantly settled into the kitchen team.

Since beginning work on the 4th of February, it’s crazy thinking for fast this month has already flown by. Even in a little month so much has happened in the Slieve Donard Kitchen. We moved into a brand new kitchen with all sparkling new equipment, this has been a really exciting time for all the chefs and the staff as a whole. The big change in the kitchen was the move from gas to induction, it interesting seeing and learning a new method of cooking.

In the kitchen I have been able to experience many different sections already from starters and pastry to garnish and the pass. The kitchen are not fearful to give you responsibility which I think is a really important part of this placement.

Wedding Showcase Setup
Across is a picture taken from a wedding show held at the hotel. Plates of display of an example of meals offered for weddings along with a spectacular “cheesecake”. I enjoy all the planning that goes into events like these to show everything a venue like this has to offer for special occasions and parties.

Outside of work I have been travelling around some of Co. Down visiting very picturesque places and beaches. It’s nice to be able to stand back and see the beauty that’s in Ireland on our own doorstep. travelling around is made easy as I drive, but there is a good bus service in the down providing buses to Belfast daily.

It has been a fast and exceptionally busy February here at Slieve Donard. I am looking forward to learning more in the coming months. I will check back in soon to talk more about my experience in Slieve Donard. 


Wednesday, 27 February 2019


Vieux Lyon January 2019
What an incredible two months its been here in Lyon so far read below all about life so far in Lyon, my top tips for surviving your first 2 weeks and all the in and outs of my classes at Institut Paul Bocuse.

The last 9 months of my life have been some of the best times I’ve ever had. From living and working in Banff national park in the heart of the Canadian Rockies to living and studying in a world-renowned culinary college in Frances 3rd biggest city is just amazing.
Leaving Canada was hard, but I was open to all the new experiences and challenges that Lyon has thrown at me so far.

If you’re thinking of moving here id tell you to go for it. Lyon is an amazingly diverse city. So much to see and do in your free time. if you’re a foodie then Lyon is a city for you. Markets every day of the week located all over different parts of the city offering local farm fresh veg, fish, meat, cheese, bread and pastries the list is endless. You can buy you veg for the week for nearly €6 a bargain!! Lyon is full with great local lyonnaise bouchons these are small little eateries, and endless bakeries to be discovered offering up mouth-watering pastries.
Top tips and life in Lyon:

Some top advice if you are thinking of moving to Lyon to attend classes at IPB:
Public transport is bar far one of the best I have ever seen in Europe, its definitely worth purchasing a TCL transport card, this can be obtained with your IPB student card it costs around €31 and works for all city public transport (bus, metro, tram) which is very frequent.

Before making the move here is crucial to have some form of accommodation lined up. The college does offer accommodation which is 5 mins walk from the campus, a bit like Riverwalk in Waterford just not as nice and shared kitchens between lots of people.  I came here with my friend Hanna, we looked for months while we were in candida and Budapest but just couldn’t either find something cheap and decent or couldn’t agree on it. It came down to Hanna doing a long-term rent Airbnb and myself subletting from another IPB student who moved away for the semester for his internship.

Learning and speaking French is a must. To live comfortably and have some form of social life with other students. Hanna is nearly fluent in French and has really progressed. Me on the other hand I am really struggling, I can get by and have a basic conversation, read ingredients and recipes etc but beyond that I’m hopeless. A lot of young people here at the college will speak English some better than others. You will find the older generation reluctant to speak English and I have experienced this in supermarkets etc and they are very rude about it but ca la vie. 

Classes at Institut Paul Bocuse: 
I didn’t really Know what to expect before I started classes. Its been touch and go since we have got here, anything I say is my honest opinion and I don’t want to speak for Hanna. Being an Erasmus student in a different college and country is always going to be challenging.  Originally, we were promised and offered the English option for the courses, this is what we expected when we arrived, but at our orientation we were told that all the classes were in French which came as a bit of a shock and a worry, but we pushed on. Before we arrived here we did receive a copy of the classes/modules that we will be taking, they seemed fine until we got into the class. They placed us with the first years as it seems that they didn’t quite no our skill level or what to do with us.
Here at IPB they do their classes very different instead of having multiple different classes each day/week, they do block classes of one module in 3 to 4-week rotations. I started with a 2-week rotation of pastry, it was back to basic which I found okay as a lot of the stuff was repetitive, but it was nice to see the basic items done right and the French way. 

We found that first year wasn’t going to suite us, so we talked to our international officer to see if we could move to the 3rd year of the program. This took some time to organise and back and forth conversations with the culinary lectures to see if we would be able for it. They basically said that I could move to the 3rd year of the program but Hanna had to stay in the class she was in and prove herself which was unfair but out of our control. 

While waiting for my new program I moved on to a two-week rotation in a module called “Economat” this is all the receiving and distribution of produce for the college. It’s completely run buy students with the supervision of a lecture basically like the stores in WIT run by Brian. It was a very interesting module. This was also split into a rotation where half the class would take in the produce and sort it according to weight, chef etc. This would then be placed in the correct fridge etc. the other half of the class was responsible for getting the carts ready in including these fresh produce orders along with dry goods etc and distributing them to chef who ordered them. It’s a module that WIT could really do with introducing. 

During my last week here I received my new program, I would be starting with a 3-week rotation at the L’institut Restaurant Place Bellcour, 4 weeks at Restaurant Experience and our final 4 weeks in Saisons resultant which is in the Castel of the college and is very fine dining. All these three restaurants are run by the students on rotations. My three weeks in L’institut restaurant have come and gone already. They were amazing. My Passion is pastry however on my first day I was working in the hot kitchen, again as they didn’t know what to do with me but one of the students swapped with me, so I could work in pastry. The Restaurant itself is in ‘Hotel Royal’ which is owned a run by Accor hotels with the branding of the hotel Gallery by Sofitel. 

Here at IPB they really make the students work. Classes are long some begin at 7am and going to 6/7pm at night. At bellcour you start at 8:15 to 2:30 for the lunch service with a break for lunch in between then you have a break until 5:15 until 11/12pm for the dinner service again have a break for dinner in between this just before service starts. You work here Tuesday to Saturday.  It was a very busy restaurant doing 50/60 covers each service. It was very long and tiring 3 weeks but very worth it, for the experience and knowledge I learned. The Menu here doesn’t change very often as the frequent rotations of students. I aslo liked that the kitchens at bellcour were open to the public so that they could view in in and see the hands that make the 
food and the hard work of the student chefs.
Kitchen Team Place Bellecour

Pastry Kitchen Bellecour


This week I have just started at Restaurant experience which is more self lead by the students. The students design their own menu based around one key ingredient e.g. asparagus and mackerel for the starters. This restaurant is smaller maybe only 20 covers with one dinner service and focuses on an exceptional gastronomic experience for the guest. The students are encouraged to think outside the box when it comes to how the present the food, how to prepare, to use modern techniques and using molecular gastronomy. 

The first week of the rotation, the restaurant is closed, and we get examined on the basics of cooking. Filleting a fish, deboning and chicken (head and organs included), mastering basic stocks and sauces including mayonnaise and hollandaise. The students get graded from 0 -5 on these items. If there not done correct the chef has no problem telling you that they are shit.   

I’m very much looking forward to my remaining time here studying in France and many more experiences to come!!

A bientot,

Derek :)


Life in the Culloden Estate & Spa

So I’ve been living in the hotel for just over a month. At first I found it very strange to be living here, it took a while for me to settle in and think of it as “home” for the next couple of days. I was here on my own for a couple of days before Shannon arrived up so I took that time to get to know the area and the towns nearby. The staff here are so helpful, if you need advice or just want to know where a certain shop is, there’s always somebody on hand to point you in the right direction.
I’ve made some new friends here which is great, and there’s other staff members living on the same floor. Every night there’s someone to sit down with and have a chat after you finish work. We’re starting to become a close bunch and it’s even strange when one of us is gone home for a day or is away for whatever reason. We’ve traveled around a bit, getting to know the area, and of course we’ve sampled a few of the other restaurants near us. The chefs have been very helpful when we ask about places to eat locally.
The hotel under a blue sky

The kitchen is mainly populated by men, I thought because of this that I would find it a bit more difficult to settle in but it’s been the complete opposite. They have helped me to settle in extremely well. I feel like been here for longer because of the friendships I’ve made in work. Every kitchen shift here is full of laughter and jokes which makes the work load easier. Of course, its hard work here! After all it is a five-star hotel. Plate presentation is pretty free rein here, they like to see chefs express their creativeness through their food presentation. Everyday slates are written for the VIP’s staying in the hotel that night, it’s given me great practice with my chocolate writing which I really needed. My first slate was definitely the toughest.
My first slate attempt (they have improved)

I’m really enjoying the work here. At the minute I cover the sandwich area and afternoon tea for lunch service. During dinner I cover starters and sweets. I’m learning a lot from the chefs here, they’ve got so much experience! There hasn’t a day passed where I haven’t come out of the kitchen with a couple of tips or a good recipe. Lunch service can be a little hectic at times between lounge orders, orders from the spa and of course afternoon tea. Being well prepared for service is the only way for things to run smooth, there’s rarely time for any form of prep top of during service. The pace of dinner service is a little slower, people are coming for a fine dining experience and that is what is given. It also helps that you’re not trying to serve two or three different areas of the hotel.

After spending the past month here, I can honestly say that I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m excited to see what the coming months bring as the hotel gets busier leading into the summer months. There’s a lot more for me to learn during my time here! Stay tuned for updates on my time at The Culloden.

Bye for now
Áine B.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

                 Lyonnaise adventures...Institut Paul Bocuse and the beginning 


Insitut Paul Bocuse, Ecully, France. 
     Salut tout le monde! I am Hanna Mathe of WIT, Bachelor of Honours in Culinary Arts, and you might remember me from my rambles about my experiences in a Budapest Michelin starred restaurant. I am back again, this time having moved to the third biggest city in France, Lyon. As I am writing this just after the middle of February, I can happily say I have already been here for 6 weeks and boy has it been a ride! 

    If I may say a word of warning to anyone wanting to move to France, particularly Lyon(lets not even mention Paris) I would highly recommend looking for accommodation at least 3 months in advance. My search lasted roughly a month and a half and finished around the middle of December, a mere 2 weeks before my move. To say I was delighted when something turned up on Airbnb is an understatement! 

     Lyon as a city: The city itself is divided up into 9 districts, and is the capital city in France's Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region. The city is a reflection of most other architecturally rich European cities, with Vieux Lyon(the old town) being the highlight. It is a truly beautiful city with a fantastic ambiance and unbelievably great wine. 
Visiting Vieux Lyon.

     I myself am living in the 9th district, a rough 40 minutes bus ride from Institut Paul Bocuse . I am truly amazed by the incredible public transport networks here. Connections between the metro, subways and buses will get you anywhere in generally less then a half an hour within the city itself! 
Sirha Culinary expo- Lyon, France.


My first few weeks in Institut Paul Bocuse were a challenge for certain. I made the move to France with a fellow classmate, Derek McClelland. Unfortunately upon our arrival, Institut Paul Bocuse weren't certain about our skills within the kitchen and decided we should be placed with the first year classes. After several tries of talking with management and trying to fix the issue, we realised the only way was to prove our skills and positions within a kitchen. Having been here six weeks, I was moved up to join the third year group just over a week ago. :) 
The academic system in Institut Paul Bocuse is very different to that of ours in Ireland. 
Example of a dish at restaurant F&B- cod, garlic aioli. 

For the past four weeks I was part of the morning rotation in restaurant F&B of the Institut, which is essentially the staff/student canteen. Hours began at 6.30 am in the morning and would finish anywhere between 3.30-6 pm. The restaurant serves 350-450 people in the morning shift and 150-250 on the evening. The students are taught in a very regimented, rule-based system and there is an enormous amount of supervision from the chefs. The French system certainly didn't disappoint the stereotype! It was an immensely frustrating situation to overcome, but one which taught me patience and persistence. Similar to my previous experiences in Budapest, it is necessary to muster all my remaining strength some mornings just to get out of bed, and the motivation to start the day is often very hard to find. But French chefs truly appreciate presence, motivation and initiative within a kitchen! I continued to tell myself I had no choice but to work hard and be persistent if I was to advance. Eventually, the hard work paid off. 
Les Halles de Paul Bocuse food market. 

     The language: I have always studied French, from secondary to also having done a year of French in college. But after a month and a half I am proof that there is no better way to learn a language then to drop ourselves in the deep end! With major difficulties at the beginning first 3-4 weeks, I can now say I speak the language relatively well. French people speak VERY fast, and it is absolutely necessary to ask them to slow down, and listen carefully. Being in an environment where the majority of individuals dont speak English one has no choice but to adapt to the language themselves. 
Although I would highly recommend getting into French music and turning Netflix settings to French, being in the country and a little bit of motivation goes a long way when trying to learn! 

Vieux Lyon Fourviere- at the top of the city. <3

Top tips for moving to Lyon/France:
1) It is worth getting a TCL transport card as early as possible. It costs 31 euros with a student card,is valid for 30 days and usable on all forms of public transport within the city of Lyon. 
2) Having a French bank account makes things a lot easier in France. It is easy to create an account with Nickel bank (most popular French bank with tourists) in any tabac shops around lyon! 
3) If wanting to make any particular memberships while in France, a French phone number is also a plus. 
4) Time passes extremely fast, I cannot believe I am almost halfway through my semester. Savour every moment of food, wine, the city and use weekends to your maximum abilities! 

A bientot les amis, 
I shall be back next month! 

Love from Lyon, Hanna <3

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Hasta manana Slieve

Here it is, my final written piece from the Slieve Donard resort and spa. Firstly I would like to express how much I enjoyed my time there, yes it was hard work and long hours but the people at the Slieve are truly hidden gems and amazing people which made every day bearable and even enjoyable. I would just like to thank them all and even though I may not be able to name everyone (which they requested *cough* Kevin, Dylan, Nell ect.) I would just like them to know how fabulous they are and that I am grateful for their friendship over the last six months.

Enough of that now, we’ll get down to the nitty gritty of the Christmas season in the hospitality industry. This wasn’t my first year working for the Christmas season but it certainly stood out above the rest. November was quiet as it usually is only a handful of events even if one of those nearly destroyed the hotel but I wont get into that. Then came December where it almost instantly became so much busier as if people got a sniff of Christmas and all stampeded towards the hotel for the luxury of a 4* deluxe Christmas. The 25 days between the 1st and the 25th feels as if it was only a couple of days, it’s almost a blur. We had several work party’s and conferences leading up to Christmas week which kept us busy and on our toes. We had also started a new menu which was complex and modern but easy to execute. We had Santa buffets every Sunday for 100 plus guest, a special afternoon tea menu and to top it all off eight days of polar express which would see over 1000 visitors a day. Polar express was a magical experience where the ballroom was turned into Santa’s grotto with a train ride leading up to it. Polar express was a very busy time for all the staff at the Slieve as service now started at 4.30 instead of the usual 6.30. This also meant that we now had two menus going from the kitchen one early bird for polar and the new a la carte menu. The lighthouse also felt the added pressure from the new visitors being full to capacity for the majority of the day. This even as I write it now seems like a lot of work for our small team but hey one team one dream and we made it out alive still smiling.

Due to the fact that Christmas fell on a Tuesday this year we had an insane three days with our last Santa buffet, afternoon tea for 200 on Christmas eve, a special menu for Christmas eve and then the main event itself CHRISTMAS. Christmas day was a buffet styled carvery for 430 guest with over 30 types of starters and deserts. As you can imagine Christmas morning was….. well fun? After all the prep was complete and it was go time I was sent out on the carvery to smile and serve 100’s. We then had a break to feed ourselves and sit down before the chaos continued as we had a second deli styled buffet for 160 guests. We thankfully got to finish shortly after 8. The kitchen staff then sat down and had steak, chips and some beers for our very own Christmas dinner. This was my last night working in the Slieve thus making a lovely way to go. I couldn’t of asked for a better send off then sitting down with my favorite people around the red kitchen and having family dinner.

Now that that’s done I’m going to talk about some of my highlights from my time at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa. Firstly the most important one of all was being brought into Christy Moore’s sound check where I got to watch him preform with only his soundcheck in the room. I was moved to tears as I have always admired Christy’s music. He asked me at the end of his performance how it was and I could barely blurt out that it was great before I ran away to start service. I often worked on mains but mainly just plating and handling the garnishes but one night I was thrown on the meats. This honestly put the fear of god in me as the guests are paying a premium price and expect a premium (AKA they complained a lot). That night we served 48 guest and 34 of those choosing steak and not one was sent back which was the usual. Honestly this is one of my proudest moments as a chef. We also got to cook for a few famous names such as Van Morrison, Christy Moore and even Bertie Ahern. Climbing the Mourne mountains in skinny jeans, getting to spend time exploring Belfast and is nightlife. Lastly was just getting to make great friends and getting to stay in some of the amazing Hastings hotels around the north of 

That’s all from me and my Time at the Slieve now on to the next adventure to Humber college, Toronto where I’m going to freeze my balls off foe the next three months.  

Season’s greetings from the Slieve Donard


Happy Christmas everyone, sorry it's late I have just about caught up with myself a month later. All I’m saying is that it defiantly is one Christmas I will not forget. 
            After an uneventful November with very few functions or events, we were catapulted into a December of madness it started with a complete change of menu on December third after a jam-packed weekend of functions and buffets. The Christmas dining menu was slightly simplified and designed to be suitable for the influx of customers we were going to get in the coming month. 5 simple deserts with great flavours that were both classic and modern. It was great being the chef that was in charge of implementing the change over to the new menu. It was a tense busy day in the kitchen and a few technical challenges arose but in the end, the customer was happy and I learnt a lot in the process. Along with Santa Sunday buffets for 120+ every weekend, functions, afternoon teas and regular ALC service I don’t know how we didn’t burn out but we survived (just about)
            Every year the Slieve Donard plays host to the polar express a magical train ride to the north pole which brings on average 1100 people a day through the door for 8 days to meet Santa and his elves. It’s a magical experience for everyone on the right side of the pass. On the other side, unfortunately, It means double the work and half the time as service begins at 4:30 as opposed to the regular 6:30 and a completely different menu along with various other things such as gingerbread men for kids to decorate and shortbread for parents. To top it all off the other member of the pastry team had to call in sick for the first few days so it was really a matter of sink or swim and I think I just about managed to tread water for the few days. After polar express ended on the 21st it was straight into my last few days in the Slieve. But first, we had to celebrate with a wee trip to Quinn’s as a kitchen group while we were still all together. The next day we woke bright eyed and bushy tailed into the kitchen for a busy weekend of afternoon teas as per usual, a buffet for 130 people on the Sunday with an impending feeling of doom in regards to the 1000+ covers we were going to do in the following 3 days somewhere during the rush of that weekend we lost our executive chef Keelan who was destined to leave on Christmas day but decided to cut his stick before that . After the eventful weekend, it was straight into Christmas.
 Christmas begins in the Slieve Donard on Christmas Eve at 2pm after check-in the residents are treated to a self-service buffet style afternoon tea to fend off any peckishness before a scrumptious 3 course a La Carte dinner. Saoirse and I worked in pastry for this service which was fantastic. I hadn’t worked together with Saoirse in a section until that service as she usually covers me on days off. service was flawless but I will say no matter how smooth I never want to see another blueberry baked Alaska ever again. We had to stay back late that night due to a few beverages being had to celebrate such a successful service and to prepare some dressed salmons for the buffet on Christmas day.

The next day was the big day we were even up early enough to bump into the man himself. we were in at 6:30 to prepare for the 430 people coming for Christmas lunch. Dessert consisted of 36 various items ranging from traditional Christmas pudding to tropical mango and passionfruit delice to name just a few. It was all presented in its own room with a tricolour chocolate fountain and ice sculptures.
Once we had fed the 430 people it was straight back at it to prepare the light bites supper for the residents as if the lunch wouldn’t have rendered them paraplegic. It consisted predominately of leftovers from lunch rejigged and presented differently as well as some new additions.
 Then it was finally time for the kitchen to eat. The pastry kitchen was set for dinner with our brussel spout tree and steaks were cooked as we had all seen enough turkeys for one day. Of course, Christmas dinner isn’t the same without crackers and wine and in our case espresso martinis. We shortly called it a night and went home. In preparation for my last day at the Slieve Donard resort and spa. 

Stephens day or boxing day as they call it up north, was simple. Lunch was soup and sandwiches in the ballroom and then it was a full three-course service again for 175 people. My last service in the Slieve Donard. It was great to go out on such a buzz of service and fast passed work. I said my goodbyes and I swear I didn’t bawl crying. Ok, I did but working in the Slieve was one of the best work experiences I could have asked for I was trusted to run the pastry section and I had many great tutors in my time there. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the Slieve Donard for their wonderful hospitality and for giving me the opportunity to work in such a fabulous hotel with such a great group of people  I have truly made some great friends for life.
For the last time 
Robert J. Condren

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Venlo – Just the beginning!

Why I chose Fontys 
I’ve finally made it here to Fontys International Business School, Venlo, studying International Fresh Business Management. My main reason for choosing this specific course is to broaden my horizons. I want to keep my options open when it comes to working in the industry. I feel like veering off from the usual practical based course is the best way to explore the business side of the industry and allowing myself to learn as much as I can. I believe this course will help me develop a deeper insight into the industry from different aspects and will ultimately help me in choosing which exact path I may follow in the future.

Life in Venlo so far
Living in Venlo has been a great experience so far. I’ve made so many friends already and I am constantly meeting new people. Living in student accommodation (only 10 min walk to the college and above a supermarket!) with other students from all over the world has allowed me to learn about other cultures and meet some amazing people. Everyone here is extremely kind and friendly!
We’ve developed a large group of friends already and have gone on our first trip out of Venlo together to Rotterdam. Travelling around the Netherlands is pretty cheap and quick, group tickets can be purchased which gives you a substantial discount on transport and entry fees to certain places. In Rotterdam we visited some markets, well-known sites and took in some amazing scenery. The scenery and buildings not just in Rotterdam but in Venlo is beautiful and I can’t wait to explore more!

College life

Classes started on the 4th of February so for our first week we’ve just been attending introductory classes with briefs on what we’ll be studying this semester, group project set ups, exam info, etc. As we are attending a business school classes are quite different to what we would be used to but I’m excited for the semester ahead! Our classmates are friendly and very helpful when it comes to understanding how classes are run and how to get around the college. 

I’m very excited for what this semester will bring and look forward to updating you all!


Dutch Living

Third Year Part II – International Study in Fontys University Venlo, Limburg, Netherlands.

After a challenging work placement in France, I was both excited and apprehensive to begin the International Study part of Year 3. I chose to study International Fresh Business Management in Fontys University Venlo, located in the Netherlands. This sounded like a great option for me, as I wanted something more theory based rather than kitchen focused.
For this blog, I am going to go through the basics about moving to Venlo and a little bit about life since I’ve gotten here.

The Place

You may not have heard of Venlo before, and I hadn’t either before this opportunity arose. I didn’t quite know what to expect but I’m pleasantly surprised. Venlo is a city of 100,000+ people just 5 minutes away from the German border. It’s quite small and everything is within relative walking distance, but there’s lots of facilities and has a huge student population due to its 2 university campuses. To get to Venlo, we flew from Dublin to Eindhoven and got a train from there to the centre of Venlo. It was very straightforward and the whole travel journey was inexpensive.

The Accommodation

Because we are exchange students, we had the option to stay in student dorms offered by the college. I am staying in Carpe Diem dormitory, which is a 15 minute walk or 6 minute cycle to the Fontys campus. For €365/month I have my own room in an apartment shared with 3 others. There’s a shower room, bathroom and equipped kitchen to share in every apartment. Heating, wifi, and all other bills are included. It’s very reasonably priced and it’s a pretty modern and clean space. Carpe Diem is home to all international students so it’s a very social place to live which is a great opportunity to meet new friends. The cost of living in the Netherlands is cheap, with food and drink being very affordable.

The College

Though I won’t fully expand on college experience until a future blog, so far it has been a positive experience. The campus is modern and not too big. The introduction day for exchange students saw us being brought to play bowling and laser tag which was a nice touch. Everyone has been very helpful and supportive.  The modules offered are unlike anything we have ever studied in WIT, so this will be a great opportunity to have a unique edge on our knowledge.

The Social Scene

13 nationalities!

One thing worth mentioning is the ‘Buddy Programme’ offered through our university. Every exchange student is assigned a Buddy, who is an experienced student who helps you find your way in Venlo. This has proved to be of great importance for the 4 of us who moved here together. Two of our buddies have been nothing but wonderful, and we formed a huge group of friends instantly. It’s amazing to meet so many people from such varied cultures. There’s never an opportunity to be bored here as we always have something arranged, be it a movie night, day trip, dinner date or endless parties to go to. Never a dull moment!

Day Trip to Rotterdam

So, that brings me to the end of my first Dutch blog. It’s been a great experience so far, and I look forward to properly getting into the actual study aspect too!

Tot de volgende keer,