Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Venlo – an update
Travels so far..
We’ve almost hit the halfway mark of our time here in Venlo and Erasmus life so far has exceeded all expectations. I have travelled to so many more places since my last blog post and plan more travels in the near future! We experienced Carnival which is a festival celebrated in some parts of the Netherlands and Germany. From our experience, Carnival is celebrated by dressing up in crazy costumes, throwing confetti all over the city, listening to various Dutch artists and copious amounts of alcohol. The whole town of Venlo was basically shut down and stages were erected all over the city centre (about 5 in total) blaring Dutch covers and songs for a week! Tradition here is to dress up for every day of Carnival you celebrate. The effort all the locals put into their costumes was crazy, all elements down to their face paint was amazing. Of course we joined in the festivities for a couple days before we headed on our next adventure.

Locals celebrating Carnival
Life in here in the Netherlands and being so central allows us to travel to many different countries and cities at a generally low cost (if you do it right). The main advantage we have here is having such a large group of like-minded friends who are always up for an adventure. The more people that you can get to join you when travelling can be a major euro saver e.g. splitting costs for things such as discount group tickets for transport, accommodation and food. Being an international student here at Fontys and staying in the student accommodation allows you to meet so many people which will make finding buddies to go travelling with easy.
Some places I have been able to see include Utrecht, Den Hague, Amsterdam (all three in one day), Milan and Brussels. All the places we visited (except for Brussels) were planned by our group of friends. Our journey to Brussels was set up by the Fontys International programme with transport only costing 5 euro and having the freedom to explore the city solo for 7 ½ hours.
I find travelling and exploring new places a major stress reliever so having the opportunity to do these things and have them so easily available to me is a huge benefit.
Snaps from some travels

College life..
Fontys on a Sunday
So obviously work has to be done during our time here! Fontys is a pretty modern campus, seating areas are placed all over the campus allowing for ample study/work space for students, all fitted with plug sockets ( which we are all very impressed by 😉  ). There is just one canteen on campus which does not accept cash or our visa debit cards which isn’t necessarily a bad thing (another euro saver), coffee machines located all over the buildings and vending machines.
Now that we are in our 7th week into studying we’ve settled into our subjects and beginning to have some halfway tests to allow us to see where our knowledge is on each module so far. Majority of our subjects do these tests which I find very helpful, it gives me a clear indication where I need to put more work in and which modules I have a good understanding in.
Since we started our studies in semester 2 we have come across some difficulties. Some modules rely heavily on ones done in the previous semester so coming in at the second half of the year feels like I am constantly having to catch up with the other students. But after vocalizing our worries with lecturers they easily adjust in a way that helps us understand the module but also allows us to learn more about this side of the industry

More updates to come.
Until next time,

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