Friday, 14 February 2020

Settling in to college life in The Netherlands!

Clara here now reporting from the Netherlands living here and attending Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Venlo. So far I have been really enjoying it over here and have attended more parties than lectures! I moved over here with two other girls, Kate and Yasmine and I think this definitely made it easier to settle in at the beginning however there are a huge number of exchange students here so there is no shortage of people to make friends with and socialise with if you were to come on your own. all exchange students are placed in the same three apartment blocks and lots of events are organised within the first few days giving everyone a chance to get to know each other.

Mexican party night!
The accommodation is excellent and only a 10-minute walk from the college and into the city of Venlo, which is a very nice and friendly town, easy to get around and has everything you could need.

As there is so many exchange students here everyone is constantly looking for things to do together and want to learn about all the different cultures so being Irish, we introduced everyone to Gaelic football, a big success! Some of the Mexicans also cooked us traditional Mexican food and showed us Latina dancing.

Mexican party food!
So far, I’ve really liked the college itself, its very new, modern and has a very relaxed easy-going atmosphere even our timetable is quite light, and the lectures are very chilled. We have only had a few lectures, but I have enjoyed them all and enjoyed learning
something completely different and new to me. However, I am now in sixth semester and we have been placed in second semester here partly due to the fact that we are chefs who are doing quite a practical course and don’t have a huge amount of knowledge regarding business. I can definitely see the positives and negatives of this, we are a lot more mature than are class mates and have a lot more experience when it comes to balancing college, study and socialising which I think will stand to us when it comes to exams.

Kate at the food market
Living in the Netherlands already has many perks, after only having college for two weeks we already have a week off for a big festival they call Carnival which they take very seriously, this gives us the opportunity to travel a bit. The Netherlands is very central making it easy to travel quite cheaply on the trains. We have planned a trip to Amsterdam and then onto Dusseldorf and Cologne for our week off with some friends which I could never have done at home In Ireland. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next few months bring!


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