I did my 5 months study exchange semester in Rotterdam and i can’t believe how fast the time has flown. One might feel that 5 months is a bit too much for an exchange but i would certainly stay longer if i could.
My time in this beautiful city has been absolutely fantastic and by the end of my semester i totally felt at home in Rotterdam. This city is definitely very unique comparing to the rest of the Netherlands: in Rotterdam you won’t see much of the Dutch traditional building style; instead you’ll witness some of the most unique architecture styles in the world as the Rotterdam redefined itself as one of the most daring urban designed cities. The city was completely flattened during WWII, so it was almost entirely rebuilt.
The only part of Rotterdam that survived after WWII
Rotterdam is very dynamic and offers loads of fun things to do starting from art exhibitions to electro raves and many interesting food places. Since Rotterdam is the most multicultural city of the Netherlands it has many food options, such as typical Dutch, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese and Indonesian eatery. The famous Witte de Withstraat will keep you entertained all week long as it has quite a number of art galleries, small international food places, bars and great atmosphere. Any day of the week you will find something fun to do, which does not involve drinking.
I lived only 20 minutes by walk from the centre and by bike the distance could be easily travelled in 10 minutes. I was very lucky to enjoy the amazing view from the terrace in my dorm.
Regarding the school, I attended supply chain minor programme at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. The minor was 30 credits (slightly more than required by TAMK) and eventually it was a lot of work. Even though i was eager to deepen my knowledge (and eventually i did), i would definitely drop out some courses if i knew how much workload it contains. So, if you are looking for an easy-going relaxed studying i would not recommend taking minor programmes in the Netherlands (or it is better to be careful in general with all programmes as all universities are rather demanding and the number of credits for each course is rather small). Getting a pass is not as easy as it is in TAMK, so you would have to actually sweat to get it. My school was only 3 times a week but still i felt like i don’t have much free time. Besides that, i have learned a lot and visited many companies within the minor scope, the thing that i lacked in our degree programme in Finland.
Apart from being busy with school projects, i travelled quite a lot within the Netherlands and abroad. Due to the city’s developed transport network and favourable location, travelling has never been that easy! It takes only a couple of hours by bus to get to another country. During my stay I visited Brussels, Antwerp, Madrid and many cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam. Maastricht, Delft, Breda, Dordrecht, the Hague, Utrecht etc).
The price level is pretty much the same as in Finland, except alcohol. Surprisingly, some groceries were a bit more expensive than in Finland, but the variety compensates that.
The weather has not been that shitty as everyone says it is in the Netherlands. I was lucky enough to enjoy hot weather for the whole September and even go to the amazing beach in the Hague. Also, its winter is relatively warm so i did not even need to carry huge jackets.
The town that particularly impressed me was Delft, a small version of Amsterdam.
In general, my exerience has been absolutely great and i would definitely recommend visiting this amazing city.