Tag Archives: Netherlands

Greetings From The Hague

I spent one semester on The Hague University of Applied Sciences studying The European Studies. I really enjoyed my time at THUAS and I’m really glad I got a chance to go regardless of Covid.

One of the beautiful canals in The Hague

I lived in a student housing with three flatmates all around the world. For me it was a really good choice to get a shared apartment and my flatmates were really nice. I learned a lot about different cultures by living with other international people. Also, the location of our apartment was perfect for students, since it was a five-minute walk away from the campus. I found my accommodation in The Hague trough a student housing company called Duwo. There is a shortage of apartments in The Netherlands, but I didn´t have any problems with finding an accommodation since I started to look for a flat well in advance.

The Peace Palace

The Peace Palace

I think the teaching methods and studying at THUAS didn´t differ much from TAMK. The biggest difference for me was that the semester here lasts until the end of January, so it is a bit longer than in Finland. Because of Covid, we had a lot of online teaching, but I also had some classes at the campus. However, the Covid situation worsened and in the end of December the campus closed and a lot of other restrictions were launched. At first I felt a little upset but afterall, I’m happy that I got to live even few months ”normal” life in The Netherlands. I also travelled outside the Netherlands a couple of times, which was really nice and travelling in the Europe is so easy by train or bus.

With my friends we also explored the country a lot, and there are so much beautiful cities in The Netherlands. We used to take a train to another city and spend a day there walking around and doing sightseeing. I rented a bike from a local company called Swapfiets, which is a company that rents bikes for students for an affordable monthly fee. There are more bikes than inhabitants in The Netherlands and I would strongly recommend getting a bike for everyone who is going to study there. Biking around is a wonderful way to spend a day with friends and get to know the city more.

Sunset at the Scheveningen beach

I think that The Hague is a really nice city to go to do the exchange, there is an active and vivid student life, and the beach is a lovely place to hang out with friends.

Groetjes uit Holland! 

Groetjes uit Holland! 

I am sending you warm, or better said rainy & windy (yes it does rain a lot and it is windy ALL THE TIME) greetings from The Hague. Having said that the next thing to note about the Dutch is their resistance to this weather – 5 degrees, rain and wind? About time to head to the beach or explore close by cities (all of course by bike!). One of the best things in the Netherlands is that everything is close: a trip to Rotterdam takes you 20 min, to Amsterdam 30 or to Utrecht only 40 minutes!

 

 

 

Second best thing? Definitely the food and all the cafes, restaurants…! The Dutch deep fry everything so when there you definitely have to try their bitterballen. But also, for people equipped with a sweet tooth the Netherlands have a lot to offer: my favourite is stroopwaffels. The smell of these freshly baked syrup waffles, sold in the streets, will draw your attention from miles away! Bonus about the Netherlands for our fellow Fins: the Dutch are equally crazy about liquorice. (I will leave this uncommented)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that we know about free time and food, time to talk about serious business: the studies. I study international business at the Hague University of Applied Sciences. In comparison to Finland, I’d say that studies here are more demanding and are quite time-consuming. Despite this, I honestly enjoy studying here, especially as it has been a while since I have been on campus plus teachers are super nice! When talking about my school it is important to note how much they do for their students and exchange students: they provide us with goodie bags, organize many trips to museums, host movie evenings, take us ice skating or plan city trails and most of this for free!

 

 

 

The Dutch in general are very open and welcoming people. I, similar to many other exchange students, have joined a hockey club and can only recommend you to the same as this is an easy way to make new friends abroad (the notorious hockey parties are a plus of course xd)!

 

 

 

 

 

Tot kijk!

 

Greetings from The Hague

Last spring/summer I was an exchange student at The Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. The whole semester was different than anyone could have expected. Mostly because of the coronavirus. The semester started normally, and everything went well at first. However, after about a month, the coronavirus began to spread in Europe and at the same time began to affect the Netherlands. Shortly after this, our school and almost all companies closed their doors. Fortunately, no total lockdown came at any point, so we were allowed to move freely outside. Most of the exchange students went back to their home countries. I decided to stay in The Hague myself and did not return to Finland until the end of the summer.

 

The decision to stay in the Netherlands for the whole time was great. I got to see and experience a lot despite the hard times. Towards the end, the restrictions eased, and we were able to travel a little again. I got to visit Germany, France, and Belgium during my exchange and we also traveled a lot within the Netherlands. Our school stayed online until the end, but it was organized well, and I didn’t have any problems with it.

 

As a whole, my exchange was an awesome experience that I will surely remember for the rest of my life. I gained a lot of new experiences and made new friends, so I can totally recommend exchange studies for everyone and if you are thinking of going to the Netherlands, then I can recommend The Hague. The city has a bit of everything, a big and beautiful beach, as well as lots of shops and canals. It’s also easy to travel around from there, Amsterdam is about 40 minutes and Rotterdam is about 20 minutes away.

Greetings from virtual Hague!

A virtual cooking class with my classmates during “taste week”.

Since Covid-19 got all actual exchanges cancelled, I enrolled on a virtual one with The Hague University of Applied Sciences. It is quite fitting since my actual exchange would have also took part in The Netherlands. So all though I don’t get to physically be there, I get a virtual snippet of the Dutch culture and lots of interaction with the people of Hague.

My study module is called Artful Business Creations, and oh boy, artful it is. For 10 weeks we have two full school days a week with a different theme like “touch” or “taste and smell”. We have all kinds of interesting classes and exercises diving deeper to these topic, exploring the senses, and relating art and business. I wonder what it would be like in person, but through Teams it has also been surprisingly engaging and lots of fun.

Each ABC team also has their own grand project with an actual client. My team consists of myself and three Dutch students; Anastasia, Simone and Thomas, and we have had great times together, and with our client Dr. Martens. So far, I have really enjoyed Dutch people and their humor. It has been a pleasant experience working together and exchanging creative ideas. Compared to Finland I have really enjoyed the cheerful and engaging style of studying, and the dynamic yet relaxed way of working. Of course the artful course style in itself plays a big factor. This module has allowed me to to try lots of new things like meditation, reflective journaling, online dance classes and song writing.

A meeting with my team mid lunch.

The interesting thing about a virtual exchange seems to be that it takes even more creativity and planning, which is actually a good challenge. Everyone is in the comfort of their own home, but the real purpose of ABC is to get out of our comfort zones. Unfortunately one cannot spend their spare time exploring the target country, but on the bright side managing errands, relationships and other studies can be continued normally. If you aren’t able to physically go to student exchange, I definitely recommend considering a virtual one. Maybe one day I too get to go to The lovely Netherlands and see my classmates in face to face…

Zegenwensen!

BR, Jenni

Covid-19 in Utrecht, The Netherlands

I had a chance to spend four months in Utrecht, a city in the Netherlands. The Netherlands presented itself as a land of great cheese and bicycles. During my spare time, I rented a bicycle and went to explore everyday life in Utrecht.

When COVID-19 took over Europe, Netherlands closed its schools quite quickly. After schools were closed and everything went online, I started to spend a lot of time with the exchange students who I shared an apartment. We made dinners together, watch movies, talk about a lot of stuff, so I had opportunities to learn how to make Greek or Czech food.

Groetjes uit Utrecht!

Living and studying in the Netherlands was quite the experience for me. It wasn’t the “best time of my life” as most people say after their exchange but I did live a lot, make great memories and stories and I would do it again any day. Here’s a few tips you might find useful if you consider Utrecht as your exchange destination.

Studying in Utrecht can be different to Finland depending on the university you study at. I studied Music Marketing & Management at the HU University of Applied Sciences and I had school 2-3 times per week for a few hours and the whole study program was incredibly easy. For anyone wanting to study music business, the program in HU is a fair choice but I reckon there are better schools and programs out there. I was personally disappointed in the program. If you want to make the most of your exchange and don’t want to focus too much on school, HU is the place. It’s stupid how well you can do with minimum effort. For the folks who actually want to study and learn, Utrecht University is your jam.

Utrecht Science Park

Netherlands is a great destination country if you want to travel around Europe, as many countries are just a train ride or a short flight away. Trains are relatively expensive but you can find cheap flight tickets if you take advantage of different student deals that are available. I focused mainly on enjoying the student life in Utrecht and exploring the different cities within the country but did visit a few countries during the Autumn.

Windmill in the outskirts of Utrecht

One major thing to take into consideration is accommodation. To put it simply: housing in Utrecht is terrible. If you want student housing, you need to book and pay for it the minute it is possible, even if you don’t know if you got accepted into the school. The rooms will go very quickly and if you’re not able to get one, the school can’t do anything for you. I didn’t get student housing and ended up living 6 months in the upstairs of a very sketchy driving school, which later on turned out to be illegal. So don’t be like me, be early! The rents in Utrecht are high and most flats have mildew but that’s just the way it is here. Ain’t no changing that.

 

Greetings from the Netherlands!

I did spend my exchange in Breda, which is a small city in the southern part of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Brabant.  I studied at  Avans University of Applied Sciences and joined the minor in Environmental Geography. The first period of my studies was quite intense, but then I got used to it.

In my free time, I travelled a lot around the Netherlands and travelled to Germany. During my stay, I also made friends and spend time with them, we went together to events and explored the city of Breda.

The church in the centre of Breda

Life in the Netherlands is quite like life in Finland, the prices of groceries and housing are almost the same. One big difference is the bicycle traffic and the number of bikes – it is crazy! But it is the easiest and fastest way to travel around the city.

Breda, the capital of North Brabant

I spent 6 months on my favorate city in Netherlands, in Breda. my trip started over a year ago and it ended just before the covid-19 pandemic reached Europe in february. I really fell in love to Breda. The architecture, the landscapes and the people. I Traveled to Breda 2 weks before my school started there and had plenty of time to get to know the place and the people there. And during that period it was +30 degrees everyday which was a bit different from Finland in september.

The city of Breda has about the same amunt of people living there as Tampere, but the area of the city is way smaller and the city is almost 1000 years old already so it has some really beautiful old buildings there. The gate abowe is a picture of the entrance to the prison of the city.

Finding a place to live as a foreign exchange student was really a handfull but after searching for about 6 weeks i managed to move into a small house with a yard (shown above). The downside of the flat was that i needed to share it with the owner who was a local musician in the respectful age of 75. So no parties in the house or any excess noise whatsoever. Thankfully the city centre wasn’t that far away so i could enjoy the student parties and the many pubs of the city.

I studied Biotechnology as a minor in Avans university and it involved a lot of different projects from cultivating Hela Cancer cells to studying beer DNA and isolating specific genes from the Yeast strains involved with beer making to study the effects of fermentation to the fravour of beer. It was a really interesting time in my live.

Groetjes uit Nederland

My exchange period is almost over and I think now is good time to tell you something about my studies and the Netherlands. My studies here have been quite intensive and I was well prepared for that. I am studying in The Hague University of Applied Sciences and I participated in course called ‘Smart Manufacturing and Robotics’. The basic idea of this course is to design automation systems for companies, and I would totally recommend this course for somebody who is studying automation or mechanics and is ready to study from 9am to 5pm every day. The course may be a little bit different than what we are used to in Finland and in TAMK. There is more freedom but also a lot of self-studying and hard work. I have really liked this course but because of corona it wasn’t quite same experience what it would be normally.

But for those people who want to have more free time I would say that choose another course. Because free time in the Netherlands goes really quickly. The thing what I liked the most in the Netherlands is the possibility to travel another countries really quickly and easily. Even despite of the Covid-19 I managed to make one week trip to Frankfurt, Zürich and Luxembourg. If you want to stay inside of the borders you will still have plenty to do. The Netherlands is a beautiful country, especially in the springtime. If you want to see beautiful landscapes you should go to watch tulip fields and for those who are more into sports go to watch football, hockey and F1. There is also many museums and historical places.

 

Living in the Netherlands is quite similar to Finland but there is one thing what you must have and that’s a bike. The bike is the king of the transportation although the public transport works also well. Price of the food is quite similar as in Finland and grocery store selections are good. But there is one product which is much cheaper than in Finland and that’s alcohol. For a poor student who likes to taste different beer brands I would say that go to the Netherlands.

 

Dodgin ‘Rona in Rotterdam

What’s happening, peeps? I hope you’re doing well!

Man oh man if this spring has not been the weirdest, right? 2020 is doing a great job at being a pissy POS that just ruins the fun for everybody. Like seriously, start off with Australia looking like the end of Apocalypse Now, follow up with a global pandemic like it’s nothing, whip up a couple of earthquakes and other natural disasters, and finish it off with a little spice with the whole Kobe incident. Right now the USA is on fire because of the horribly sad and gut-wrenching case of George Floyd, and I’m just here, being 23, and for the first time in my life feeling so overwhelmed by all of this that I feel like like I am, in fact, stuck on a space rock zooming through the universe a million miles an hour without being in any control over of whatever the F will happen next to me, and to all of us.  So here’s to that – ain’t life just the darndest sometimes? But for real, if there is a god I hope they realize to hit the breaks soon enough.

Anyway, we’ve been dodging ‘Rona in Rotterdam for a few months now and I have to say it ain’t half that bad! I’ve had a decent time! I spend most of my days either studying my courses in the international logistics management program I’m involved in, or working out. Seriously, my days are a random combination of trying to be active, studying, eating and being social. But let’s talk about the studies, shall we?

The level of education I get here is intense. Like I have to admit, I was not quite expecting this, even if I had my expectations high. I had heard prior to applying that in the Netherlands you get to actually study and I heard it’s going to be tough and time-consuming. I just thought it can’t be that bad and that it’s probably worth it. And yes it is, both of those things.

The quality of teaching in Hogeschool Rotterdam is crazy good. I feel like I’ve learned the most when I’ve been here. The teachers are very professional and know their fields throughout, and they all seem to have an understanding of pedagogy as well, because their lectures, materials and methods are very effective. Before coming here, I think I wouldn’t have called myself even a SCM familiar, but I have to say that after studying here, the idea of being a specialist in Supply Chain Management seems quite close actually. These people know what they’re doing, especially when it comes to logistics and SCM.

Other than that I mean, I still got a month or so to go and returning to Finland is acute again and uhh…. yeah, I should graduate by the end of the year as well. I got my thesis topic down and I get to start working on that which is nice. So the courses I have here are my final actual studies before graduating and thus closing this chapter of my life. And I am glad that I get to say with pure honesty that I’m happy I chose Rotterdam. I feel confident starting my thesis and taking the next steps on my career. I know I got this in the bag, and I have to say it’s mostly because of my time here. Wish me luck tho!

But that’s about it. I’m sorry don’t have any pictures for you, so here’s one of me and one of my POV while writing this thing:

Be happy!
– Kalle Lahtinen