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exchange blogWith every passing day, Rotterdam is feeling more and more like the undiscovered little sibling of Amsterdam, full of creative energy, events, pop-ups and initiatives but totally void of all the touristy things cluttering central Amsterdam. Completely flattened by bombings in World War II, Rotterdam has been entirely rebuilt in an array of colourful, eccentric architectural styles and is now both a truly contemporary European city and still the largest port of Europe. Around half the population being non-dutch, the city is largely multi-cultural and there is a strong sense of mutual respect for all the nationalities and traditions in play here. I love the vibe of living here.

I’ve been living here for 3 months while studying Architecture on exchange for one semester at the BK City faculty of TU Delft which is just shy of a 12km bike ride from Rotterdam. Both the architecture faculty and the city of Rotterdam are boiling pots for both architecture and creativity in general, plus daily commute by either bike or bus along the canal everyday makes for a very worthy journey to what is, in my opinion, the best equipped architecture faculty imaginable. I like to think of it a little like the Hogwarts of Architecture Schools, in the quaint but progressive small city of Delft is this HUGE renovated building where a generous portion of the budget was spent on designer chairs. Every service lit with neon signage, the faculty has its own; epic model hall, printing services, bookstore and model shop, architecture library, PUB, bike parking, cafeteria, model making specialists and thats not to mention all the public lectures and highly acclaimed members of staff. Once you spend some time here it is easy to understand how TU Delft was recently voted fourth best architecture school IN THE WORLD, it is really a melting pot for those ambitious budding architects.

As everyone knows, exchange is definitely not all about studious ambition and the Australian student in Europe would be crazy not to take advantage of their temporary existence in the most highly connected continent in the world. Since arriving in Holland via Paris for one week in February, I have spent time in Berlin, London, Amsterdam and have made plans for summer to travel Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Serbia, England, Italy and Scandinavia. In Rotterdam, the past 4 days have been the “hottest weekend across the whole of europe” and the dutch really don’t think twice about relaxing when the sun emerges. I have been relaxing with friends and Barbecuing with beers in the KRALINGSE BOS with what felt like the entire city of Rotterdam; families, friends, kids all swimming, cooking, eating, dancing and seeing the festivities late after sunset with some sticking around to camp the night.

Today is the last day of sunshine before classes resume, so I must sign off and head for the coast for a swim, for anyone considering heading this way to learn more about the dutch creative culture and TU Delft – DO IT;

eleanor peres _ 11238108

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