This semester I am completing a Global Exchange at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. After just over six weeks in the Netherlands, I’m pleased to say I have not fallen off my bicycle, not even during orientation week when it snowed, and I have now learnt a total of three words in Dutch – hallo, dank je vel and ja.
Academic life in Tilburg is pretty similar to UTS but there are a few main differences. Unlike UTS, Tilburg University has a self-contained campus. I would love to say this meant I didn’t get lost in my first few weeks but that would be a lie. I also have far fewer contact hours in Tilburg. In fact, I only have classes one day a week. As such, we are expected to do lots of self-directed study but I have found the reading load less demanding than at UTS.
My classes are primarily lecture based and are lead by a collection of lecturers from all over the world. This emphasis on the international may be a reflection of the law electives I have chosen but Tilburg is also a surprisingly multicultural campus with a large contingent of international students. Some of these students, like me, are only here for six months while others are here for longer periods of time. I love the way in-class discussions are broadened by other students’ experiences of different legal systems.
With only one day of university a week, I am left with lots of time for travel. Tilburg is perfectly placed to explore the rest of the Netherlands and Europe. The Dutch affectionately refer to Tilburg as the one of the ugliest cities in the Netherlands but luckily it is surrounded by some of the most beautiful towns, in my opinion, in the world. I was able to see lots of these towns when I participated in the Holland City Race, an event organised by Tilburg’s international student organisation, I*ESN Tilburg. This event required teams to travel to as many towns and cities in the Netherlands as possible in one day, taking pictures at particular monuments. My particular favourites were Delft and Leiden. While my team was not even close to winning this race, I loved seeing more of the Netherlands and I cannot wait to keep exploring.
Bachelor of Communication
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au