Goedendag! Exchange period in Rotterdam

Weekend in Den Bosch

Hello!

I spent my weekend in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, also known as Den Bosch. It is a city in province of Brabant, near German border in southern Netherlands.I can not tell you much about the history and popular sites in the city but I can say that the atmosphere and surroundings are pretty far from Rotterdam. I was invited there by my friends Bob and Dirk, who I was honoured to meet in Chelyabinsk, Russia while doing my internship.

I am in a lucky situation because some of my Russian friends from last summer happened to come and study in Netherlands also! Nastya and Seva arrived last friday, so on Saturday we met.

Our Dutch friends had planned some surprise program for the day. First we went to the waterpark, which was quite awesome since I haven’t been in such place for many years. We had lots of fun messing in the water slides and somehow we managed to survive from the park without any major injuries! Video proof can be found below.

waterpark

After the water park we paid a visit to Dirk’s home where his mom cooked us dinner. I am very thankful for the hospitality and the manner we were taken care of on the visit! After the dinner we headed for another unknown location.

After the car ride we found ourselves in Eindhoven, where we went for PSV Eindhoven football match! One of my goals for the whole journey was to get to watch as much top football as possible so I was very pleased with this event. The game against Utrecht didn’t definitely turn out as a classic but it was still fun to watch. Eventually PSV won the game 1-0 after a struggle. They controlled the game from start to end but the ball didn’t seem to find its way to the net. After the match we went to party in the city and the atmosphere after the victory could easily be seen on the streets and bars.

PSV

At night we returned back to Den Bosch. Today, after a nutritious breakfast (sausage rolls and bread) I found my way back to Rotterdam. The weekend was definitely nice, It was really great to spend time with friends after a few months and also to get away from the pile of work I have waiting on my desk!

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Back in Business

Hola!

So the spring holiday is long gone now and school re-started this week with great intensity.

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Weekend in Barcelona was a good getaway from the everyday life. Holiday consisted of roaming through the popular places around the city, some cheap market wine and little bit of nightlife also. I can’t say that the holiday was relaxing for one bit but it was definitely worth it! It was nice to get back to Rotterdam just to rest for two days before another school week.

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So the school started and the demanding study environment is starting to show, since we had to redo the first phase in one of our projects for the 3rd quarter. Hopefully this will be the one and only put down for us because there is more than enough to do to meet the weekly deadlines. At least now it seems that the school work can be quite devastating sometimes but personally I like this challenging style with lot of group assignments and I believe that it will get better soon when I get more familiar with the Dutch school system. The workload is definitely doable and as long as you do things properly you will also have plenty of free time.

I also joined the local Erasmus Sport organisation, which offers sports activities for students. For 150€/6 months they offer great facilities near my home with newly renovated gym and lots of sports halls. Inside the organisation there are several sports clubs to choose from for which you have to pay additional entrance fee. The price is still very reasonable for the value you get.

Yesterday I went to check out EUR-Roadrunners, who have weekly trainings and competitions and not to forget, some social events such as weekly drinks and monthly dinner events so going doesn’t get too serious. Even tho plain running is not my thing, the atmosphere in the training was great and I’m  considering joining them for the semester. I still have to check at least football practises which operate on the same kind of basis with trainings and competitions. The sports offer a great balance for the challenging schoolwork but I also don’t want to “waste” the whole semester with these two things, I have to save time for other recreational stuff :p

Today there will be a welcoming party for new tenants of the house so I am really looking for meeting the other people and hopefully make some new friends! It will be also nice to utilize the fancy common room and open terrace on the 6th floor 🙂

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First week down

So last week was our first in school. For me personally those were the first classes in whole year since our Fall semester ended already in December. It’s a bit strange that also today our one week Spring holiday started. This certainly messes up my daily schedules but on the other hand it gives time for adaptation.

About the first week: I’ve heard before that there is going to be lots of projects done here and it’s true: we don’t have too many contact lessons during a week and almost all the work is done in groups of 3-5. We had a pretty rough start with no extra time for adjustment and we already did some early stages for our final report. The reports and projects we do here seem very thorough and demand a lot of effort, but I think that this is a very effective way of learning.

Below there is our schedule for the 3rd quarter. As you can see there is not many contact lessons, and some of those classes only include project meetings with tutor teacher. This means that the we have to figure most of the stuff out by ourselves and arrange and do the actual schoolwork on our own time. I think the system is very interesting and will definitely prepare us for work life.

Weekly schedule

Weekly schedule (click to enlarge)

So as I mentioned, this week is holiday. We noticed that most of the people are going somewhere and there is not going to be too much action during the week. That’s why I decided to contribute the start of the week for maybe a little physical exercise and schoolwork and then on thursday morning off to Barcelona for the rest of the week! The flights and accommodation was kinda cheap so I guess in the end there wasn’t many reasons why not to go. This holiday came for me as a little surprise since I haven’t really looked in to the study calendar in the Netherlands, so maybe for the future I should look at the calendar and plan a little better to utilize my exchange period as good as I can.

 

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Starting up the exchange period

Dear diary.. hmm.. I have never written about my thoughts and doings in this kind of form but I wanted to challenge myself this way and maybe get some more from my period abroad. So in a way I’m doing this for myself but I hope there is something for you also!

My name is Juho and i’m 23 year old logistics student born and raised in a small town called Sysmä. As you probably figured out from the location of the blog, I study in Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences on 3rd year, in the logistics engineering programme. For this semester I decided to apply for exchange and ended up in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Now almost everything is finally settled and the school is starting on Monday so at this point it is good to look back at how I eventually got here:

The exchange applications were made about a year ago and I had few interesting options to choose from. Originally Czech Republic was my favourite alternative and Slovenia seemed interesting also. After all maybe the quality of the education and good exchange reviews made me to apply to Rotterdam as the first choice.

The whole application process was pretty easy and in Rotterdam the course options were not a problem since the school offers 30 ects point programmes for the whole semester. The only problem with the application process came about a week before the departure when we were told that they don’t offer the courses as we were originally recommended and we had to fill the Learning agreement all over again. Some forms we had to fill were a little confusing but they are really not a problem as long as you follow the instructions well enough.

Also things with accommodation and transportation were quite simple. Local student housing offers nice furnished dormitory apartments with reasonable price and getting here as well as getting around is easy. The public transportation system is really good but bicycle is on top of my shopping list as it is probably the fastest way to move around the city.

As for the future, the city seems very interesting and there is lots to do. Also our courses look quite interesting and challenging but I will tell you more later.

PS. below there is a picture from my balcony. I’ll try to get some more pics around the city soon.

View from the apartment

View from the apartment


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