It’s already May when writing this.
The exchange was worth it. A unique chance to get to know a new culture, new people, try your wings in a different country, to have an adventure on your own, to learn new languages.
I’m still reading scandinavian/german words in dutch way, agenda turning into “ahenda” (pardon my Brabantse accent), fruit into “fräyt”, Van Dijk is “van Däijk”. And, “Ik vil een kopje koffie met säyker, zonder melk hebben, alstublift!” No, that isn’t spelled properly. XD Anyway, the dutch language is fun, sounds weird, but gives a nice challenge with pronunciations. 😀 Dat is heel leuk en lekker!
The exchange leveled the independence up a level or two for a person who’s always been in close contact to their family. Encouraging the experience to those who want to try their wings with a jump to unfamiliar. 😀
I got friends and contacts world wide. I met people I want to meet again in future. People I’m still in contact with.
I learned to appreciate some things in the Finnish bureaucracy and “ease of studying” in new light. I have huge respect with the dutch students with their insane workload and expectations to work on the side to pay the studies.
I loved the whole experience, but advice people not to take the 31 credits to study for in the Netherlands if you want to travel. The only places I managed to travel were Amsterdam for one day and Antwerp for another (family wanted to have me home for the autumn and Christmas breaks), though had a chance to squeeze a martial arts camp in Zeeland for one weekend. 😀 Other students took the opportunity to attend group travels across the Europe, some of them organized by the ESN-network.
It turned out that the accommodation I had was relatively cheap compared to public market. And in super good condition! So be fast with it!!!!!
During the exchange I met people who chose to move to Netherlands to study the branch/profession of their dreams. It made me wonder what is my dream and what have I done to achieve it. The exchange gave me the courage to check the Game-dev-hand to the end and to take the missing game-dev -courses once back home.
But. Once back home, I basically flopped into general “I don’t want to do a thing” -mentality for a month, kind of exhausted after the intense study-pace. This “return-shock” is a personal experience, mine was a counter-reaction for giving the best I had to offer for the studies, which did pay off. 😀 Would suggest to consider yourself and how you manage workflows and changes of scenery. I guess that the return to the familiar/home settings kind of releases the tension of being in a place you know isn’t permanent for you. It’s a peculiar feeling.
BTW. If you’re planning to study in Breda or Tilburg, concider taking your flights to Finland to and from Brussles. It’s closer than Amsterdam Schiphol. 😀 And the train is a bit cheaper. 😀 The pros of EU! Though I really liked Schiphol as an airport, it was a very clear one! 😀
Also, if you ARE using Schiphol, take the earlier train, and if using the Intercity through Rotterdam, be prepared to delays. I had cancellations and delays with both to and from journeys between Schiphol and Breda. When it happened the first time I was luckily early at the station to pick another connection through Den Haag. On the second time I had to use the Belgian/Dutch train. On the third time I don’t really remember what route I took, because I just wanted to get to the apartment and sleep. XD But that was just me, and another finn (they missed their flight because their train was late). Be warned, with plenty of salt. At least it was a very educative experience to sort out just what to do, and to manage stress. XD
That’s it. I’ll keep writing chapters when finding the inspiration to do so. I love helping the future generations, to give them the information I would have liked to have available when preparing form my own travel. 😀 Hopefully these posts are useful. 😀
See ya around!