Author: Amanda Cook
Program: Honours Bachelor of Commerce – International Business Management
Study Abroad Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
After enrolling at Seneca, I immediately knew that I wanted to go on an exchange. At first, I wasn’t sure on where, but after attending a few presentations and checking where was compatible for my program, I chose Utrecht, Netherlands! The Dutch culture and people are just so welcoming and friendly, thus you never feel like an outsider. Besides that, almost everyone here can speak English (which is nice when you’re lost haha).
Since I previously did an exchange in high school, I kind of knew what to expect. However, at this time, it was in a completely different country, and I instead of living with a host family, I am living with both Dutch and other international students!
I chose to live in a big apartment style complex. I share the flat with 11 other international students. In our building there are 8 different flats for international students and about 16-20 flats for Dutch students. Therefore, when you do the math there are a lot of young people living all together, so there’s always something going on and people to hang out with.
My flat mates come from a variety of countries such as, Finland, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Vietnam, England and France. It makes for a very cool environment to hangout in and to learn about our different cultures. I share a very big room with another girl, but some rooms are singles. We all share a kitchen and living room as well as two bathrooms.
As for meals since we are cooking for ourselves, I haven’t had too much of a culture shock, but I definitely love the stroopwafels and the bitterballen (which are fried balls with creamy beef like filling). I have also found that food and drinks are extremely cheap compared to Canada, which is very nice!
I am starting Dutch language classes on top of going to school and I love every minute of being here!
Hope you enjoy my first blog post and stay tuned for the next ones!