Author: Amanda Cook
Program: Honours Bachelor of Commerce – International Business Management
Study Abroad Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
My time in the Netherlands has been flying by. Even though my departure date keeps creeping up, I have been trying not to think about it because I’m just not ready to leave (haha). This exchange has introduced me to so many wonderful cultures and people, and I have learned so much from them.
Since I am living in a flat with people from all over the world we decided that it would be nice to have family dinners where each person picks a day and cooks dinner from their own country. Thus, we have had Canadian thanksgiving, Turkish, Finnish, and Spanish dinners, as well as hosted game nights with all of our roommates. It is very interesting to be able to taste the different ways countries cook and to see what they eat on a normal day.
I recently had the opportunity to go to Brussels, Belgium for the day and explore the city and its Christmas markets. They happened to have a whole Quebec area at their Christmas market, and I was able to show some of my friends authentic poutine which they have never even heard about before. The city was absolutely beautiful and it was filled with some of the friendliest people that I have ever met.
I am very lucky to be here in Europe for the Christmas season as each little city has its own Christmas market which is all very different and beautiful. Although there is no snow here, the markets help you get into the Christmas spirit!
Even though my town of Utrecht is fairly small and unknown when people think of the Netherlands, there is a lot of things to do here. Utrecht hosts smaller bands from all over the world, fun festivals, markets and events regularly. I had the opportunity to go check out a small Australian band which was amazing as well as the weekend market where you can go to get almost anything you can think of such as, clothes, food, bike accessories, and more!
Although my time is coming to an end here in the Netherlands I am very grateful for the experience and for all of the people I have met and I cannot wait to come back and visit!