How to Survive Exchange in Rotterdam

Dear Exchange Students,

Welcome to Rotterdam, commonly referred to as “the New York of Nederland”! Although your time here in Rotterdam is only just beginning, time will begin to fly by. Therefore, it’s important you see as much of Rotterdam and the Netherlands as possible, in ways friendly to exchange students.

Perhaps the first step you can take is learning how to speak Dutch. This can be done through a variety of companies, including CoBuild and the Language Institute. Knowing how to speak Dutch can allow you to participate in more events in the Netherlands, and get a better feel for the local culture. There are, however, many ways to experience Rotterdam without speaking Dutch.

First off, some practical matters. Find a local supermarket closest to your house. It will be one of the following: Albert Heijn, Lydl, Aldi, Jumbo, Spar, or Coop. Keep in mind, many (grocery) stores close early or close completely on Sundays. Additionally, locate the nearest emergency medical service center to your house. Lastly, make sure you purchase a bike. Bikes can be found for relatively cheap, and since Rotterdam is mostly completely flat, a fancy bike won’t be necessary. You can check out multiple Facebook groups, specifically Commodity Market Rotterdam, where many second-hand things can be bought.

There are numerous things you should do in Rotterdam in your time here. Take a picture of or from the Erasmusbrug at night. Visit the unique architecture, such as the Cube Houses at Blaak or Rotterdam Central Station, a spectacle in itself. Go to Booijmans van Beuningen museum, which has a variety of artworks of various artists, guaranteed to satisfy any artistic preferences. Snap a photo from the top of the Euromast, providing a breathtaking view over the bustling city of Rotterdam. Food shop at the world-renowned Markthal, and on Tuesdays and Saturdays, at the huge outdoor food market with low prices for high quality foods. If the opportunity ever presents itself, attend a Feyenoord football game in their home stadium, De Kuip. It is guaranteed to leave you with high energy, great memories, and a clear feeling for the heart and spirit of the proud locals of Rotterdam.

Once you’ve seen Rotterdam, it’s appealing to venture outside of the city. There is a lot to see in all of the Netherlands, and since the country is small, many things can be seen in a few day trips. Keep watch for any train ticket special prices from NS to save a little money on the day trips. Den Haag is close to Rotterdam. When it gets warmer, you can visit Scheveningen beach. Den Haag is the political hub of the Netherlands; there you can find embassies and historic buildings. Amsterdam, of course, is another favorite to visit; just watch out for bikers and pick-pocketers!

Most importantly, try to meet as many people as possible! A large part of the exchange experience is meeting people you typically wouldn’t. This includes locals, other exchange students, and other international students studying full-time in the Netherlands. To do this, you can join numerous student associations, particularly ISR.

The more things you participate in and see, the more you will get out of your exchange. And don’t wait, because, before you know it, it might be time to leave!

We wish you a wonderful time here in Rotterdam. If you have any questions about Rotterdam, information can be found in our Student Guide here on our website. Good luck!

Image Obtained From: Gingerbread Marketing

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Hi, Danique again! Wishing you a happy new year and the best of luck with your studies, experiences, and adventures in 2017! 

image from: fxgallery.com

 

 

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