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.