â€“ Hardik Gala, Corporate events officer, Indian -Â
â€œIâ€™m from India and Iâ€™ve lived there my whole life before coming here. RSM was one of the top ranked universities and that is one of the main reasons I came. My course also has over 60 nationalities and that was the international exposure that I looked for. This really speaks to me as I like having different perspectives and by interacting with people from different cultures you get a new understanding of things. The university played a big role when it comes to international exposure, but when it comes to quality relations, ISR helped a lot. I got to know people at a more personal level, and have stronger bonds with them. They are the people I can now trust and share memories with. I think that if you want to find people that you can confide in and have crazy times with, ISR is a really good place for that, and people should definitely join it.
In addition to the big family feel in ISR, I joined because I wanted to do something that included a corporate aspect. I also didnâ€™t want to just focus on Erasmus University, I wanted to expand my horizons and luckily, ISR focuses on other universities as well. When it comes to working I get to learn a lot as being in corporate events I get to deal with companies, and have the opportunity to organize a career event and conduct multiple workshops.
After you graduate you would probably work or have your own business. Either way youâ€™re going to have to deal with people. Social exposure therefore is important along with academics. We have social events almost every alternate week to cover that aspect. However, you canâ€™t just party all the time, you need skills which you can learn from workshops. For example we recently conducted a networking workshop and the participants who attended learnt how to be effective at networking or career events, as well as make better impressions and gain a head start compared to others. Currently were organising ISR career days on the 18th and 19th of April as well as a couple of workshops so look out for that!
With both of these aspects covered, ISR can set you up both socially and career-wise.Â Thatâ€™s why I joined ISR and thatâ€™s why you should too!â€
After the exam period, I felt like I needed a change of scenery, a break before starting the next block of classes, and that’s how I found myself in Brussels a couple weeks ago! The Belgian capital is just a hop away from Rotterdam, making it a perfect destination for a day trip. I paidÂ â‚¬25, hoped on a train, and in slightly more than one hour I reached my destination .
If you happen to be planning a day trip to Brussels, here are some tips on how to spend your day!
Places to visit in Brussels
The Belgian capital is a fairly compact city, you can get to see the main touristic sites fairly quickly and should have enough time to stuff yourself with waffles, chocolate, and beer! Brussels has a fantastic metro system, but if you are just visiting for a day, you definitely wonâ€™t need it as the city is very easy to see on foot
The Grande Place
First, head to the Grande Place, it’s the centre of Brussels and a place to start your day off. The square is home to the City Hall and gothic-styled King’s house (as well as many chocolate shops, yum!).Â By day or by night, the buildings covered in gold gilt are absolutely beautiful and you can see why tourists flock to explore and take pictures. Grab a beer and just enjoy the scenery.
Often voted as one of the most disappointing tourist attractions in the world, The Manneken PisÂ is a 61cm high statue ofâ€¦a little boy pissing. “Is that it?” is a sentence you’ll often hear from the multitude of tourist around there. Still, the many waffle shops in the neighboring streets make it worth it to go see the iconic statue.
Cathedral of St. Michael
The beautiful gothic Cathedral is the national church of Belgium and it is here that royal weddings and funerals take place. Though dating from the 12th century, the church was only granted cathedral status in 1962.You can visit inside for free.
Royal Palace of Brussels
Even though it is named “palace”, this gorgeous building is not actually used as aÂ royal residence. In fact, the royal family of Belgian lives in the Royal Palace of Laeken on the outskirts of Brussels. Still, it’s worth going inside before heading to the beautiful Brussels Park for a stroll next door.
This is a shopping arcade in the centre of Brussels, not too far from the Grande Place. Split into two major sections, each more than 100m in length, it is the home to a multitude of small shops selling everything – chocolate, designer clothing, jewellery, and many more. If not for shopping, just go there for the scenery, it’s gorgeous!
Food and Drinks
After a whole day of walking, you deserve to enjoy the local food and drinks without restriction (or almost?). Forget the calories and indulge yourself for a day!
Waffles:Â One cannot come to Brussels without at least one waffle. You can choose to add a multitude of ingredients like fruits, Nutella, caramel and so on, or simply eat it nature.
Mussel & Fries:Â a classic Belgian dish that you will find everywhere around the city. Don’t miss it, but try to avoid eating in touristic streets as the price can be excessively high!
Chocolate:Â Belgium is known for itâ€™s Chocolatiers and you just cannot leave Brussels without sampling some of its chocolate and buying some to bring back home! Pierre Marcolini & Godiva are the best in terms of quality in my opinion.
Beers: Belgium is a paradise for beer lovers, and you simply cannot leave Brussels without sampling a few (many?) decent beers. For that, head to the Delirium near the Grande Place – it offers more than 3000 sorts of beers and you’re sure to find one to your tastes!
â€œWe are all different and we should celebrate that.â€
â€“ Tudor Stefan Cristea, 22, Romanian, Vice-President of ISR –
â€œDuring my first two years in the Netherlands, I was still adapting, getting to know the place and the people. It is only since last year (my third year here) that I really felt at home. Now, I feel better here than in Romania, my home country – I have more friends and memories here, and Â Rotterdam is a city I personally chose. I have to admit I didnâ€™t have many struggles as an international student in the Netherlands, it is a very internationally-friendly country and even though there was a culture clash, it didnâ€™t bother me that much.
The culture clash taught me a lot. I come from a homogeneous country. Here, in the Netherlands, it is very international and I meet a lot of people with different values, who have different perspectives on the same subject. You can see this in every aspect of life – different ways of speaking, thinking, and so on. I think that it is also the purpose of ISR – appeal to that common aspect, no matter the language or the place where they come from. We are all different and we should celebrate that.
An advice I have for international students is to get out and explore the city. At the beginning when you arrive and until you go out more, you feel like the city is huge and you might have the feeling that you are isolated. As you get to know the city, it gets familiar and it feels better. Of course you should do that with friends, and donâ€™t hesitate to ask for help if needed!â€
â€œThereâ€™s no way you are going to perform well in your studies, if your personal life isnâ€™t in order.â€
â€“ Tunmise Odediron, 31, Half Nigerian, Half Malaysian, President of ISR
“I was born in Nigeria but Iâ€™ve grown up in India, Rwanda, China, the US, the Netherlands, and I also did an internship in Belgium for 3 months. I have to admit I didnâ€™t have many of the struggles that I saw my peers having when it came to being an international student as I went to boarding school when I was 10 to 12 years old, so I learnt how to be independent at a very young age. I didnâ€™t have to deal with all these issue of missing home and adapting to new places, and I was also able to figure out practical stuff in my life much easier.
However, some of my friends that I started university with back in 2008, are still studying right now and I really believe thatâ€™s because they had a bad start in their studies. Thereâ€™s no way you are going to perform well in your studies, if your personal life isnâ€™t in order.Â For example, one of my friends lived in Rijswijk, but studied in TU Delft and in the first months, he would do all his groceries in Delft because he didnâ€™t know where to go in Rijswijk. Things like this and information that a lot of Dutch students take for granted, is something ISR really tries to help internationals with, which is one of the reasons why I joined. I see ISR as a way to help international students but also as a way to meet new people and be part of a family.
A lot of times, internationals think the problem with integration is because of Dutch people, but I think the problem comes from both sides. Internationals have to make their own steps to meet Dutch people half way. One big advice I give to every international, is to take Dutch courses because learning the language really helps with meeting people and becoming part of the society.Â I actually joined a student association in 2012 and we had some Dutch board members, and only after that point, I really felt like there was a curtain lifted on my student life. All of a sudden, I was finding out about more parties and more events to go to and I was meeting a lot more Dutch people. I think me joining that association was a turning point and Iâ€™m still good friends with those guys even still today! I think internationals should realize the importance of joining an association like ISR or the one I joined.“
Studying abroad is an amazing adventure – you get to meet new people and make new friends, discover a new culture, see new places, and gain new experiences. If youâ€™re setting off to study abroad in the near future, youâ€™re probably feeling very excited. But if youâ€™re leaving behind your girlfriend/boyfriend, then it might be a bit daunting, as we all know long distance relationships are renowned for being tough. But fear not, thereâ€™s no reason why they canâ€™t work, and we thought weâ€™d give you some tips on how to keep the romance as strong as ever
1. Be trustful and trustworthy
Trust is pretty important whether youâ€™re in a long distance relationship or not, but if youâ€™re apart for 6 months or more, it is even more essential. The key is to be honest with each other and not hide anything. Try to avoid miscommunicating with each other and be careful not to become jealous because of something (probably innocent) that you saw on social media. Both of you are highly unlikely to run off with someone new if the commitment is there in your relationship.
2. Romantic gestures
It might not be possible for you to physically be there to take your loved one on a romantic date, but you can still do little things to show how much they mean to you and that you are not forgetting them. Send small gifts to your partner every now and then to let them know how important they are, despite the distance. A letter, a small bracelet, something you noticed strolling around the markets, some pictures of your new life – any small gift would make your better half feel really happy.
Even if you have decided to spend year studying abroad, it doesnâ€™t mean that you canâ€™t see your partner one this entire time. There are planes, trains and many other ways that can let you meet whenever you want. Try to go home or ask them to visit you. You can also meet halfway, or travel together.
4. Communicate and share your activities
Technology has come a long way these days, and if youâ€™re both able to, itâ€™s definitely good to catch up with each other via video calls on Skype. Update each other on what youâ€™ve been up to, and listen as your partner shares any gossip from back home. You can also find creative ways to feel connected, for instance this couple created an Instagram project called Half&Half that juxtaposes photos from their everyday lives â€” to images of themselves to architecture to food to cars Check it here:
Even though your relationship is important, you decided to study abroad for 6 months so you might as well make the best out of it. It will be one of the best experiences of your life, and that way youâ€™ll have more interesting stories to look forward to telling your loved one the next time you speak.
As you have probably come to realize, The Netherlands is a country that cannot make up its mind when it comes to the weather. The day could begin with the sun shining and a light breeze that makes your morning ride to uni pleasant and bearable. Then next thing you know, the sky has turned grey and the tiny rain droplets, you though would quickly pass, have turned into a light rainfall and then a full-on rainstorm. Though itâ€™s unpredictability is annoying to say the least, weâ€™ve just got to accept this country the way that it is and not let it discourage us. We must fight the rain and the only way to do so is to constantly be prepared!
Here are 5 tips to survive rainy Holland:Â
1. Always have an umbrella in your bag
As simple as it sounds, many of us often forget to bring our trusty umbrellas. In case you got tricked by the clear skies or you forgot to wear a rain jacket one day, a foldable umbrella in your bag will be a life saver. By always having an umbrella you will always prepared for the unpredictable weather! If you do happen to have a rain jacket because you started doubting the weather after being tricked multiple times, congrats, you are 5 steps ahead of most us. However, rain jacket + umbrella = extra protection, so itâ€™s not a loss!
2. Learn to bike with an umbrellaÂ
Continuing with the umbrella tip, biking with an umbrella in one hand whilst steering your bike with the other, is the ultimate Dutch skill everyone needs to learn asap. It is a skill so valuable, it should probably be on your CV! If you have ever wondered how the Dutch look so dry and composed as they climb the stairs of Polak, whilst your drenched from head to toe, this is probably how they do it.
If the thought of biking in the pouring rain makes you want to cry, using the 9292 app will instantly brighten your mood! 9292 is a public transportation app which gives information of what form of transportation to take and at what time. By using it you can check which public transports you can use to get where you need to be. Making sure your bike is securely locked in a safe place, you can happily walk to the nearest tram/metro/ bus stop and avoid being soaked by the rain. If you do take public transport on the regular, using the 9292 app to check if the weather conditions have affected the tram times, will be a major time saver and it will help you from unnecessarily waiting in the rainy cold.
4. Use the rain as motivation to get things done
Instead of having to YouTube â€œrainy moodâ€™, use the live sound of rain pouring as background noise / music to help you focus on the assignments or reading youâ€™ve been leaving to the last minute ;).
5. Hot bath & comfort food
Lastly, if you tried it all and still managed to arrive home soaking wet, it is okay, just accept your fate. Get rid of all your wet clothes, slip into something warm and comfy and binge eat comfort food as a way to forget the traumatizing experience that is biking in Dutch rainstorms. If you need help deciding what to eat, why not read our last blog post on 5 Dutch foods to try!
Here were 5 tips to survive rainy Holland. Got suggestions? Leave them down below!
Iâ€™ve always loved travelling; itâ€™s an escape from my everyday life, and there is sightseeing, meeting new people and pub-crawls. But the best part of it all is definitively the food! Discovering flavours and dishes youâ€™ve never tried before is always exciting, and it tells you so much about a countryâ€™s culture. I have been in the Netherlands for almost one month now, and spent most of my free-time hunting down local food. Hereâ€™s what Iâ€™ve tried so far and my impressions of Dutch food:
Cheese is a big business in the Netherlands, and the most ubiquitous of all the Dutch cheeses is Gouda. You can find it everywhere â€“ from the farmersâ€™ markets, to local grocery stores – and its flavour and texture can vary greatly depending on the aging process. So far, the Old Amsterdam brand is my favourite â€“ as tasty as Swiss cheese (yes, I am from Switzerland)!
This is one of my favourites. Two thin waffles stuck together with a generous layer of hot caramel, they are just so good. Youâ€™ll find these sweet treats almost everywhere, but the huge ones street market vendors sell are to die for.
I have to admit, I really wasnâ€™t looking forward to trying raw herring, and my Dutch friends had a hard time convincing me to give it a try. It was during my trip to Amsterdam that I finally braced myself and ordered some â€œbroodje haringâ€, which is basically raw herring served in a small sandwich with pickles and onions. To be honest, I didnâ€™t manage to take more than a couple bites, but wellâ€¦it was worth giving it a try.
These are little fluffy cloudy pancakes served in restaurants, pancake houses, and street markets all over the Netherlands. They are traditionally served with unsalted butter and powdered sugar, but youâ€™ll also find many other toppings. Simply delicious.
Dutch people seem to love drop â€“ the Dutch version of liquorice. In fact the country boasts the highest per-capita consumption of the sweet in the whole world. When I first tried drops, I was surprise as they are much saltier than normal liquorice. Not a favourite of mine, but Iâ€™ve never been good with liquorice to begin with.
That was the five Dutch foods I got to try since I arrived in Rotterdam. I hope youâ€™ll enjoy them as much as I did! What should I eat next? Leave me some suggestions in the comments!
Heya, itâ€™s An and Iâ€™ll be one of the new bloggers for the next year! I hope you enjoyed this blog and will stick around for more to come. Cheers!
Checking my usually neglected mailbox, on top of a bunch of spam mail, sat a flyer stating that ISR was recruiting new members! Within two seconds of reading the flyer, I was urged into applying and knew without a doubt that I wanted to be part of the ISR community.
5 months later, my journey with ISR is about to begin, so here I am to hopefully spark an urge in you that might make you want to join ISR as a manager in a committee, a family member or simply come to one of our events!
Here are 5 reasons to join ISR:
#1 | The great family vibe
As soon as I entered the room in which an ISR get together was taking place, I felt like I belonged! The old members were so welcoming of the new members, I already felt like I was a part of the family even though it was my first time meeting everyone. If you ever feel a family shaped hole missing from your heart, ISR will definitely be the one to fill it!
#2| Social drinks + ISR events
Apart from meeting new friendly faces at social drinks with the help of beers or wine to sooth your nerves after a long day; ISR also has academic events such as I-BET where employers and international students get to network, as well as leisure activities including beer pong tournaments and more! With ISR you get the best of both worlds: work and play.
#3| Meeting people from all over Rotterdam
Unlike other student organizations, ISR enables you to meet people from various places in Rotterdam instead of just people from your university. This is so great as the possibility of meeting unique likeminded international and non-international students is endless.
ISR strives to welcome and accommodate all international students in a multitude of ways! With our student guide, you will never feel lost or foreign in Rotterdam as we prepare you for all that you could encounter. With an ISR membership there are student deals and discounts with Housing Anywhere, the Study Store and more. ISR also provides you with internship and job opportunities. If that doesnâ€™t sound great, I donâ€™t know what does!
#5| The ISR committee experience
Lastly, for those looking for extracurricular activities or would like to be a part of the daily runningâ€™s of an international student association; why not join an ISR committee!? Apart from an amazing experience including all four of the previously mentioned points, ISR also allows you to practice your skills and interests and experience a professional working experience all whilst having fun and gaining lifelong friends and colleagues! The ISR website has all the information you need if that interests you 😉
Here were 5 out of many reasons to join ISR! Are you a member of ISR? What were the 5 key reasons you joined? Let us know down below!
Hey, itâ€™s Anaelle and Iâ€™ll be one of the new bloggers for the next year! Hope you enjoyed this post and you stick around for more to come! 🙂
University is just as stressful as trying to bike in the Netherlands in the rain while looking out for bikes, trams, metro, trains, people, and just about everything else (living and dead). Am I the only one who stresses about that?
Looking back, there are always things you wish someone else would have told you.Today, I would like to bring your attention to a few (whoâ€™s counting?) things my friends and I wish we knew when we were freshman in Rotterdam.
1. Everyone will be your best friend during freshman week.
2. Bring medication. You will need it for the first few months.
3. It takes time to adjust. Moving to a new country on a â€œclean slateâ€ with no friends paints a dark picture. Just know that things get better with time (and a few drinks).
4. It is easy to fall behind in the first few months. With all the dancing, drinking, and hungover mornings, itâ€™s quite easy to lapse and be slapped in the face with midterms around the corner.
5. Hydrate. Water tends to be forgotten amongst all those beer, wine, and vodka bottles.
6. Friends will come and go. It is totally normally to jump between different friend circles until you find the right one. No hard feelings.
7. Go to the first lecture for each subject. This will give you a clearer picture of the upcoming 3-4 months and help you decide whether it is worth it to come to class or not.
8. Even if classes are not mandatory, push yourself to attend as many (of the useful ones, at least) as you can. You would be so surprised how easy it is to skip out on lectures according to your â€œprioritiesâ€.
9. For further emphasis, PRIORITIZE.
10. Do not buy books (before the first class). Trust me, you will regret buying them in the first place and wish you used that money on something else. I can bet you on that! Also, summaries exist (e.g. SlimStuderen and Reken Maar Verslagen).
11. Call your parents. Definition of parent: one that begets or brings forth offspring. Youâ€™re welcome.
12. It is okay to drift away from your high school friends. You might as well filter out the ones who gave up on your friendship just because of distance apart, letâ€™s be practical.
13. No, you donâ€™t HAVE to go to every party. There will always be more nights to go out but not enough nights to chill, study, and have â€œme timeâ€.
14. Ask questions. Whether itâ€™s in a class of 500 students or a meeting with a professor, ask questions. More than 60% (yes, I just made up that percentage) of the time, there will be others who were also wondering about that concept.
15. Befriend at least 1 person who actually reads the course manual. In other words, befriend a German. Youâ€™ll thank me later.
16. Get involved, but donâ€™t overdo it. You and I both know it is good for your CV. Also, itâ€™s better to be fully invested in something than stretching yourself out over several activities or organizations, only to give 20% to each.
17. Experiment with your study habits. Try a study group, study buddy, different location, using music, using incentives, and making notes. Who knows, you may have a new winning study habit.
18. Keep notifications on at all times (except summer, of course) for your class Facebook group. I know itâ€™s annoying to get a lot of notifications. However, you might miss out on a question someone has asked or important announcements.
19. Do not leave your references for last minute. Most times your university has a reference guide they require you to follow. Unfortunately, the online generators just donâ€™t cut it.Â [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]
20. Do not underestimate that word count. I guarantee you will spend more time trying to cut down words than the time you will spend waiting in line at any freshman party.
21. Randomly assigned group projects may be the cause of a few grey hairs.
22. Your first year DOES count. Make sure you know the passing guidelines as well as you know your own name.
23. Avoid becoming heavily dependent on campus and takeout meals. Yes, exam time is stressful and you may not â€œhave timeâ€. Eating out is not only bad for your health most times, but your wallet is also crying.
24. Go to the market. You would be surprised how much you can get for â‚¬1.
25. Invest in a personal ov-chipkaart. This helps you save money by subscribing to NS travelling plans. Google has all the answers.
26. Make sure everyone walks with their ID when buying alcohol.
27. Make time to waste time. Youâ€™re going to procrastinate anyways, so why not include it in your schedule to be on top of things?
28. Invest in a Netflix plan with your friends. Some days just call for binge-watching. Actually, I take that back, because we donâ€™t need occasions to binge-watch anything.
29. Take advantage of supermarket specials and student deals. It is these little joys in life that make student life bearable.
30. Walk. Trust me when I say that you learn a lot more about a city on foot than you will when you bike, metro, or tram.
31. Sleeping > Partying after you pull an all-nighter. Depends how you argue it, though.
32. Group pressure is a thing. You better toughen up.
33. Always drink or go out with a friend, never alone. Two is always better than one. Two mojitos.
34. There is always someone smarter and dumber than you in the room. Iâ€™m a realist, what can I say?
35. Figure out how to use a basic washing machine. Donâ€™t let those clothes pile up, because do you know how hard it is to function in the Netherlands without socks?
36. It is okay to wear sweatpants to class. But it depends, really.
37. Bring a bottle of alcohol (OR TWO) to your last exam. Itâ€™s 5 oâ€™ clock somewhere, right?
38. It is possible to get absolutely trashed by only drinking wine. I promise I have two friends who can vouch for this.
39. It is perfectly acceptable to reach a new low of living off of â‚¬1 instant noodles. I recommend Indo Mie.
40. Get to know people first before asking them to be your next housemate. Even if you canâ€™t possibly find out everything about the person, do not rush this. See how they react in different scenarios and think whether you can really stand to be around them for longer than 12 hours!
41. You have the power to study for finals, watch a YouTube video, cry, and eat at the same time. Do not undersell yourself, come on.
42. Most of all, you are all in the same boat. You are not the only one panicking and winging life.
Yashita here! This will be my last post for ISR and I hope you will be able to relate to some of these experiences. Thank you for stopping by this blog over the past year and good luck first years!
[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Ah, itâ€™s that time of the year again. You can taste the sweet sensation of summer vacation, but still have a few weeks of suffering through exams and deadlines before youâ€™re free. We at ISR are also all students, so we understand the struggle, and have decided to collect a few study tips and share them with you to make this period more bearable!
Tip #1: Visit the New Library
Polak was a temporary study building to be used while the original Erasmus University Library was under construction. All of the work has now been completed, and the new library is better than ever. Goodbye, study space shortage! One half of the library is dedicated to silent studying, and the other half non-silent. Please be aware of where youâ€™re sitting and respectful to other students.
Tip #2: Teach Others About the Subject
If you can teach someone a concept, it is a clear sign that you yourself have a thorough understanding of the subject. This demonstrates a complete grasp of the underlying concepts and the reasons why things are the way they are.
Tip #3: Use Food as an Incentive
Imagine this: itâ€™s the day before your exam, youâ€™ve got another half textbook to get through, and youâ€™re as good as falling out of your seat from exhaustion. Try motivating yourself with a rewarding snack (like a gummy bear, a chip, etc.) at the end of a chapter, or after every ten pages or so. Youâ€™ll have something to look forward to, and the snacking will keep you awake. Win-win situation!
Tip #4: Chew Gum While Studying
Studies have shown that chewing gum while studying or taking an exam improve focus and results because the chewing movement keeps your brain active. It has also been shown that, if you study while chewing gum of a particular flavor, and if you chew that same flavor during the exam of that subject, then you will likely perform better. For example, you study math with peppermint-flavored gum, and take the mathematics exam while chewing peppermint-flavored gum. Give it a try!
Sometimes, a lecture is just too early, and you decide to skip. It happens. The best way to catch up with any complex calculation processes or concepts is to watch videos explaining them. There are abundant websites offering educational videos, such as Youtube and KhanAcademy, that are nearly as good as a lecture. So if you find yourself not really understanding how to get from one step to another, look up a video!
Tip #5: Music Keeps You Going
Some people prefer music while studying, others prefer silence. Others prefer background noise, like the noise from an airplane cabin or rain falling (my personal favorite). Some even study best when theyâ€™re listening to the Top 40 pop music playlist. Although studies have shown that listening to classical music helps the brain absorb information better, it is entirely up to you. Eventually, you may get sick of your playlist, and might be looking for another source of study music. Here are some of the best playlists weâ€™ve heard about (all YouTube, so accessible to everyone) :
We sincerely hope these tips will help you improve your studying techniques and maybe result in some higher grades. ISR wishes you the best of luck in the rest of your studies this year, and if youâ€™re almost done, a wonderful summer vacation!