My name is Emily, and I’m attending Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in The Netherlands. I’ve been here for almost a month now and have been having an amazing time.
The transition from home to living in Rotterdam proved quite easy thanks to wonderful introductory program the RSM organized for all the international exchange students. At RSM there are students from over 80 countries all studying under the same roof. The opportunity to interact with them has been the highlight of my experiences so far. We all participated in a two day introductory program that was designed to get us to know each other quickly. We spent almost a whole day in an acrobatic workshop (yes, acrobatic) and then spent the night in a youth hostel located in a nature reserve outside of Rotterdam. We truly did get to know each other well and now have a great network of support. There is always somewhere to go and someone to go with!
I’m taking a course called a “minor” which is basically one class worth several credits. The course composition is fairly similar to classes at Foster. My minor has two classes a week that are two hours and 45 minutes long. We have a few small assignments, reading, a major paper and an exam. While this is considered a full course load I’m finding that the amount of work is very manageable and I have plenty of time to travel. There are very few student associations and extracurricular activities outside of sports. If I could change one thing here, it would be to have more student associations. I’ve discovered that as students at Foster we are very privileged to have so many opportunities outside of the classroom.
Life outside of the classroom has been just as pleasant. I love travelling all over town by bicycle. There are streets and traffic signals dedicated to bicycles, and it is so flat here cycling several kilometers isn’t a big deal. If you love night life Rotterdam is definitely the place to be! There are many places to go dancing and no matter what the day you can always find someone who is ready to dance the night away. Clubs are open here much later. Typical clubs are open until around 5 AM. While clubs may stay open all night long I’ve found that every other business has much shorter hours. Stores tend to open 11 AM and close around 6 or 7 PM. It took some getting used to but now I plan my midnight snacks in advance.
The Netherlands is a wonderful place to be, not only for Holland itself, but also for its proximity to many other European destinations. A few hours train ride will get you to Germany, Belgium, and France (to name just a few). So far I’ve visited a few cities in Holland; Amsterdam, Den Haag, and Delft. In the next three weeks I’m going to Germany and France!