My studies are going extremely well here in the canal-filled city of Utrecht. I study international business back at TAMK, and during my exchange here at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences or Hogeschool Utrecht, I am studying a minor in Sports Management.
I do not live in Utrecht myself as the housing situation here is extremely bad and it is simply cheaper to live a ~30min train ride away from the larger cities. Trains however are expensive for foreign students, while Dutch students travel for free. If I’m not going to my university during the day, I typically spend my days in the gym, working on assignments or going out and hanging out with friends. Going to a local football match, or travelling to other cities or countries!
The study programme and methods are very similar to Finland, there really isn’t any big difference or something that I had to adapt to. Courses are focused on teamwork, projects and having an end report as a deliverable or holding a presentation at the end of a course, there are no exams in the courses that I am taking. Studying time is very loose here, we have classes only on Mondays and Fridays for 2-6 hours and from mid-October to the start of November we had no classes at all due to the term changing and us not having any exams. This leaves most if not all of the work for our deliverables to be done outside of class hours. The school system itself is not too different from what we have back in Finland but the amount of contact classes is definitely less but the workload is around the same. The campus where I study is very modern and a pleasant place to study!
All the free time of course has led to me having more time to enjoy the city of Utrecht and travelling to neighbouring cities and countries, hanging out with friends and having fun! At the start of the exchange, the weather was amazing here and I enjoyed spending most of my days outside but the weather changed drastically in October and it has been raining non-stop since then. After the change in weather, I decided to visit cultural locations like museums and other architectural locations like old churches as I really enjoy the more ‘grand’ medieval architecture.
I have enjoyed my stay here thoroughly and I will definitely be visiting the Netherlands again soon to see my friends find new experiences to discover!