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Erasmus Experience in Amsterdam, Netherlands by Ella

Published by flag-ie Ella Bailey — 5 years ago

0 Tags: flag-nl Erasmus experiences Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Why did you choose to go to Amsterdam, Netherlands?

I knew I wanted something different for university after growing up in a really small village, and after attending the open day for the UvA I didn’t want to study anywhere else.

How long is the scholarship? How much money do you receive to help you with living costs?

I get a loan of 170 euros per month.

What is the student lifestyle like in Amsterdam?

Depending on what course you’re doing, it will be difficult or easier to find a work-life balance. I found that I was able to take on a board position in a student organization while getting good grades and maintaining a manageable stress level (most of the time!)

Would you recommend the city and the University of Amsterdam to other students?

Most definitely. As long as you’re interested in what you’re studying, the work will be achievable and the city itself is incredible.

What is the food like?

Generally speaking, Dutch cuisine isn’t very exotic. It’s a lot like Irish food so potatoes, vegetables and meat dishes and they have one called “hutspot” that combines all 3. There are also many Indonesian restaurants in the city. As a coeliac, it’s been a pleasant surprise to find that there’s gluten free options in the supermarket and when I go out there’s almost always something on the menu I can have.

Did it cost you to find your accommodation in Amsterdam?


How much does it cost to live in Amsterdam?

Approx 750-800 euros per month including rent, food and other living expenses.

Is the language easy to get to grips with? Are there language courses available at the University?

Last August, I did an intensive summer course before I started my second year of uni, as I had been living in the Netherlands for a year already and hadn’t really picked anything up by that point like I had planned to. There was a discount for UvA students but it still wasn’t cheap. I had hoped to take Dutch courses as part of my studies for extra credit so that I could learn more for free, but since I already took French and passed it and there were people who had failed their language as part of European Studies, they were given priority and then the course was oversubscribed. I heard you can get free classes with the Gemeente (municipality), so I’m going to look into that when I return from Erasmus in France.

What's the easiest or most economical way to travel to Amsterdam from your city?

Economical? It would be a very long swim.

Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Amsterdam?

Mulligan’s or Freddy’s for live music.

And for eating? Can you recommend some good restaurants in Amsterdam?

Café Piazza has a cover to cover gluten free menu, as does Haesje Claes. The Pantry is really cute but more expensive, I’ve only been there once. For lunch, Bagels and Beans is great (they have gluten free bagels) and for coffee De Drie Graefjes and De Koffieschenkerij are my favourites.

What good cultural sites are there to visit?

The Allard Pierson museum is free for UvA students and very interesting. Also, if you get a library card for the Rijksmuseum, you have to walk through one of the galleries to get there so it’s a free (partial) visit. The Rijks library is stunning - I think it impressed me more than the actual exhibitions. The Botanic Gardens are beautiful when the weather is nice, probably my favourite spot in the city.

Is there any other advice that you could give to students going to Amsterdam in the future?

If you have the choice, then personally I would absolutely recommend choosing location over comfort. As someone with 17 flatmates and 1 bathroom and kitchen between all of us, it’s been quite the experience but I wouldn’t change it for a second. I’ve gotten to meet so many nice people and though it was a bit crowded sometimes, it was really worth it to be closer to the centre and to my classes.

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