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Living abroad for the first time in Rotterdam

Published by Marko Polovina — one year ago

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands

When I decided that I would travel overseas from the United States to continue my education, I knew it would be somewhere in Europe. It came down to several cities: Berlin, Rotterdam, London, and Amsterdam. I was actually accepted to all the universities that I applied for, but I chose Rotterdam over Amsterdam and Berlin (which I had soft spots for due to their cultured distinctions)  because of its middle-class stature (I related to this as I'm from Detroit), and up and coming vibe the city has.

There is a distinct modern feel to everything here in Rotterdam. The archeticture is absolutely brilliant, specifically within the the city center. The Dutch are always helpful, despite my zero ability to speak or understand them and are willing to take the time to explain, even if you're reluctant to ask - don't be they'll gladly help. The night scene is quite good for a city sort of finding it's place away from Amsterdam as the business, get things done type of mentality. The bars in Witte de Withstraat are generally pretty good. There are mainstream clubs like NRC, plenty of beer gardens, and even English/Irish equivalents bars. There are always plenty of people out and about during the night in the city on any given day of the week. More specific club tastes like Annabel for pop. hip-hop heads, Transport and Toeffler for the techno/house crowd, and plenty of dive/specialty bars that play the in-between of local musicians and DJs fitting the mood of the club itself like Paddy's Pub or Noah's Gin Bar.

For either a student or someone visiting Rotterdam for vacation it's a great place to be. The transport is just as good as Amsterdam despite the relatively large size of the city, and if you don't want to use that then just get a bike. Problem solved! The weird thing about being in another country, away from family and friends, is that rarely you feel at ease in new surroundings, but Rotterdam has defintely helped me assimlate in the culture much faster then I would of believed to be possible. It's a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic country and like their contemporary cities you'll find those around you in the same situation, background, nationality, and the like as yourself. It's easy to understand why Rotterdam is considered one of the more intriguing and upcoming cities in Europe to visit.

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