On this segment, we interview Aashna Pandya, a student at the Rotterdam School of Management in Netherlands, about how student life is in the land of the Dutch !
Typically, the Netherlands is not a place you hear a lot of students go to, but it is the place that I chose. I study International Business Administration at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. So how did I even end up in the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited? The reason for choosing the Netherlands was that it would be an unusual choice and that I will know no one, much like a fresh start. If you have ever asked an international student where they plan to go to study, you will usually get the answers as the USA, UK or Canada. I was not too fond of this idea, so I decided to look elsewhere. RSM is one of the best business schools in Europe, with solid accreditations and a renowned faculty.
My first year in the Netherlands is where I had the best time possible. I instantly fell in love with the country, the moment I landed and was handed a wooden tulip. The people are so kind and caring but also extremely straight-forward. Living in the Netherlands is like waiting for a new surprise every day, especially in terms of the weather. The days where the sun is out are an adventure; you could go to sit at the lake and have a picnic with your friends. On the other days, when it is a little bit gloomy and rainy, you can stay indoors or go to a cosy study cafe, order yourself a cup of hot coffee and some apple pie.
Travelling in and outside the Netherlands is one of the greatest highlights. In the eight months that I was there, I travelled to around six new cities, whether it was friends or my mum, I enjoyed every minute of it. Coming from India and the extensive travelling that we do here, travelling around Europe feels like a drive from one part of the city to another, and this is what makes it so much fun. You can make day trips or continue exploring even in the night!
The city centres of each European city never sleep so you might find yourself in the middle of a Dutch New Years Eve culture randomly, or Belgian game nights. Travelling around the cities in the Netherlands is pretty easy, you either try it the Dutch way and travel around on a bike, or you can easily access public transport. Trams are my go-to, but you also have the Metro and the buses. To travel to another city, you find yourself on a train. From Amsterdam Schipol Airport to Rotterdam Centraal is only twenty minutes in the direct train, so travel is not only easy but also short.
In the Netherlands, you will meet all kinds of people. You will meet people that have such different backgrounds that you will always converse about. I have a friend that is half Thai and half Belgian, however, she was born in the United States. Everyone somehow knows about Shah Rukh Khan, at least one line in Hindi and the tune to Mundian to Bach Ke. It is a place where you can never get bored. You make connections that you know will last a lifetime.
Good food, lively cities, travelling and amazing friends and an education that is recognized worldwide, what else do you need?