My phone’s alarm starts beeping at exactly 6:30 and a new day begins for me. As usual, yesterday I stayed up quite late watching Netflix and it’s hard to open my eyes. As usual, I press snooze for another ten minutes. And then another ten minutes.
Now there’s not that much time and I quickly get ready. I’m meeting other exchange students at the library today at around 8 am. Yes, we’re all exchange students. But we’re exchange students at one of the most demanding business schools in the world. And professors don’t give us distinctions if our grades don’t matter to us that much. Or if we partied really hard on a Student Tuesday at ESN. Or if we love the late-Netflix kind of nights.
While sipping my coffee, I am once again amazed at the view from my apartment, a fifth-floor student house with huge windows facing the Euromast and other icons of the city. It is within walking distance of the busiest street here, Witte de Whitstraat, which has great pubs and restaurants. I am, in fact, one of the luckiest people I know regarding the accommodation here.
I would say it is not as hard to find a spot as in Copenhagen, and definitely way easier than in cities like Tilburg or Utrecht (where some international students literally have to camp for a while). To be completely honest, I could write a lot about housing options, but I think I could never be as good as this guide from the University. So please check it if you’re coming to Rotterdam and start looking at least four months in advance.
From my place, I can easily get to the city center by bike, although uni is a bit far and takes me 30 minutes by metro or 20 by bike. Normally, I pick either of the two based on the weather forecast and frankly, this October it seems that I’ll be using the metro more often than I would like.
I spend the next 4 hours working on an assignment with a deadline this Friday. It’s a group project, like most of the projects here. For this class, Designing Business Applications, we have assignment submissions every second week and the preparation for the lecture is intense.
At 13:00, I meet a group from another course, the International Consultancy Project. This course lasts for the whole semester, unlike most courses here, which are divided into two blocks for the first and second halves of the semester. On the course, we’re working together with a company as a consultancy-based experience; analyzing a real problem they have and coming up with solutions. We’re meeting our client company at 14:00 in Rotterdam and we’re about to present them with the framing of our proposal.
We arrive at 13:30, half an hour earlier than the meeting. The custom here is to arrive 10-15 minutes earlier but we cannot really trust the metro as it can easily be delayed and walking both to the metro and to the company’s offices takes quite some time. Besides, we use the extra time to go over the meeting preparation once again and feel more confident in our proposal.
The meeting goes well. Our company coaches have spot-on feedback and guide us in the reformulation of some sentences. We then discuss which direction we’re taking, which type of interviews we’ll be conducting and with whom, and what are the next steps.
As expected, it is a brief meeting and after 40 minutes I’m on my way back to university. At 17:30 I have a Dutch course. This course is the second level of Dutch (A2) since I [completed] the introductory level (A1) on a Summer course at uni back in August. It is extremely practical and a lot of fun!
At 20, my Dutch lesson is over. I have spent most of the past 12 hours at university. But I am not done yet. In case you haven’t noticed, I am a student reporter for CBS Wire and today I have a deadline for a post about my life at the new university. I go over the article I’ve been writing throughout the day and at 20:30 I think I’m ready for submission. I revise the content once again, attach a few pictures here and there, and hit send.