Tameka - Utrecht University

B Arts / Social Science
Semester 2, 2022


To improve my resume and increase my chances of finding a job after graduation.

Personal development

I improved communication skills, not just verbal (Dutch language), but non-verbal (gestures, tone, context clues). I also made many friends throughout Europe, as well as some fellow Australians from different cities. I believe the experience has changed me for the better, giving me a new found confidence to put myself out there.

Academic development

In terms of academics, most of the technical aspect were similar, but the way in which the study load in broken up is very different. You complete 2 courses at a time which means we have longer lectures and tutorials for each class. The longer tutorials (2hrs), was the most welcomed change as I believe it helped to create a deeper understanding with the coursework, which I find more difficult in UQ's 45min tutorials. I also found focusing on only 2 subjects at a time made it easier to engage fully with the topics, as I had time to do personal research and extra readings.

Professional development

I believe the main attributes I gained was teamwork, adaptability and communicate. I found that during group projects (which we had for every class) with people from completely different backgrounds helped me grow these skills.


For this trip I started saving at least a year before. I set aside money for rent (approx. $1000 per month) and food ($60 per week) as these were the most essential things. It is also important to take into account what modes of transport you will need to use on your trip. For me I was lucky because in the Netherlands everyone rides a bike and renting one is extremely cheap ($25 per month). My biggest piece of advice would be to organise accommodation as early as possible because I knew a lot of people who were forced to get accommodation hours away from the University as they left it too late and finding housing is extremely difficult, stressful and expensive. This is why I stayed up to date with what the university was offering and manged to get student accommodation (which is very limited).


Most of my funding went to my flights and rent payments as these were the most expensive. The funding was extremely beneficial because it gave me some sense of financial stability during my studies which gave me one less thing to stress about.


I found out about my accommodation options through contact with Utrecht University. The university had an international student representative that I sent emails back and forth to, to discuss accommodation. I then did my own research to find what was right for me. I lived in something called SSH which is student housing not run by the University but a separate company, but supplies accommodation on campus. Pros of this accommodation was its closeness to the campuses, the stability of bills (as all utilities were included in the rent) and the atmosphere. A con is that this accommodation is very limited and hard to secure. My advice would be to do your research early and don't be afraid to ask your University questions.


The highlight of my experience was probably the friends I made. Because of Covid I never had a chance to study on campus and meet new people so this is the first time I have made new friends from University.

Advice/Top tips

The experience is definitely worthwhile, even though it can be a bit daunting at the beginning. You need to persevere.