Hannah - Vrije University Amsterdam

B Business Management/B Law (honours)
Semester 1, 2023
I discovered a newfound independence and resilience in myself.


My motivation for participating in this exchange program was to break free from my comfort zone and broaden my perspective. I've always been intrigued by the Dutch culture and the international exposure Amsterdam offers. I've always been the adventurous sort and this experience seemed like the perfect blend of new opportunities and personal growth. To me, it was an opportunity to immerse myself in a different cultural context and enhance my university experience in a global setting.

Personal Development

Theexchange program was truly a life-altering experience for me. I formed amazing friendships with people from all over the world, creating bonds that I know will last a lifetime. We shared laughs, adventures, and unforgettable experiences, exploring Amsterdam's canals, museums, and picturesque streets together. Picking up bits of Dutch language along the way was an unexpected bonus that helped me connect more with the local culture. On a personal level, I discovered a newfound independence and resilience in myself. Navigating a new city, culture, and educational system taught me to be resourceful and adaptable. This experience has expanded my worldview, made me more confident, and underscored the importance of embracing change and diversity. I feel ready to take on whatever life throws at me next.

Academic Development

The workload was comparable to my studies at UQ, but the major difference was in the learning style. It was less about rote memorization and more about understanding and applying concepts, which I greatly appreciated. Overcoming these academic challenges not only strengthened my academic prowess but also boosted my confidence, and I'm grateful for the unique insights I've gained.

Professional Development

Studying abroad has given me vital professional skills like adaptability and problem-solving, developed as I navigated a new culture and educational system. The program also fostered my cultural awareness and communication skills through collaborations with diverse peers. These experiences have made me more resilient, open-minded, and confident, qualities that will enhance my employability in a globalized work environment. In overcoming these challenges, I've proven to myself that I'm capable of tackling whatever comes my way in my future career.


I kept track of my expenses using my banking app and spent about €15,000 overall: €7,000 for rent, €1,500 for transport, €2,500 for food, and €4,000 for leisure and travel. My advice for future students is to budget early, consider all types of costs, reserve funds for unexpected expenses, and make the most of student discounts.


The funding I received was instrumental in making my exchange experience possible. It eased the financial pressure significantly and allowed me to fully immerse myself in the experience without constant worry about expenses. I strategically allocated the funds across my essential expenses like accommodation, transportation, and food. Additionally, it enabled me to participate in cultural events, explore local attractions, and even take a few side trips around Europe. Having that financial support really allowed me to get the most out of my time in Amsterdam.


I found my accommodation through the host university, living with 13 others in a student residence. It was a very fun multicultural experience, though it did come with occasional lifestyle clashes. The university helped sort out the housing process. My advice to future students: prepare for compromise and embrace the experience.


The absolute highlights of my exchange experience were the friendships I made and the incredible places I got to explore. From impromptu bike rides around Amsterdam to weekend trips across Europe, every adventure was enriched by the diverse group of friends I made. These experiences, filled with laughter and learning, have left an indelible imprint on my life.

Advice/Top Tips

Don’t take life so seriously while you’re there, you’ll never get another opportunity like this.