Amy - University of Amsterdam

B Advanced Finance & Economics
Semester 2, 2018
I would definitely recommend exchange, and Amsterdam is truly a beautiful place to experience.

Academic experience

I studied courses in the Economics and Business faculty. The semester is separated into 3 blocks, the first two being 8 weeks and the last one being 4 weeks. I was able to fit all of my courses into the first two blocks. Since each block is only 8 weeks, so 7 weeks of learning (and 1 exam week) for each course, there is no time to fall behind often with two lectures per subject per week. You constantly need to be on top of the assignments which was difficult to get used to in the beginning. 

Personal experience

Exchange allowed me to make many new friends, both international and Dutch students. Amsterdam was a great location for travelling around Europe with some cheap flights from the airport.

Accommodation

I applied for accomodation through UvA and was then paired with the housing provider DeKey to choose my room. I was very lucky to get offered accomodation directly opposite the canal of the one campus. I would definitely recommend applying through UvA for accomodation because it can be very difficult to find.

Costs

My rent was €590 per month but my room was eligible for the Toeslagen Housing allowance which meant I received €135 per month back from the Dutch government. I rented a bike from swapfiets which was €15 per month. I then allowed myself €100 per week for food, entertainment, weekend travels but this was usually more than what I actually needed. In total, the cost was $12,000 AUD including a month and a half travelling.

Challenge

My biggest challenge was getting used to the different teaching structure of UvA. It was easy to get used to once I realised that I couldn't leave my study to the last minute.

Professional Development

I became more confident especially when meeting so many new people and introducing yourself to them. I also gained a better understanding of different cultures and norms.

Highlight

The highlight of my time in Amsterdam was the freedom that I had in the city. I was living in the inner circle and because it is a relatively small city I could ride my bike to anywhere in the centre within 20 minutes.

Top tips

I would definitely recommend exchange, and Amsterdam is truly a beautiful place to experience.