Sami – Semester Exchange to Radboud University, The Netherlands, Semester 1, 2016
Not having your birthday at home with your family and friends is one thing, but not having your 21st birthday at home with your family and friends is another. It was my first birthday ever away from home and not with my family and friends. But having my birthday abroad in Nijmegen in the Netherlands was the best birthday I have ever had and I will remember it forever. It turned out more like a birthday week. My birthday fell on a Friday and as I was abroad it was really hard to organize something like we would back home like hiring a hall or a venue and inviting all your mates – or at least that’s what I thought but I was obviously wrong.
Luckily enough the night before my birthday, there was a nightclub having its opening night with free entry, so it was easy to invite every single person I’ve met so far on my great exchange experience and more so even the whole university, Radboud. It was a great night, literally a club full of Radboud students and all my mates, everywhere you looked you knew someone, ended up like a university event and made it that much sweeter when the clock struck 12, when I received all the kind and best birthday wishes – I didn’t think it could get better than that. But I was wrong.
The next day, the day of my birthday, I organized to meet my friends in the city and find a nice place to eat. Usually when I go to the city, I meet my friend at her place and we go together. When I got to her place, I couldn’t believe what happened. All my closest mates and more that I was planning to meet in the centre were hiding in her room and when she greeted me at her door I had no idea! As soon as I walked in, words could not describe, the SURPRISE I was welcomed with. It was so overwhelming, singing happy birthday and a homemade cake baked, it was out of this world. It was my first ever surprise party I’ve been thrown and it was the best – with memories that would last forever. I wanted to cry from happiness and joy – what I felt inside was incredible, knowing my friends, (who I now consider family) that I’ve met in a new country would do and act this way. It just set up the exchange to be even better as my birthday was quite early on – the end of the first month. They then took me out for dinner and it may feel like I’m bragging but why not, sorry, my exchange family is better than yours!! (haha :)) I’m not finished – they even took me Amsterdam for the weekend and that was the cherry on top. I still can’t get over that week, one of the best. And last not least, thankfully there was a camera set up so I can get a bit of that lovely feeling every time I see the footage of me jumping out of my skin. Thank you.