Sami – Exchange to Radboud University in the Netherlands, Semester 1, 2016.
If you were to ask anyone what is the worst thing about exchange, it is definitely the ending. Firstly, I hate goodbyes, so it was even harder for me. And I’m pretty sure there are some people out there that can relate. Meeting incredible people, who became friends and then family over the semester is just something I never wanted to let go. They were the people that made the exchange experience what it was. Amazing. In fact there is not one word that can really sum up my exchange experience. It hasn’t been invented yet because it was that good, it is out of this world. Anyway as I was saying, the people you meet on exchange are literally your family. You live life with them as if you were living life back home. They did everything and more and most of all, really made me feel so much at home that sometimes I really felt that Nijmegen was my new real home, that I was relocating and was going to never leave. Sometimes I wish that was the reality. No worries or cares in the world when you are on exchange with such lovely people that motivate and push you but most of all are always there for a good time. I can go on forever about the people you meet on exchange but it would never do it justice, you just need to experience it. My exchange family that I made is the definition of friends for life. It was extremely hard to say goodbye, and thankfully you can’t see our faces, but the waterworks were on show and would not stop for a long time. It’s amazing to have friends all over the world, really. For example when I traveled after my semester sadly came to an end, I had a couple of families to stay with in different parts of Italy and it made it that much sweeter not to only see my great friends again, but to live in their hometown with them and see how they live normally, there was no better experience than that.
CAMPING and MUSIC
Europe had a lot of music. And I mean a lot. So many gigs, concerts, festivals, anything to do with music you could find no matter what. And being a music lover who loves going to see live music, it was perfect to be studying in the Netherlands. The list of musical acts that I’ve seen while I’ve been abroad is endless and I can safely say I’ve definitely seen more acts in one semester being abroad then my whole life at home. My favourite would have to be “Best Kept Secret” and as the name suggests I can’t say anymore. Haha but nah, it was a camping music festival in the Netherlands with some of the worlds best acts like Bloc Party, Jamie xx, Two Door Cinema Club, and heaps more. As soon as the lineup dropped I got tickets with my best friend. I was super excited and so was my friend but she was also nervous and not sure what to expect because it was her first time camping, plus I’ve only camped a few times before. When we got there, knowing the Dutch weather it was raining and we couldn’t have asked for a better start. Our tent was made out of cardboard; yes you’ve read correct cardboard. “KarTent” look it up, it’s a new initiative to save money and the environment. Anyway when we saw our tent for the first time under the rain all we can think was how it was going to last for three nights. When we started to setup and unpack, we couldn’t help notice all the bugs that already crept in our tent through the cracks and also figured out one of our blow up mattress had a hole. Not to mention, no electricity and the inconvenient showers and toilets and eating tinned tuna most of the time. BUT in saying all that it turned out to be one of the best experiences ever. It was so much fun, waking up at a music festival, listening to music all day and chilling with your best friend and doing it all again the next day. I couldn’t have asked for it any other way. And when the festival came to an end, I couldn’t believe we didn’t want to leave and go back to our beds, we wanted to stay another week. Can’t wait for the next camping music festival! Hopefully its back in Europe again!