My first (and very long) blogpost

Hi there! How are you?

This is my first ever blogpost so it feels a bit uneasy, but please bear with me and give it a chance, haha. I made this blog a while ago to write about my Erasmus adventures in Rotterdam. I will be staying here for one semester, so hopefully I will be able to do a lot of things and share them with you guys!

First things first: on the 15th of August my parents and I drove to Rotterdam to get the keys of my dorm room. I will be staying in the Robert Baelde Hall, which is student housing arranged through SSH. We just filled in some paperwork, got a first look at my room and went back home again.

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The Robert Baelde Hall (the orange building)
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My (still empty) room

Almost two weeks later, on the 28th of August, I moved into my room. My parents brought me with my dad’s van, so I could take most of my stuff at once (including my bike). I also met my roommate for the first time, which was so exciting! Her name is Tereza, she comes from Czech Republic and has a boyfriend who lives in the Netherlands. She even speaks a little Dutch, it’s crazy! (And adorable.) She will also be taking part in the #GetConnected programme, which is nice because we will be in the same class.

The morning after we had our introduction day at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, they were expecting us at campus Wijnhaven 107. We started with an international lunch, followed by some fun games to get to know our classmates. Everyone was so nice!

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Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences – campus Wijnhaven 107
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Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences – campus Wijnhaven 107

Afterwards we got some practical information about the programme and then we had to form our “dream teams”. These are the groups in which we will be working on our projects and e-book for the entire semester. I got teamed up with Kelly (from the Netherlands), Alper (from Turkey) and my roommate Tereza. At the end of the day our entire class group including the teachers went for a drink in the Witte De Withstraat, paid by the University. Sounds good right?

After one drink I went back to my dorm room to get my study books. I took the first train home (to Geel, Belgium) because I still had to study for my resit exams. Because I was somewhat ill I did not study in the evening, I just went straight to bed.

On Tuesday I studied the entire day because my first resit exam was on Wednesday, the day after. After both a written and an oral French exam, I took the first train from Antwerp back to Rotterdam. This was necessary because on the next day, the 1st of September, I had my first full day of class which I could not miss.

At the end of Thursday I went home again (I know it’s probably a bit confusing, it was a hectic week). I tried to study as long as I could in the evening, because the next day I had my second and final resit exam: communication psychology.

That Friday I had quite a bad day. 45 minutes before my resit exam, my grandma passed away. Although she was almost 93 years old, death always comes too soon. The exam also didn’t go very well. Afterwards I picked up my boyfriend when he was done working, we drove to Antwerp and back to drop off some Aymie stuff that was still at our house, and we had an early night.

On Saturday we had some family over to arrange my grandma’s funeral. I didn’t want to be home and hear all the sad music etc., I’ve never lost someone close to me before so I don’t really know how to deal with all of it. Ben (my boyfriend) took me out for a walk at Turnhout city park, we went to catch some Pokémon (I love Pokémon Go) and we got some Chinese food. I am really thankful to have Ben in my life, he is always there for me and he really tries his best to make me feel better when I’m sad.

On Sunday, the 4th of September, I went back to Rotterdam. By now my stress levels were going through the roof because normally I would’ve received my grades the Friday before, but I still hadn’t heard from AP (my college).

The next day was a typical Monday. I was planning on buying something for breakfast before class started, but only then I realized that none of the stores here are opened on Monday morning. Then I fell super hard close at metro station Beurs, which is on a very busy square. I got up, tried not to let the embarrassment get to me and went to school.

After two lectures I went back to my dorm to check if my grades had come in yet, but unfortunately they hadn’t. In the evening I went for some drinks on the rooftop of the Erasmus International House. This is another student housing through SSH, where a few students from my class are staying (Including Anse who is also a student from Artesis Plantijn College). Afterwards most of them went to the big Erasmus semester opening party at TOFFLER, I wasn’t feeling it so I went back to my dorm and went to sleep.

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View from the rooftop at the Erasmus International House (the photo really doesn’t do it justice though, it’s way prettier in real life)

On Tuesday we had an English course in the morning. Afterwards I went back to my dorm, showered and went to sleep. I wasn’t feeling very well. And again, still no grades! I am bringing this up so often because the grades of my resit exams are VERY important to me: I have to pass all my exams of the second year in order to be allowed to go on Erasmus. Yes, you read that right. If I don’t pass them I might have to move back to Belgium!

Today, the 7th of September, we didn’t have to go to school. This meant that I finally had the chance to go sightseeing! Around noon I went to see the Kijk Kubus, afterwards I went to the Markthal for the very first time. In the Markthal there are tons of little restaurants, stores where you can buy special foods (oriental ingredients for example) and a few regular stores.

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The Kijk Kubus

I wandered around the Markthal for quite a while. I decided to have noodles for lunch, so I ordered some Teriyaki chicken noodles at “Let’s Wok!”. The food was very nice, and the eating area on top was cozy and calm. Afterwards I bought a hazelnut ice cream at “De Ijssalon” and I got on the metro.

Together with some friends we had decided to go to Kinderdijk in the afternoon, so we met up at “Veer Erasmusbrug Rotterdam” to take the waterbus together. Kinderdijk is only 30 minutes away from Rotterdam by waterbus, and it’s a very calm place with lots of windmills everywhere. We just walked around together and enjoyed the view.

After we got back, we went to the Markthal together to get some food. Anse convinced me to try gözleme, a Turkish dish she really liked. I’m not really adventurous when it comes to food, if I find something I like I’ll rarely try something new, but she liked it so much so I just had to try it out. I chose gözleme filled with cheese, spinach, potatoes and chicken döner kebab. Although I liked it, it wasn’t my favorite… I don’t think I’ll be ordering it again soon but I’m proud of myself for trying something new, haha! Below are some photo’s so you can get an impression of my day.

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Inside the Markthal
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Cheese shop at the Markthal
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Lunch @ Let’s Wok!

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The Erasmusbrug
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Veer Erasmusbrug Rotterdam
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On the Waterbus
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On the Waterbus
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At the entrance of Kinderdijk
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Kinderdijk
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Kinderdijk
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Kinderdijk

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Kinderdijk
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Kinderdijk
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Giftshop @ Kinderdijk
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Group photo @ Kinderdijk (by Tereza)
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Gözleme @ Ekmekci
I also made a short (amateuristic) video, you can watch it HERE.

 

Sorry for the (very) long post. In my defense, it is hard to write a short blogpost containing 12 days! In the future I’ll try to post something more often, I promise. The reason why the first blogpost took so long is because I wanted to wait until I got my grades, but it takes so incredibly long and I can’t keep waiting of course. When I get more news about my grades, I’ll be sure to let you guys now.

Bye for now! Lots of love,

Jolien

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