Tiong Cher Min
Exchanged to University of Groningen, Netherlands
When I received the news that I got accepted to the exchange university that was offered to me I was very excited and nervous at the same time. Firstly, because I did not know anything about this city that I was going for an exchange to and my knowledge of it was only limited to what the internet could inform me. However, when I arrived I fell completely in love with the city of Groningen.
Prior to this exchange, I have never lived alone and I always lived my family and I tend to be very dependent on my family and friends. However, I have learned so much and found out things about myself that I didn’t think I have the capacity to and one of it was to live independently, in fact, I enjoyed it very much.
In Groningen, I lived in a youth accommodation and the cost of living is relatively cheaper than some European countries. Moreover, Groningen is a student populated city and is also not very big therefore, the cost was acceptable.
I participated in the ESN (Erasmus Student Network) committee – Introduction week and through there I met many of my closest friends who were from Italy, Switzerland, Taiwan and other countries. I’ve travelled to different states in the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Austria and Dublin with my fellow exchange friends and in my opinion, it was not about travelling to as many countries as I can but rather the meaningful bond that I am able to build with my fellow exchange friends.
Besides that, studying in the University of Groningen was a different experience, the style of education was different, students there are taught to be very independent, even the style of sitting in the examination hall was a different experience I got compared to back home (example, when we enter the hall during exam they do not tell us to keep quiet or sit down or to turn off you phones, rather the minute you enter the hall you are allowed to immediately start doing the exam paper and to me, that was a surprise).
The highlight of my exchange was the exchange in Groningen itself, it was beyond amazing,
I loved everything there from living independently, making new friends, going grocery shopping, learning to cook, travelling and more.
I highly recommend other students to do an exchange or two exchange semesters at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands because:
#1 It is a student populated city
#2 They have one of the biggest exchange student committee
#3 Everyone that I have met who did or are doing an exchange in Groningen, absolutely loved it
#4 People are very nice and willing to help, only if you ask but even on the streets if you make eye contact with them they would actually say ‘hi’.
#5 GRONINGEN IS/WAS JUST AMAZING, no words can describe it and its best to experience it yourself!
Cher Min's Groningen Vlog can be found here.