New dawn, new day, new life!

Posted at: 2 Nov 2018 | Student Affairs

You have finally arrived in Amsterdam. It’s time to start your journey and you’re feeling good! What should you do first?

Enjoy the views of Amsterdam’s beautiful canals!

After so many months of planning and dreaming about your Amsterdam adventure, you are finally here, you’re excited, you’re nervous, you’re… alone?

Some exchange students come to Amsterdam with friends from back home, but others go on this journey by themselves. You got picked up from the airport, you’ve been to Science Park to take care of some practical matters, you’ve arrived to your home for the next semester or 2… now what? You are officially starting your study/living abroad experience! No matter how far you’re coming from, this is a big change and can be overwhelming at first. It’s important to know that it’s normal to feel a mix of emotions, especially if you’re also fighting jet lag at the same time.

The best advice I could give is, explore your accommodation, start unpacking (the longer you wait, the less you’ll want to do it), and then GO OUT! Go explore the beautiful city of Amsterdam, and try to wrap your head around the fact that this is your home for the next little while!

Head to central Amsterdam and just walk around, enjoy the beauty of the canals, start to familiarise yourself with the Dutch culture, and if you’re feeling up to it, go buy a bike! With the jet lag adding to the nerves of being all alone in a new city, on a different continent, I found that being able to bike around central Amsterdam in my first few days really made me feel at home and it relaxed me.

There is also nothing wrong with just taking it easy on your first day and starting small with walking around your residence area. If you’re living in a student residence, you will quickly realise that some students get assigned rooms that are fully stocked with utensils, plates, bowls, pots, pans, etc. Other students arrive to their rooms that have only 1 spoon and a plastic cup. This is honestly the luck of the draw, so I highly suggest taking inventory of your room, finding the closest IKEA, and getting all that you need! Once again, the longer you wait, the busier life will get, and the less you will want to do it!

Lastly, in your first 24 hours here, why not introduce yourselves to your neighbours and others you see around. It’s never too early to make friends!

Watch the student ambassadors video