Logo Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences - link to home page

Step into my Amsterdam life

A day in the life of exchange student Daneica

Daneica was part of a six-month exchange programme in High Performance Sport. She shares what a day in the life of a minor student consists of, as well as a few comparisons between Amsterdam and Singapore.

Hello all, my name is Daneica and I am a South African who is currently studying at James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore. I have been part of a six-month exchange programme here at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS/HvA). I’m currently studying a minor in High Performance Sport at the AUAS. This blog post will share what a day in the life of a minor student consists of, as well as a few comparisons between Amsterdam and Singapore.

Daneica outside the AUAS Sports Campus

Daneica outside the AUAS Sports Campus

If you had have asked me six months ago what it would be like studying in Amsterdam, I would have had no idea. However, fast forward to the present and I would have to say that the last six months of being in Amsterdam have been the most amazing months of my life.

A typical week

My typical week at AUAS has consisted of having 2 classes a day, 3 times a week. I have really enjoyed this timetable whilst being on exchange because it has given me a good balance of being able study and complete the academic aspect of the programme while at the same time allowing me to travel around and be a tourist in Amsterdam and Europe.

Studying sports is a lot of fun at the AUAS campus as there is always so much activity taking place. It was a great experience as the campus always had an atmosphere that it was somehow alive, filled with happy people. Around campus you would always see a lot of different classes going on including dancing, cooking, gymnastics and jujitsu.

Comparing JCU and AUAS

James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore

James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore

Addressing lecturers

  • JCU – Only by their last name, sir or ma’am
  • AUAS - By their first name


  • JCU – Not very interactive
  • AUAS – Super interactive and also wanting your thoughts and opinions on the topics being taught

Grading system

  • JCU – Pass, credit, distinction and high distinction
  • AUAS – Number system of 1-10 (5.5 = pass)


  • JCU – 3 semesters of 3.5 months
  • AUAS – Semesters have blocks which comprise 7 week of lectures and then an exam; new classes in the 2nd block


  • JCU – International students need to obtain a 90% class and campus attendance and local students need to obtain 75% class attendance. Three hours of compulsory attendance a day is required even if you don’t have lectures for international students.
  • AUAS – No real record keeping of attendance

Class size

  • JCU – Classes in Singapore can range from 35 people to 200 people
  • AUAS – Classes I’ve had in Amsterdam have been small, with only 32 people

Food on campus

  • JCU – On campus we have a cafeteria where there are about 8 different food stalls, which consist of Indonesian, Korean, Indian, Western and authentic Chinese food
  • AUAS – On campus there is just one place to get food such as wraps, sandwiches, different meals of the day/week and a salad bar.

Social activities

  • JCU – There are a number of clubs to join on campus from volunteering, learning to speak Chinese, growing your business knowledge to yoga.
  • AUAS – I’m not aware of any on-campus activities like this – it would be nice if they offered this.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you have found it helpful and that it has inspired you to come to Amsterdam, as you will most definitely not regret it!