One week to go! That’s all! Although I’ll be spending about a month before I go home. It’s the end of the official semester with a final exam on 4th June for me.
I’m going to use this blog to compare my expectations with the reality of my exchange program and throw in some random pictures that I’ll look back fondly upon
When I signed up for it, all my peers who had been on an exchange themselves told me “expect a great time during the six months and you will have a hard time coming back.” CHECK. Although I am not going back home for another month, the sadness that I will be leaving Maastricht is starting to sink in. Knowing that I am a month away from home is a tiny bit depressing. Maastricht has very much become home. And it happened before I knew it. The city has a great aura around it making students comfortable and welcomed. And this should be expected from a city where a fifth of its population are students.
In my visit to Paris I decided to tour a 17th Century Opera House. If you’re remotely a theatre fan, then the Opera Garnier in Paris will knock you dead with it’s crazy architecture and gold gilded grand foyers. It is absolutely astonishing.
“Exchange can be difficult while you settle in.” Not so much really. I did expect it to be hard in the beginning. A new place with a new language and a new culture. But it just wasn’t. The excitement of living in a new place was much greater than its fear. And I think that helped me a lot. So, if settling in a new place is something that you fear, in my experience it’s not all that bad. It’s one of those things that sound harder than they actually are. Special thanks to the guesthouse in this case, since you’re grouped in with people having similar problems and worries, it becomes easy to work around it. I would highly recommend staying in the guesthouse therefore.
Known for being the Royal Palace of the past Kings of France and its luxuries, it’s a little town that’s also very peaceful once you get away from the crowds that usually stick to the palace. Walk about a bit and get to know the rest of city.
“The Dutch are crazy with their bikes.” Amazingly, bikes are respected as much as cars in the Netherlands. Not so much in the rest of Europe though. Having a sturdy bike is all you need to get around the city- for all the obvious reasons like health, parking worries and such, but also for the simplicity and joy that it brings. Having been driving for two years every day to and from university, these six months brought a great change of pace.
It took a tour of Spain & Portugal to remind me how beautiful the city of Maastricht is. It’s not something you can glance by. It is actually one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. And two months into it I had forgotten that, but when I came back from a trip to Spain & Portugal, I was astonished. This might be one of the most beautiful cities I ever see.
It has been a great experience to come so far away from home and live in the little town of Maastricht. And it’s bound to be one of the experiences that won’t be forgetting!