Hallo iedereen! My name is Maxwell Shaver, and I studied abroad in Tilburg in the Netherlands. I cannot recommend it enough- especially if you love biking (check out Not Just Bikes on youtube: https://youtu.be/9OfBpQgLXUc ). There I was close enough to a major hub for international traveling (Schiphol Airport), and studying at a top 50 school for economics. All of this is with the added bonus of the GLI scholarship! What’s not to love?
Moving abroad is tough at times, like this picture of me implies. But first and foremost remember: everyone is struggling the same amount as you. This was my second study abroad and by far the harder, and the first one wasn’t even in English! The school system is harder, and the separation you get from friends and family is tough, but hey- you’re tougher! Studying abroad, you get so many awesome experiences. I managed to learn Dutch in only four months, and now I can communicate with a population that has a 93% English literacy rate! In all seriousness, I made friends in my international dorm from all across the world. I now have a couch to sleep on in Madrid, Singapore, Vienna, Taipei, Hong Kong, and even as far away as Sydney! Some of the people I met are going to be lifelong friends, and really encourage me to be true to myself. As my friend Libor told me (in a thick German accent) “Mixwell, you are, who you surround yourself wif.” I will never forget those words, and I am happy to have taken lessons from people I love so much. They pushed me to be who I want to be, and it is an experience I wouldn’t have given for the world.
Apart from the sappy (yet always important) personal growth you will inevitably experience abroad, there are so many things you can do. Tickets from Schiphol to Barcelona were at one point 22€, not to mention how easy and cheap it is to get around by train or bus! I had six close friends and family members come to visit me throughout my semester, and I got into a rhythm of showing them the cool parts of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Not to mention how cheap it is to travel (especially in Eastern Europe), there are always super cool events going on! Somehow a pirate band I had known for most of my life (don’t ask) was playing in a few nearby towns on tour, and I managed to rope a few friends to go. This band was so engaging and fun we all went to each time they played in the Netherlands.
How crazy is that? All of the members on tour (they are called Ye Banished Privateers by the way) signed my CD, and it remains a highlight of our friend group.
Regardless, this experience was life-changing (as you have heard a billion times), and I can only say good things about the Netherlands. Also, I need people here to speak Dutch with. Please go, if not then please learn it and hit me up!
Dankjewel om dit te lezen, ik vond Tilburg heel gezellig en jij zult het ook vinden!