Hello, and welcome to BAISmag’s The Student Diaries, a comprehensive-ish guide to moving to The Netherlands as an international student! In this last article we will prove to you that moving to a rainy country where they speak a somewhat weird language is totally worth it!
After having read the six previous articles of this series, you might feel like moving to the Netherlands will cost you a lot, maybe even a bit too much. You will have to deal with finding a house, the bureaucracy, the weather, homesickness, and making friends – for which we give you some general tips. After that is done, seasonal depression, vitamin D deficiency, and the first exam session will hit you in the face all at once. You might feel like everything sucks: the first autumn here will probably not be the best time of your life. But despite all of that, when asking students if they are happy in this country, the general answer is: “Yes, definitely!”
Let’s go over some of the reasons why IS students are living their best life.
1. The social environment
As Niamh explains, uni has this whole atmosphere of young people going through the same experiences as you. You might feel like you had the shittiest day ever because you failed a test, but almost everyone around you has been through the exact same thing at one point in the last months. It will not make your day way better, but at least you will feel less alone. The social setting in which you will navigate will quickly feel like a big community where everyone is as lost as their study-spot’s neighbor, and this is beautiful.
2. The freedom
Living alone is a game-changer in terms of freedom. Eve highlights that she now has “the option of doing what [she wants].” Having enough money, she can afford doing what she likes – despite her “friends [being her] greatest wealth.” This feeling of freedom is shared by Lena, who also mentions her newly acquired “independence.” All in all, many students enjoy this new life made out of free scheduling, no fixed dinner time, and the chance to truly be yourself.
3. The learning process
As we already mentioned, the housing situation and the administration are both shit shows. But you will learn how to overcome them and, just like Eve, you will end up feeling extremely proud of yourself. As Niamh said, you will figure it all out with time and you will learn to manage yourself and your life, and this learning process is extremely rewarding. It might take you three months to have a Dutch phone subscription or bank account, but once this will be done, you will realize that you’ve learnt something that is not taught in school and that you are truly powerful.
4. This is probably not your final destination
Happiness does not take away the fact that in the future you might want to move again to another country. As Tyler said, many internationals “do not see [themselves] living in the Netherlands forever.” You can deeply enjoy living in this rainy country for about three years and build strong friendships while still knowing that this will not be your final destination. Uni is only a chapter in your life, enjoy these few years, but don’t be scared to eventually move on if you think this is “it” for you.
As you have seen in this article, and to quote Niamh, when it comes to moving out, “in the end, it’s really good fun!” Don’t get stopped by the housing market, seasonal depression or homesickness, simply jump into life and you will eventually enjoy it. But, if you end up feeling really depressed and unhappy, do not hesitate to contact your stuco or a therapist, do not simply wait for happiness to come.
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