Studying like a dutchman
When you first come to Nijmegen, you will probably find yourself overwhelmed by all the things available to you. For example, the Radboud Sportcentrum is there if you want to practice sports or work out, and there is Doornroosje, which is an amazing concert hall – only in the first month I had already purchased three tickets! Perhaps you like being part of something cool and you will want to join a student association to organise events and party together. And since you probably want to get soaked in knowledge about your programme, you will definitely want to frequent the free lectures that Radboud Reflects offers to the public. I recently attended a lecture on Swarm Robotics, a super interesting topic for us Artificial Intelligence folks. Besides that, there is LUX, a very popular cinema – which will host InScience festival next week.
There is a lot of stuff with which you can easily saturate your agenda, pushing the limits of the average university student. But sooner or later you will remember why you came here in the first place: study!
A lot of self-study will be required for most of your courses, library use is extensive and intensive amongst Dutch students, and so you will notice when visiting any of the six libraries Radboud offers. There is the Central Library, the only one to open on Sunday, the Law Library, the Library of Science, the Library of Medical Sciences, the Library of Nijmegen School of Management and the Library of Social Sciences. I personally like going to Library of Science because its computers have bigger screens and it is often less crowded.
And because sometimes it becomes impossible to study in your dorm – I am looking at you Hoogeveldt- a daily visit to the library is a must to keep all the learned content fresh. However, do not think of it as a terrible fate, believe me when I say that visiting these libraries is a relaxing and joyful experience – most of the time.
In the library, you are in a cozy, quiet environment with modern and roomy installations, and you are provided with wide options to accommodate your study needs, whether you just need personal-space or a space to work in groups, or perhaps you want to sit peacefully in a noise-cancelling chair for a while or rehearse your presentations in a conference room. Whatever it is, the libraries are equipped to suit your needs.
When is going to the library not-so-pleasant? Possibly on those occasions when studying becomes a tad hard as you are suddenly distracted by the symphony of Dutch students enjoying their peanut butter sandwiches – Crunchy peanut butter I curse you!
As the library is almost full most of the times, especially during the finals week, the super-friendly staff is there to help you. They are also there to ensure that students make good use of the installations! – I made the small mischief of sitting legs-opened in desk intended for working in groups, I quickly moved to a smaller desk when a lady told me to.
Between your usual chores like cooking, and everything Nijmegen has to offer, it will surely take you the first months to find a pace of living, but once you do make sure to include strong study-habits in your schedule, that way I will guiltless attend as many concerts I want!