Welcome to Nijmegen

07 Sep 2022

After two cancelled exchange semesters, English Language and Culture student Julia Vosmeijer is going to study in England for the upcoming semester. For Vox, she is taking part in a letter exchange, discussing her experiences in the UK with Holly Hartley – an English Literature exchange student from the University of Exeter who came to Nijmegen for her own exchange.

Dear Holly,

I hope you are enjoying your time in Nijmegen so far! Given that you’re quite the bookworm, I thought it’d be fun to recommend some spots in Nijmegen that seem perfect for an avid reader like you.

The first place you should pay a visit to is Boekhandel-Antiquariaat O.M. van Hoorn, a second-hand bookstore, and antiquary. Here, you can find more unusual stuff than in other bookstores in the city. Dekker van de Vegt is a fine place for buying books too, but their second-hand section isn’t as extensive as the one at Van Hoorn. They also have many historical artifacts other than books and I think it’s the perfect place to browse around and find an unexpected read.

After you’ve acquired one (or more) books at Van Hoorn, I recommend Philipse Koffie en Brocante for a well-deserved break. I went on a date there once (it didn’t end up working out, unfortunately, but not because of the date location!). It’s a coffee place that’s tucked away behind Saint Stephen’s Church in the historical city centre.

Philipse can best be described as ‘gezellig’, which is hard to translate but means something along the lines of ‘cozy’. Walking into the café feels a bit like entering a living room – they even have a little fireplace. I feel like it’d be the perfect place to read a nice book (or go on a – maybe more successful – date).

Finally, even though the next exam season might seem far away, I still recommend visiting the city library for studying. I honestly have a bit of a soft spot for this library. I went to secondary school in Nijmegen, and I studied there for my final exams (comparable to the British A-levels). More recently, I also wrote large parts of my bachelor’s thesis there.

You don’t need to spend any money to use the study spaces and it’s a nice change of scenery if you grow tired of the university library. However, if you want to spend money, I’d recommend investing it in a coffee at Coffeelovers, the library’s café. It’s one of the best coffee places in town.

I hope these recommendations will be of some use to you! I look forward to reading your recommendations for Canterbury. I’m particularly curious about record stores, cafés, and good studying places.

Write to you soon,

Julia

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