Dutch bread and broad bike lanes: exchange students about Nijmegen

20 Oct 2021

Ballet lessons, life at Hoogeveldt and going for a swim in the Waal. After one and a half years of corona, the exchange program has started again and international students have found their way back to Nijmegen. Three of them about their experiences in the city at the Waal.

Sarah Hölscher (28) is on an exchange at the Faculty of Arts

‘I am from Münster where I am studying German-Dutch Studies. Münster is not too far away from Nijmegen, only a two-hour drive. I took part in the introduction week in Nijmegen and got to know the city at the Waal better. I noticed that the bike lanes here are much nicer than in Germany, they are a lot broader. But I do miss the German bread, the Dutch one is just not as good. Luckily, when my parents came to visit, they brought me a loaf.’

‘I have been in Nijmegen since mid-August and was able to get a room in the SSH& complex Boeckstaetehof. When I arrived here, the corona measures were much more lenient than in Germany. I could even go to the store without a mask. It is also fantastic that this campus is fully open without restrictions.’

Gaia Forlani (25) is on an exchange at the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies

‘I am half Croatian and half Italian and I study in Milan. I am here to finish my master thesis on the Philosophy of Cognitive Neuroscience. What I really like about the Radboud University is the campus. I already went to study in all the faculty buildings, but I haven’t found my favourite place yet. The sports centre is amazing too. I used to dance at a ballet company in Milan, and I can still train on a relatively high level here.’

‘I got to know Nijmegen, the old city with a young vibe, during the introduction week. Although the Waal beaches are still somewhat strange to me, because I am from a Croatian city by the sea that has beautiful beaches. Swimming in the Waal was a totally different experience. However, now that it’s getting colder, going into the river isn’t an option anymore. But I’m really looking forward to Christmas to see how the city will light up.’

Christin Wasserman (23) is on a full year exchange at the Faculty of Science

‘I am finishing the final year of my master in Medical Biology here in Nijmegen on exchange from Essen. I have been in Nijmegen for about eight weeks now and, unlike Essen, it’s a proper student city. Especially because there is such a large campus in the middle of the city.’

‘A homeless person reached out to me because he had found my phone’

‘I am happy that I was able to get a room at Hoogeveldt. It’s a very cosy place. But I haven’t had only good experiences there. Somehow a stranger managed to get into our hallway. He stole my phone, my wallet and some jewellery while I was sleeping. A couple of days later, a homeless person reached out to me because he had found my phone, so I was able to get it back.’

‘But despite this bizarre experience, I am quite happy to be in Nijmegen. The people here are very open and helpful. That is something I will really take away from my exchange at Radboud: it’s important to be more open towards other people.’


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