2011 - Charles Driver from Queensland in Amsterdam

Forging a new life in a city far away from home was a good experience.

Amsterdam - a beautiful, lively, liberal city, with everything located within an easy cycle. There are interesting things going on every night, and a relaxed approach from both the people and authorities regarding how others wish to live their lives. The straightforwardness of the Dutch people is refreshing, they don’t talk around the point here – and I found warm friendships amongst non-natives, of which there are also many.

Study at the UvA was great overall. I did have some difficulties with subject crossover, and the timetabling of courses was less straightforward than UQ. I found the psychology courses tended to teach me more, and require far fewer assignments – instead of writing papers I was reading articles or completing learning activities. This, as well as the much smaller class sizes, was a refreshing change. I also gained credits for some research participation, which was excellent – there was some guidance available and regular group meetings, but there was a large expectation to manage things myself and come up with my own ideas.

Forging a new life in a city far away from home was a good experience – lots more mood swings and less sense of security, but I’m better for it and see more potential in life back ‘home’ - wherever that ends up being. The beautiful city, easy cycling everywhere, and a few of the people, make me consider a return – I’d just need to find some way to migrate south for the winters!