Ten Tips for a Tilburg University Exchange Student

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January 2nd 2007
Published: December 5th 2007
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1. Learn how to Communicate on a ‘Universal Level’ - The lack of a universal spoken language amongst exchange students calls for all students to practice communication by utilising broken words from different languages, facial expressions, verbal noises, hand expressions & various impersonations. Every day on exchange becomes a game of Charades. Entertainment at it’s best.

2. Become a Tailor/Seamstress - The Tilburg Erasmus Student Network (ESN) will adopt you for the whole semester & will keep you busy by organizing excursions, cultural activities, weekends away & brilliant theme parties every week. The theme parties - the crux of a Tilburg Exchange Students life- will impel you to be creative with costumes & designs.

3. Learn how to Ride a Bike (the Dutch way) - The Dutch are Biking Legends as they manoeuvre through the traffic while holding their textbooks, talking on their mobiles & eating their lunch without even touching the handle bars once. Learn how to bike the Dutch way by learning to juggle groceries & textbooks, a crate of beer, at least two friends on the back of your bike while lighting your cigarette. The black market for bikes is phenomenal so remember to buy at least two bike locks unless you want to donate it to a random Dutch junkie.

4. Get an International Drivers License - just in case. Road trips are fun, cheap & the best way to discover a country with your fellow exchange friends. Tilburg offers a prominent central position within Europe with roads leading to every desired destination.

5. Get used to Eating from a Wall- Traditionally the Dutch like to eat processed meat sitting in a self-contained heating unit for an undisclosed amount of time from a wall. It sounds shifty but by-god the food is delicious.

6. Become a Provisional Weather Forecaster - The weather in Tilburg is indecisive & erratic. Invest in a hat, sunscreen, mittens, scarf, ear muffs & a raincoat. & then lug them around the whole day.

7. Believe in Sinterklaas - Santa Claus originated from the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas traditionally arrives each year by steamboat from Spain with his Zwarte Piet (elves). The Dutch celebrate gift-giving on the 5th of December & in effect have two Christmas’s!

8. Enrol in the International Relations Course at De Lamme Goedzak (LG) - De Lamme Goedzak
Verbernelaan 50 Verbernelaan 50 Verbernelaan 50

My beautiful room in Tilburg
will be the classroom where you will receive distinctions in International Relations. This is where you will be every Tuesday night- the place where you demonstrate your true Aussie spirit by socializing, cracking jokes, singing, drinking, dancing & having a good time.

9. Stock up on Tim Tams & Vegemite (the former for bribing & the latter for punishment) - By far, the best thing about sharing a house with exchange students from around the world is the culinary possibilities at dinner. By sharing Aussie delights such as Tim Tams & Vegemite it promotes communal eating with the benefit of tasting authentic international cuisine.

10. Create a Home - I decided to embrace every aspect of Tilburg life- the university, the student life on campus, the biking, the languages, the ESN & their activities, the culture & cuisine, the ridiculous weather, the LG & the various people that I met, travelled & fell in love with. It’s a place where I made friends for life, created experiences that I will never forget & made a life for myself that I only dreamed of. Looking back, the reason why my student exchange was so unforgettable was because Tilburg- that
De Lamme GoedzakDe Lamme GoedzakDe Lamme Goedzak

...with the infamous LG bouncer
specific corner of the world, the landlocked city in the Netherlands just short of the Belgian border- became my home.

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Hogescholaan 136

My first home in Tilburg, Semester One

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