When you think of the Netherlands, images of bikes, loads of tulips and ancient canals probably pop up immediately. Utrecht offers that, and much more: Being the largest student city in the Netherlands with almost 45,000 students it is filled with cafés and restaurants at low budget prices. It is a hub for international students too and it won’t take you long to find your favourite bar in the city.
Also, Utrecht is located in the centre of the Netherlands, only a stone’s throw from Amsterdam. This also means that a weekend trip to Paris or Brussels is easy and cheap to do. Visit http://www.visit-utrecht.com/ to discover more about the city.
The university is located at Science Park “De Uithof”, just a 20 minutes bike ride from the city centre. University departments and research institutes are located on-campus, and there are shops, restaurants, library, sports facilities and a botanic garden, almost a little city within itself. Nearby is the park Amelisweerd, a very green area to enjoy nature and go for a run. Every place is easy to get to by bike, which is a must-have in Utrecht.
Finding accommodation can be a hassle. The university has an agreement with SSH Short Stay, a local housing corporation that offers temporary furnished housing. Rental fees are between €375 and €655 per month. Through SSH Short Stay there are a number of reserved rooms for international students, which means the sooner you apply, the better chance you stand. The HU International Office will inform you on how to register for this accommodation as soon as you have been accepted into the programme. Don’t hesitate and start right away. Accommodation close to campus (Johanna, Pythagoras) are most favourable and good quality.
Aarhus is also a major student city in Denmark, with over 6,000 international students. Even though, Denmark is a bit more expensive, the massive population of students in Aarhus means that it is filled with cafés and restaurants that offer you student discount. Also, in Aarhus you will find a variety of cultural opportunities. Just take a look at Aros, the city’s museum of modern art. It won’t take long before your cover photo on Facebook shows the view from the Rainbow.
Also, Aarhus is located right on the waterfront, which means that you are never far away from sandy beaches and woods. Going there in January, you might want to take up an old Viking tradition and go winter swimming or just wait till June, when the water is warmer and you’ve just handed in your exam project. Visit http://www.visitaarhus.com/ln-int/denmark/tourist-in-aarhus to discover more about the city.
The Danish School of Media and Journalism is located on the outskirts of the city, a 15 minutes bike ride from the city centre, but this time the ride goes up hill. Aarhus is a much more hilly city than Utrecht, however, the ride home will be a piece of cake for you.
Housing in Aarhus can also be a hassle. However, the school cooperates with the Municipality Housing office and can offer you a room from January 1 until June 30. Often you will be located at the same dorm as your ‘Europe in the World’ classmates, which means that discussion about the next moves of Putin and Merkel, of Juncker and Trump can go on the whole weekend, if you want.