Study Abroad in Amsterdam, the Netherlands 2016 - 2017
Study Period: January 2016 – July 2016
Affiliation/Grade at the start of studying abroad: School of Design, Department of Art and Information, 3rd to 4th Year
Reasons for the Choice of University
In my case, I did not choose this university through a thorough consideration of all the options, but rather because I saw a poster of an exchange program in the dining hall and thought “This is it!” and I applied for the program. I heard from people who had participated in the same program said it was worth it, so I did not hesitate at all.
Life in the University
For my study abroad program, I took up an internship in the mediaLAB Amsterdam, which is one of the research institutions in the University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam. It was a project that took about 5 months, and we work in a team of 4 or 5 people with the support of an actual company. I was working with Schiphol Group, but this season, the other teams were working with companies like esa and Amsterdam Rainproof. Next season, there will be a project with cisco. There were very few lessons, once or twice a week, but other than that the teams worked on their own projects. The language will be English. As far as I know, there is no Japanese student in the course.
I lived in a suburb of Amsterdam, called Diemen, which is about 25 minutes by bicycle to the school. The Netherlands is a great country for riding bicycles, and there are many bike lanes. It is really inconvenient without a bicycle, so get one when you arrive in the Netherlands. Supermarkets are open on Sundays, but the business hours are shorter on Sunday. It is comfortable to live here. Eating out can be expensive. I would not recommend it. I do not know how much I spent per month because the school paid my rent and utility bills. I only have to pay for food, which was about 300 euros a month, but the company paid me as an intern, so that was enough to cover my food expenses. I went on trips during the holidays.
Procedures before Studying Abroad and Upon Arrival
After I decided to study abroad, there was only a month left to my departure, so it was tough for me, but the school took care of the main procedures and also helped me find a house. Be sure to fill out the application forms from Kyushu University. I have very little time to prepare because it was just before the New Year Holidays, so the person in charge of the administration was angry with me. Be aware that you are representing Kyushu University when you study abroad. At the airport immigration, all you need is your passport. After arriving in the Netherlands, you will receive a Residence Permit Card issued by IND, and the BSN will be issued at the city hall, then the registration process will complete. You cannot open a bank account without the BSN. Depending on the bank, you may need to present it later.
My study abroad program is a little different from a typical exchange program, and it may not be very helpful, but I hope you will get to know that there is such a program and it didn’t cost me much money.