Katrin’s first few weeks in the Netherlands

photo by Katrin Watzinger


I started my Erasmus program on Sunday, 29th of January. I was very excited to start a new adventure abroad. On my first day I got to know my two flat mates as I live in a shared flat not far away from the city center of Zwolle. It only takes me about 10 minutes by bike. Buying a bike was one of the first things I did as there is no way to live without a bike in the Netherlands.

Monday was our first day at university. When I entered the building I was quite amazed by how new and modern it is. It’s a small building, but it has got big, bright lecture rooms. I feel like being at home in Graz when it comes to the size of the university because there is a familiar atmosphere in the university and the professors almost know each one of their students.Our international class consists of 15 students from 9 different countries. I really enjoy getting to know so many different cultures and listening to their breath taking stories. Our professors are very kind and try to support us as best as they can.

The first week was a kind of introduction week, where we got to know our professors and our further subjects. We also had a nice social program, which included archery, typical Dutch games and a pub crawl. It was a great idea to get to know each other better and to get used to the Dutch culture.

I have already been to our practice school, which is a bit outside of Zwolle and therefore, we have to take the train. Nevertheless, it only takes us about 60 minutes to get there.

It’s an international private school with a boarding school included, which hosts about 100 students between the age of four and 18. I was really surprised how small the classes are. My class consists of only four children at the age of 10. I have already recognized that the level is much higher than I am used to in Austria and the different topics are more world-orientated, which I’m really keen on. As I’m becoming an English teacher I especially like that the spoken language is English.  I’m really looking forward to having my practice weeks in this international school.

Katrin Watzinger

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