Before starting my semester abroad, five months away sounded like a very long time to me, and I was sad to leave but also excited about what was going to expect me. After a very long trip with the night train from Vienna to Utrecht, I was very happy to be there finally. On the way through the city to the student accommodation by a cap, I immediately fell in love with the city. It is less touristic than Amsterdam, there are many young people, especially international people, and in general, the whole atmosphere is lovely. Utrecht has a lot of great spots for food, drinks and cafes, but one should be aware that the Netherlands are not the cheapest country to visit. Also, in Utrecht, it is tough to find housing. I was very lucky that I immediately got a room in one of the dormitories in science park, which is the university campus in Utrecht. But if one is not that lucky, housing is extremely expensive. A website, called SSH, offers all the student accommodations, but one has to be really quick. My dormitory, called Johanna Building, was totally fine. I lived together with five other people, and we all became good friends and enjoyed our time together very much. The only disadvantage was that there was no oven and I had to buy pans, pots, plates etc. by myself.
In Utrecht, only one program offers school practice, which is called Internationalize your classroom. The coordinators are very friendly and always helpful if there is an issue. The minor itself is also very interesting, maybe sometimes a little bit repetitive, but I definitely learned a lot during my time in a Dutch primary school.
I can definitely say that going abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and it helped me a lot in becoming more independent. I got to know lots of different people and therefore many different perspectives and opinions from which I will definitely benefit in my career as a teacher.
Autorin: Johanna Lind