In the next few articles we will be introducing some new students currently preparing for their adventures as international students at VU Amsterdam. Follow them through this exciting period and share your experiences with them! Presenting you today Rohit, the creative engineer!
This is me
My name is Rohit Shaw, and I am from New Delhi, the capital of India. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Lancaster University and will be studying Master’s in Computer Science at both VU and UvA, starting this September.
Ever since I graduated in 2016, I have been a full-time volunteer (AIESECer), Software Developer, Graphic Designer, Social Media Marketer, Financier, Consultant, and Web Developer. I am also an ardent photographer and videographer, so expect to see my work being featured in upcoming posts!
Photo: Me next to the entrance sign of Lancaster University campus
To be honest, studying in Amsterdam wasn’t my first choice; the reason being my limited knowledge of the city in general. I was applying to different universities in different parts of the world based on their rankings and the course content. Location wasn’t my priority.
A week after submitting applications, I began exploring and learning more about the cities these universities were located in. That is when I got to know what Amsterdam actually is. The uniqueness of this city and it being called the new Silicon Valley caught my attention. By this time, I could envision myself living and studying in Amsterdam. Not to forget, the MSc Computer Science programme is a joint degree collaboration between Vrije Universiteit and the University of Amsterdam, meaning I get the best of both!
Photo: Qutub Minar – The tallest Minaret in the world, as shot by Rohit
Having received my letter of admission back in December 2017, I had ample time to prepare for and plan my move to Amsterdam.
Flight ticket and Visa – I had booked my one-way ticket to Amsterdam way back in March since the prices were low then. It was a risky move since I needed a Visa to enter the Netherlands and the application for the same wasn’t even open back then. Luckily, everything went as planned and I received my Visa in June.
Shopping – This was fun and I’ve been doing this a little every month since January. Since I had a lot of time in hand, I purchased the essentials such as international travel adaptors, luggage scale, EU power cable for laptop etc. from AliExpress and got them all at very cheap prices.
Accommodation – Being an international student and knowing the housing market in Amsterdam, arranging accommodation through VU was a no-brainer. I decided to rent a furnished studio in South-East Amsterdam which is equidistant from both VU and UvA (Science Park).
Learning Dutch – I’ve been learning the language via Duolingo for about two weeks now and it has been fun so far. However, I plan on taking classroom courses and learning from real people once I am in Amsterdam.
All other important tasks such as sending a copy of my diploma, paying the tuition fees, registering for courses, getting insurance, and exchanging currencies are complete. All that remains is flying to Amsterdam!
Photo: Taj Mahal – One of the Seven Wonders of the World, as shot by Rohit
Worries and Expectations
You may not believe this, but I have no worries at all. I’m rather excited and am counting days to the moment I finally get to start the next phase of my life. Having been a part of AIESEC and experienced multiple cultures together in a single place, I see myself fitting into Amsterdam like a glove. It also excites me knowing that I will finally get to own and ride a bicycle, something which I couldn’t during my childhood. All in all, I expect to learn a lot in the coming 2 years than I have ever before.