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My first impressions of Amsterdam: Juan

September 25, 2018

Once you arrive to Amsterdam and start your studies here, you might be overwhelmed with meeting all the people whose names you are trying to remember and adjusting to the new teaching methods.         

Sounds familiar? Let's read how Juan deals with this!  

 

 

 Photo: Amsterdam is so photogenic...

 

Wow, it has already been a month since I got to Amsterdam, time flies! As you can guess I have
been pretty busy settling down, preparing stuff for the classes and even going back to Spain for a
weekend to dance in my village festival (I have a photo from that day in the
last entry in August of
the blog) so I haven’t had much time to write. Or at least that’s what I tell myself so I don’t feel too
guilty.

 

My first days 


Let’s start from the beginning, My first days here were a bit chaotic, because of all the stuff we had
to do -the documents for the municipality, bank account and health insurance- plus all the people I
met, not just classmates but also neighbors, tutors and teachers, which didn’t help me much because
I have always had some trouble remembering people’s names. I felt lucky to still know mine after a
few days.

 Photo: Yay, I remember these people's names 

 

Home's not far and it's coming to you!

 

Nonetheless, there is calm after the storm and you get some time to know those people better, to
chill on your own and to discover the city. Once you are here, at least in my case, you realize that
you are not really that far from home, particularly because many people from your hometown are
asking you when the best time to visit is. Also, Amsterdam is a handy place as a starting point for
other places not only in the Netherlands but all over Europe and even further too!


About the city, I must say that it’s a nice one, with many events happening and places to discover
but (yes, there is a “but”) I don’t feel it yet. I think it is because it is not a big city and it has been
denatured by tourists. Anyways, I have only been here for a month, so I don’t want to come to any
conclusions yet, I still have a lot to explore.

 

Classes where students participate


When it comes to the classes I am surprised by the teaching approach used here. Coming from
Spain, where in law schools everything is learned in master classes, the idea of encouraging people
to participate in the lesson and share their opinions, with teachers sometimes acting as mere
moderators, and all of that in an informal environment, is a deep breath of fresh air and motivates
me to study.


Unfortunately, deadlines are a thing here too, and they are always right behind you, blowing on
your neck, with papers to be read and essays to be written, so if you will “squeeze” me, I must now
return to work.


Until next time, cheers!

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