Ilaria, from Italy is a Master's student in Heritage Studies.
Study programme: Heritage Studies
Programme type: Master of Arts
I decided to move abroad for postgraduate study in order to broaden my education and professional prospects and experience living in the Netherlands, specifically in a city like Amsterdam. I chose the UvA in particular because my Master’s in Curating Arts and Cultures offered me a unique opportunity to both study for one year at the UVA and have one-year work experience in a museum in Amsterdam.
Living in Amsterdam is both wonderful and (sometimes) extremely hectic. The campus is spread across the city centre and outwards, so getting a bike is extremely important when you’re moving from one side of the city to another. However, bike traffic is real. You have to be extremely cautious of trams, cars, bikes and pedestrians when whizzing around the city. And Dutch people bike in any sort of weather (freezing cold, pouring rain, snow and hail).
I believe that the UvA is a truly well-rounded university, which offers students much more than just a degree. Because it is a city campus with lectures in the centre over-looking the canals, there is something magical about it. It also has a plethora of courses that cater to a huge variety of academic fields of interest.
The examination/assessment periods at the UvA are more regular than in the United Kingdom. The academic year is split into 6 periods, 3 periods per semester and there is an assessment after every period (give or take 3 or 5 weeks). Depending on your exact course i.e. Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD the assessments will vary.
If you do not have connections, friends, family or know of people with spare rooms before moving to the city you should always opt for student accommodation, saving you the hassle of endlessly searching for a spare room.