Bachelor of Law/Arts
Bachelor of Law/Arts

Academic experiences

I was only able to choose subjects from one faculty so I decided to use my law electives.
I could only choose masters level law courses and studied:

  • Introduction to International Law
  • International Criminal Law
  • International Climate Law

They were all very interesting subjects and the lecturers were at the top of their fields.
I also enjoyed the block system where you study subjects consecutively over two 7-week blocks rather than all your subjects concurrently.
The academic system was definitely more geared to 'self-study' and I had very few contact hours.
My classes were also very small and more tutorial-style.
I found the examinations/assessments to be much more relaxed than at UQ but that may have been due to my subjects - also, oral/spoken exams are slightly strange but not as daunting as they sound.

Iamsterdam sign

Personal experiences

My exchange to Amsterdam was definitely a wonderful experience and as clichéd as it goes - I made lifelong friends from around the world (and incidentally, Australia) and got to explore other great cities in Europe on weekend trips.
Everyone does speak perfect English - although Dutch lessons were provided by the university as well as the student network at a cost.
It was daunting at first but you learn a lot moving to a foreign country by yourself and setting up a new network although the exchange experience makes it easier.
You also learn a lot by getting lost and navigating around Amsterdam on a bicycle in the middle of winter but you'll later realise that it is way more fun and enjoyable than other forms of transport!

The Peace Palace in The Hague (Den Haag)

Accommodation

Amsterdam has a few housing corporations that organise student accommodation around the city.
However, the type of accommodation is quite diverse - you can be placed far out of the city (Diemen) or right on one of the canals (e.g. Prinsengracht).
You can choose the level of accommodation such as private with shared facilities or private with private facilities and then you are randomly allocated.
My location was great, I ended up paying less than expected and made my closest friends in my building but had shared accommodation that was not ideal - it's luck of the draw really but my advice is if you are after more private accommodation definitely choose a higher bracket but it will all work out regardless of where you are placed.

Down the road from the UvA law campus

Budget

Expenses will vary depending on your accommodation and personal spending but I found spending on food etc. to be on par with Australia.
Some things can be more expensive such as some fresh produce whilst other things like beer were cheap.
In terms of travel - get a bike!
Public transport is quite expensive.
If you can, find one on the Facebook ISN Marketplace or Bike market (around 60 euros) otherwise you can go to the Leidseplein markets although it is more expensive - and get TWO locks.
You can also find really cheap flights/trains/buses on skyscanner for travel throughout the semester.
The Travel Grant and OS Help Loan accounted for half of my budget and this was comfortable, also factoring in that I was travelling for two months post-exchange.

A canal near home

Academic development and employability

Exchange has allowed me to gain a more international perspective on my degree as well as my employment options - especially as I focused on international law subjects.

Highlight

Riding around every day in a beautiful city like Amsterdam - more of a daily highlight.

Top tips

Do it - you will learn a lot (academic and otherwise)!

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