Settling into my new city, Amsterdam

TransferWise content team
2 minute read

Louisa Wenderoth, studying at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Amsterdam has a lot to offer. I arrived two months ago to begin my bachelor degree and as you know, every new beginning can be tough. Want to know how I settled into my new city? Here are the top 5 challenging, weird and funnest experiences so far!

1. Finding a place


There are many things in life that are fun... flat hunting is not one of them.

In Amsterdam, it can become the challenge of your life! I spent all summer on apartment portals and Facebook groups.

The flat market can be very tough, especially for students. The most desperate I felt was at a campsite close to Amsterdam, as I couldn’t afford the hostel any more. I was without a cooker to make food, had no clean clothes and three flat viewings with fancy brokers ahead of me. But hey, there is hope. I eventually found a big apartment that I now share with my boyfriend and another flatmate.

Happy ending!

2. Studying in the Netherlands


You think your university is tough? I thought that too. Until I came here.

The University of Amsterdam asks for a lot from the beginning. Back in Germany, I didn’t spend nearly as much time on reading and studying. Luckily the topics are interesting, modern and current. My study program had its second birthday this summer. I belong to the third generation of the bachelor’s program Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics. Yes, all at once. An interdisciplinary approach that helps to gain a new understanding of social happenings!

3. Busy bike traffic


Amsterdam is famous for its busy bike traffic.

Coming from abroad, this can cause some difficulties. As a pedestrian, you can feel a bit overwhelmed at times by all the traffic around you. But no worries, I got used to it very quickly and am now biking like a local…well trying at least.

4. Weird snacks


Every country has its own food culture and the Netherlands are no exception.

The weirdest snack so far has been a 'Frikandel‘. A deep fried brown mixture in the shape of a cucumber. The ingredients are a well-kept secret, guess why!

5. Beach life


One of the great advantages of Amsterdam are the nearby beaches.

Ijburg is my favourite so far. It is an artificial beach 20 minutes from the centre and a great spot for hanging out in summer and water sports all year round! Ijburg is frequently visited by kite and windsurfers and I have managed my first metres on the board already!

Louisa is in her first year studying Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics at the University of Amsterdam.

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