Where to Live in The Hague

If you’ve been looking into studying at The Hague University of Applied Sciences you have probably looked into the available housing and have probably come across the extremely helpful and descriptive (..sarcasm) DUWO website. DUWO is in charge of the student accommodations here, but the website is sort of tricky to navigate and not very helpful to exchange students who are trying to figure out the most suitable place to live. SO I will try to help you out by giving you a little description and some pros and cons of each location.

1. The Red Tower (Stamkartplein) — I’ve never actually been in this tower, but i do know that it is connected to the school, which is very nice since The Netherlands can be a very windy and rainy place. Also, this tower houses more than just exchange students, so you would have the opportunity to meet many more dutch students than you would in other buildings. One drawback of living here is that you have to pay for laundry and i wouldn’t consider it cheap ( 2.50 Euros to wash + 2.50 Euros to dry). Not to mention the washer and dryers are much smaller here so you’ll be doing more loads.

2. Waldorpstraat–This is the newest building and it has 3 and 4 bedroom flats and is also really close to campus, about a 5 minute walk. It’s located across from the Mega Store, which is convenient since thats where the grocery store and other stores are located. There are two towers at Waldorpstraat, but one is just for exchange students, so you won’t get to experience living with any regular Dutch students. Like the red tower, you’ll be spending a lot of money just to do laundry if you live here.

3. Amsterdamse Veerkade– This is where I live. I picked this apartment because it was located in the city center. There are both positive and negatives aspects to living right in the center of the city. The pros would definitely be that you are near all of the shopping, restaurants, bars, etc. and people are always out and about on the streets. I also have my own washer, so I don’t have to pay for each load. However, I have no dryer so I had to buy a drying rack. The biggest con to living here is that I have to walk a mile to get to school every day and even farther if I want to go to Waldorpstraat, which is where most people hang out. It is also kind of scary walking back to my place at night when its dark out, which can be as early as 5:30 in the winter. I think the biggest con living here is how outdated the apartments are– the website says they were built in the 90’s, but the appliances seem like they are from the 70’s if you ask me.  Despite the cons, I still enjoy living here.

So to sum it up, if you want to be closer to campus live in the red tower or waldorpstraat and if you want to be near the restaurants, shopping, and bars live at Amsterdamse Veerkade. All of the places are livable, it just depends on personal preference and I don’t think DUWO does a very good job describing the properties so I hope this helps a little 🙂


P.S. Nothing to do with housing, but here are some pictures from my trip to Sicily! It was beautiful.

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Life in The Hague – Netherlands

Where to start… Studying abroad here in the Netherlands has been amazing. There are so many places to go, people to meet, things to do, etc. Although it has taken awhile to get used to the way things work here, everything has finally started to fall in place.

First off, the university is much different than back at Louisville. There is one large center building connected to a couple other buildings where all of our classes take place (IBMS students). I can’t imagine how the exchange students from here who study abroad at U of L feel when they find out their classes are in different buildings spread out across the campus. Also, the classes here can change times, classrooms and even different days each week. I have had classes change from Tuesday to Wednesday, from 4:30 in the afternoon to 9:30 in the morning, and from meeting once a week to meeting twice a week. It seems nearly impossible to have a job while attending this university with the way classes change so much. With all that said, it is great meeting new people in class, working in groups with students from all different countries (teachers love working in teams here), and learning how the professors/students in the Netherlands look at the world of business.

Outside of school, there is so much to do in The Hague. Kylee, Sophie, and I decided to make a trip to the beach yesterday since it was a little over 60 degrees outside. After we arrived, we walked down the beach awhile to see what all was there. After hearing from some locals that the restaurants and bars on the beach opened near the end of March, I was surprised to see so many people there. After yesterday’s adventure, it’s safe to say we will be heading to the beach more often in a few weeks when everything is open.

When it comes to traveling, The Hague is a great place to study abroad. Very easy to get around Europe due to the fact that the train station is right next to campus and the airport in Amsterdam is only about 40 minutes away. Since I have been here, I have been to Paris and Majorca, an island off the east coast of Spain. I went to Paris with Sophie and Kylee the week after we arrived before school started. I went to Majorca a couple weeks ago with Kylee for our “spring” break. Both trips were absolutely amazing and definitely once in a lifetime opportunities.

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A few random side notes: 1) Although very unhealthy, Turkish pizza and Kapsalon are two things you have to eat at least once while you are here. 2) Bikes are used by everyone and are very convenient, but you have to be careful because they can be stolen and/or break easily if you buy a used one. 3) Spontaneity is key. Both trips I’ve made here were booked less than a week before we left and they turned out to be some of the best trips I will take in my life. When studying abroad, you have so many opportunities, but only for a short time. You have to take advantage of them.

More posts to come.

Traveling from The Hague!

So I have been in The Netherlands for about a month now and it has been nothing short of amazing. I am so happy with my decision to study here in The Hague because it makes traveling so easy! Since arriving at the end of January I have already been able to travel to France and Spain.

Since we arrived in late January we had about a week and half with no class. Sophie, Evan and I decided to take full advantage of this opportunity and booked a trip to Paris! I was surprised by how easy it was to get there (a five hour train ride). We stayed at a nice hostel called Le Regent Hostel Montmartre that was very reasonably priced and located in a super fun area. While there we got to see all of the major attractions like the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, etc. Besides the amazing sights that Paris has to offer, the other reason i would definitely recommend going there is THE FOOD. SO. GOOD. A Madame Croque will change your life, I have no doubt.

After returning from paris we began our first week of class, but luckily for us we only had two weeks before our Spring Break (if you call February spring…). Evan and I decided to try to find a cheap beach destination so we spent one night searching all of the internet and finally came across a great deal to Palma de Mallorca in Spain on Expedia. I would definitely recommend Expedia when flying somewhere because usually by buying a package deal you end up with a nice hotel a flight for about the same price you be paying for a flight and hostel were you to do it separate. Anyways, Mallorca was BEAUTIFUL. The beaches are not like beaches in the U.S., they’re much smaller and more like coves. Just to warn you, so you aren’t surprised like we were, wearing a top at the beach is apparently not required in Spain. The actual city of Palma is also very beautiful. There are tons of great stores to shop at and lots of little places to eat. However, my favorite part about the city was its compact size, you could walk from one side to the other in just an hour. While we were in the city we visited La Sea, the Cathedral of Mallorca and it was breath taking. We also hiked our way up to the top of the hill to visit the Castell de Bellver, a 13th Century castle. The view from up there was absolutely amazing. Besides these tourist attractions, Mallorca is known for its nightlife. February is part of the “offseason” in Mallorca, but you could still find crowds of people in the streets at 5:30 in the morning on the weekend. Some locals told us its like that EVERY night May- October so I definitely wouldn’t recommend going to Mallorca if you’re trying to get you’re beauty sleep.

The places I’ve been so far have been amazing and I’m looking forward to continuing my travels!

Back Home Again

It has been just over a week since I returned home from the Netherlands. I did not realize that the adjustment of returning would impact me as much as it has. The weirdest thing about it is that after you have been away for a semester traveling and doing all of these awesome things and you finally return home, it almost feels like it was a dream. I feel like I was leaving for The Hague yesterday. Definitely make the most of your time abroad as you will be home before you know it. When you come back, people will ask you how your trip went and about your time abroad, but it is hard to describe a semester in which you have so many experiences. All that comes out of my mouth is, “It was great!” Others who have gone abroad before told me about this feeling before I left but I did not really understand it at the time. But now, I do. Some other tips for you in The Hague, is that it takes a while for professors to post their grades. They are not required to post grades immediately like they are here. But if you email them and explain your situation, they more often than not will help you get your grade back quickly. Also, the exams are often a majority of the grade for the course. Most of mine were between 60-70% of the total grade. So there is a decent amount of pressure to do well on the exam. I recommend not traveling the last few weeks of the semester and dedicate that time to studying for finals. It is hard to believe that the semester of my dreams is finally over. I keep thinking about the work that everyone put in to make it possible, the friends I made, the memories in each city, and the different cultures. It was definitely the best 5 months of my life. I highly recommend studying abroad. Thanks for reading my posts throughout the semester! Feel free to contact me if you would like to know more about my experience abroad.

Chiraag Bhimani

A Few Tips for You

It is hard to believe that within 6 weeks I will be back in Louisville. It feels like just yesterday I was walking into my room at The Hague for the first time. I wanted to share some advice about some of the things that can have an impact on your study abroad experience.

Make a list of the countries/cities that you want to go to: This was one of the first things AJ and I did when we got to The Hague. We have been able to visit 10 countries on our list. The key is to travel early and often. That way, you are not traveling around the end of the semester when final exams and big assignments are due. Save the local areas for the end. Make use of any school holidays you may have. Fortunately, we did not have any tests during the first exam period so we had an extended fall break of about 10 days.

Stay on top of school work: It is important to get work done, even if it means giving up a night out during the week. You do not want to carry your books and notes around on a weekend trip trying to get work done. It is a hassle. Balancing school with traveling is not the easiest thing, but it is important that you do so.

Research the places you are going: By this I mean take an hour or so to look up some info on the places before you get there. Ask friends and family for recommendations on things to do. I have been able to use info from previous posts on this blog by others. You might be able to find a nice local restaurant, bar, or attraction that is not known to tourists. Also, look into events going on in the cities during the time you will be there. You never know if your favorite artist or author may be in town while you are there.

Pack light: Whenever you travel, pack light. Take only what you absolutely need for a few days and leave the rest. Make sure all your liquids are travel sized. I recommend walking whenever you can, you’ll see more of the city that way and you do not want to lug around a heavy backpack.

Be creative in your travel plans: Look into trains, buses, and planes. Buses are often dirt cheap, but the downside is a long travel time. Trains and planes are pretty affordable given that you plan well in advance. Look into other airports around you. Often, the low cost airlines fly out of secondary airports. You can travel to a city one way by train and then return by plane or by some other combination.

That is all I have for now. I will try to add more as I think of them. If you have any questions or comments, let me know and I will get back to you. Thanks for reading!

Chiraag Bhimani

The Hostel Life

I have been living in The Hague for nearly two months now. It is a great location considering how close it is to other major European countries. This makes it very easy to travel by plane, train, or even bus. So far, I have traveled to several different cities and countries. Amsterdam’s airport is close by and has flights to almost every city you could think of. Many of these flights are affordable for a college student looking to do some traveling.

Up until my trip abroad, I have never stayed in a hostel. When the word hostel came to mind, I imagined a giant room with an endless row of metal bunk beds. The hostels we have stayed at have been nothing short of great. Some are right in the middle of the city, some are on the outskirts. You can use sites like booking.com and Hostelworld to find a hostel. Usually, it costs around 15 to 30 Euros depending on the day and location. Often times, the price includes a free breakfast. A good rule of thumb to follow is to pick a hostel that has at least an 80% rating on the website.

Hostels are an interesting place to meet other travelers. It is almost like getting a random roommate every time you stay in one. In most cases, the rooms are mixed which means you can have roommates of the opposite gender. More often than not, many hostels also have different room types to choose from. Some offer a big room like ten or more beds, some offer smaller rooms for two to four people. The smaller rooms usually cost a bit more. Some of the smaller rooms have a private bathroom in them while the bigger ones have to use a community bathroom. Hostels are basically a cross between hotels and dorms.

The people working at the front desk are usually pretty good resources when it comes to finding out the local spots to hang out or get something to eat. Two things I would invest in when staying in hostels are a lock and a small towel. Every hostel has a locker in the room for you to use. But they do not give you a lock to use. I recommend bringing your own lock, something smaller than a combination lock as those are usually too big. Also, you do not want to carry around a normal sized towel when you are traveling. You want to travel light and a big, bulky towel will not help. Something like a swimmer’s towel or a small washcloth works. It is light and gets you dry enough.

I hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect when staying at a hostel. If you have any questions or comments, let me know and I will get back to you. Thanks for reading!

Chiraag Bhimani

The Hague, Netherlands!

Hello from The Hague, Netherlands! It has been nearly three weeks since I left Louisville and it has all been a blur. Before I came, I read the other blog entries on The Hague to get an idea of what to expect. I am glad that I did as it has been a huge help. I will tailor my blog posts so that it will give you an idea of what to expect about life in The Hague and abroad through my experiences. It does not take much time to get settled down in The Hague. It is an extremely diverse and international city. I definitely did not expect it to be that way. Almost everyone speaks English and you will see that many of the people are students or young professionals. I am here with another UofL student, AJ Bucci, and we were lucky enough to find an apartment in the city center. The city center is where all of the restaurants, bars/clubs, and stores are located. We bought bikes, which is the primary form of transportation in and around the city. AJ talks about it in his blog post, but biking is a huge part of Dutch life. They have special roads and traffic lights dedicated to bikes only. They even have these rails on stairs for you to use in case you have a bike with you. For us, walking to school or the train station takes about 20 minutes. But with the bike, it is less than half that time. I am not going to lie to you, before I came to the Netherlands; I was expecting to conquer Europe one country at a time. It is definitely easier said than done. It can be tough to plan trips around school but the key is to travel as much as you can as early as possible, before you get deep into classes. A good rule to follow is every other week for travelling out of the country. And you have to plan early to get good deals on planes and trains. Also, don’t be afraid to be the first one to make travel plans. Other people will follow once they see someone else do it. So far, the weather has been pretty good. Good enough to where we were able to make it to the beach one day. That was pretty nice. But everyone is telling us to enjoy it while we can before it gets worse. The classes have been very interesting so far. Group work and presentations are a common theme among all classes. You will get to meet people from all over the world here. In a single group, you could have someone from Russia, Thailand, Mexico, and Slovakia. It has been a great experience so far. I’ll be back to update you on more from The Hague, in the meantime if you have any questions you can send me an email or leave a comment.

Chiraag Bhimani

10 Things to know in the Hague

Hello all. I’m almost done here in The Hague and it has been the greatest experience of my life. If you ever have the slightest inclination to study abroad you should go. It will be the greatest experience of your life I guarantee it. You may know what life is like somewhere. But, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. You will only figure this out by living there. Now, if you are going to study in The Hague, which I highly recommend, there are 10 things you need to know: 1) Get a bike. It will be the greatest investment you will ever make here. You can get them for like 40 euro 2) Stay in Stamkartplein. It’s like 50 yards from the school and a two minute walk from the train and tram station. It’s really close to the megastore which is where you buy everything. It’s also full of exchange students from around the world. 3) Bring warm clothes- It’s very windy. 4) Get a higher one account. It’s the cheapest way to do everything. It’s only $2.50 to withdrawal any amount. (No one swipes in the Netherlands except in the school.) 5) Travel as much as you can. The Netherlands is centrally located so it’s really easy and cheap to travel anywhere. Some sites you need to use are: easyjet and skyscanner for flights. 6) Your schedule will change just about every week. It takes a little bit of getting used to but once you get the hang of it it’s fine. 7) The school caters to exchange students. They try to help you out as much as possible. They also have organizations set up to help you meet other students. 8) Meet as many people as you can. There are people here from all over the world. 9) You don’t have to know the language. Everyone in the Netherlands speaks English fairly well. But, I would highly recommend learning a few Dutch words before you go so when you go to the store you know what you’re buying. 10) Go out. Have a good time. You only have six months to hang out with them and it goes by faster than you think.