Cheung Kan Sun, Kenneth
Radboud University, The Netherlands
Visiting museums is definitely a must when you’re in the Netherlands, especially in Nijmegen! As Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands, it contains a lot of relics and art. The Museum Het Valkhof displays a vast collection of Roman antiquities. The pillar next to me in the photo above is called “Godenpijler van Nijmegen” (a Roman pillar with an emperor and gods), which is a pillar-shaped monument from Roman times and it was approximately erected in 15 AD.
During orientation week, my teammates and I played a Dutch game called “Crazy 88”. It is named after and based on a famous Dutch TV program. Crazy 88 stands for 88 requests, and participants have to complete various challenges in a team. Our task in the photo was to make a pyramid with six people. As you can see, we did this in the simplest way!
It is always fun cooking and exchanging meals with other international friends, especially when they’re happy to taste your food from home. It is wonderful to experience and learn about other cultures by cooking together. Living in a student residence, there are many opportunities to share your recipes with others. My international friends are always fascinated by Asian dishes. They really liked the curry chicken and egg cakes!
The Netherlands is a perfect place for history geeks (like me), as it is rich with beautiful and historic religious sites. Behind me in this photo is the English Reformed Church in Begijnhof, Amsterdam, built approximately in the year 1390 and rebuilt in the 1490s due to a big fire. The church was hidden from 1578 to 1795 when Roman Catholics were banned from openly practicing their religion.
Dam Square is located in the centre of Amsterdam and is the symbol of the city. As a part of the actual dam built around the Amstel river to prevent floods from the Zuiderzee sea, Dam Square was created in the 13th century. As a central marketplace in the past, Dam square today is a meeting place for locals and tourists, with a lot of street artists and performers.
Joining an exchange programme is a great opportunity for those who want to study a Master's degree abroad. Do not miss the tours and open days of your future university, for you could be missing out on invaluable insights that could help you choose the right programme. Even though I am not studying in University of Amsterdam, I visited the campus to learn more about the myriad of programmes available in the Netherlands!
My host university, Radboud University Nijmegen, has over 40 sports clubs for students to enjoy. Some of the sports are not common in Hong Kong, such as sailing and surfing. This semester I joined ‘Jolly Jumper’, which is a student riding organization that offers various riding activities. Riding horses is so much fun! You should definitely give it a try if you come to Nijmegen.
In Nijmegen, I’m living in a student residence called Hoogeveldt. The fee is €360 per month, which is quite reasonable in the Netherlands. My room includes a sink, a huge bookshelf, two chairs, and a bed.
Although I have to share a kitchen and bathroom with 15 other international students, they are very friendly. As a bonus, the location is just a five minute bike ride to the University.
Leiden is a famous university city surrounded by canals. Enjoying the view of the canal on a bridge is so relaxing. In this photo, you can see Koornbrug bridge, which is a national monument in the Netherlands, and dates back to 1642. Every Saturday, a central market opens in front of the bridge, which has been happening for over 900 years!
The MuZIEum is not an ordinary museum – it informs visitors about the challenges of being blind. The museum holds city tours by tour guides who are blind or partially sighted, and visitors have to cover their eyes during the tour. Walking through the city centre with only a sense of sound and touch was an unforgettable experience. The museum provided a unique lesson on how the blind live in complete darkness.
Around the city centre of Nijmegen, one can find religious statues and signs influenced by Catholic values. The statue next to me in the picture is called Mariken of Nieumeghen, which is a reference to a tale that dates back to around the 1500s. It is about a girl, Mariken, who was seduced by the devil. The two of them traveled from the city of Nijmegen to Antwerp and committed evil, destructive acts along the way. But when Mariken returned to Nijmegen, she realised the gravity of her sins and confessed. At the end, God forgave her. The moral of the story: no matter what sins one has committed, with true repentance, they will always be forgiven.
The name of the church behind me is St. Stephen's Church. The church is located in the middle of the city center and it dates back to the 7th century AD. It was restored several times in the past and the current exterior was built in the 16th Century but it was damaged during the WW2. The clock tower of the church can be seen from every corner in the city center.