Step into my Amsterdam life

Posted at: 14 Jan 2020 | Communication

Hello all, my name is Daneica and I am a South African who is currently studying at James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore. I have been part of a six-month exchange programme here at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS/HvA). I’m currently studying a minor in High Performance Sport at the AUAS. This blog post will share what a day in the life of a minor student consists of, as well as a few comparisons between Amsterdam and Singapore.

Me outside the AUAS Sports Campus

If you had have asked me six months ago what it would be like studying in Amsterdam, I would have had no idea. However, fast forward to the present and I would have to say that the last six months of being in Amsterdam have been the most amazing months of my life.

A typical week

My typical week at AUAS has consisted of having 2 classes a day, 3 times a week. I have really enjoyed this timetable whilst being on exchange because it has given me a good balance of being able study and complete the academic aspect of the programme while at the same time allowing me to travel around and be a tourist in Amsterdam and Europe.

Studying sports is a lot of fun at the AUAS campus as there is always so much activity taking place. It was a great experience as the campus always had an atmosphere that it was somehow alive, filled with happy people. Around campus you would always see a lot of different classes going on including dancing, cooking, gymnastics and jujitsu.

James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore

Comparing JCU and AUAS

  • Addressing lecturers
    • JCU – Only by their last name, sir or ma’am
    • AUAS - By their first name
  • Classes
    • JCU – Not very interactive
    • AUAS – Super interactive and also wanting your thoughts and opinions on the topics being taught
  • Grading system
    • JCU – Pass, credit, distinction and high distinction
    • AUAS – Number system of 1-10 (5.5 = pass)
  • Semesters
    • JCU – 3 semesters of 3.5 months
    • AUAS – Semesters have blocks which comprise 7 week of lectures and then an exam; new classes in the 2nd block
  • Attendance
    • JCU – International students need to obtain a 90% class and campus attendance and local students need to obtain 75% class attendance. Three hours of compulsory attendance a day is required even if you don’t have lectures for international students.
    • AUAS – No real record keeping of attendance
  • Class size
    • JCU – Classes in Singapore can range from 35 people to 200 people
    • AUAS – Classes I’ve had in Amsterdam have been small, with only 32 people
  • Food on campus
    • JCU – On campus we have a cafeteria where there are about 8 different food stalls, which consist of Indonesian, Korean, Indian, Western and authentic Chinese food
    • AUAS – On campus there is just one place to get food such as wraps, sandwiches, different meals of the day/week and a salad bar.
  • Social activities
    • JCU – There are a number of clubs to join on campus from volunteering, learning to speak Chinese, growing your business knowledge to yoga.
    • AUAS – I’m not aware of any on-campus activities like this – it would be nice if they offered this.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you have found it helpful and I that it has inspired you to come to Amsterdam as you will most definitely not regret it!

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