About Exchange: An interview with Jasmin Seijbel

25 January 2016

Hi, First of all how is it going right now?

I am fine! Just found a new place to live in Rotterdam. I gave up my room in the student house I lived before I went to Rome. I’m really happy that I found a new place, since next week a have to be at the university full time again.

Why the exchange? What motivated you?

There’s not really anything or someone in particular that motivated me. Of course my family and friends where supportive of my decision, but nothing in particular motivated me to go abroad. The idea of something different and new has always been and will probably always be very appealing to me. I try to travel as much as I can.
Also I think it is not just academically a smart thing to go abroad for a semester or longer, but personally as well. You can really get to know yourself when you are living in another country.

Why Italy?

Italy was not my first choice. I was supposed to go to Morocco but unfortunately the program got cancelled because they had a budget cut. So I was really late with enrolling for a university and most deadlines had already passed. Rome was for me the most appealing one from all the ones that where left.
Haha this sounds horrible. I absolutely love Rome. It was not my first time in the eternal city. I think I’ve been there three or four times before. And I keep throwing coins in the Trevi Fountain so I have to come back *smiles*.

How was the experience?

It was great. Italy is a beautiful country. I saw a lot, not just Rome. I went on several trips during my exchange. For example I went on a 250k bike trip with two friends. We cycled trough the gorgeous mountains and saw so many beautiful lakes and some lovely tiny villages. I also went to see a friend in Turin, made a road trip to Florence and Sienna and I flew to Sicily. These trips are something you usually don’t do that often since you have so many responsibilities and things to do back home, like working or playing sports. When on exchange you are freer and therefore you are capable of making more spontaneous decisions and do more fun things.

What is the difference between an Italian university and a Dutch university?

LUISS is a private school, which means the university is a lot smaller then the Erasmus University. Which is really nice in some ways; you get to know people a lot faster and you bump in to familiar faces a lot more often. Like the Erasmus University LUISS has several sports teams (soccer, rugby, a swimming team etcetera). Sporting facilities are a lot more limited though, which makes sense because LUISS only had around 8000 students.

How are the students in Italy like?

At LUISS most of the students work really hard. Since it is relatively easy to get good grades as the university it is necessary to get top marks. If you don’t get high marks for your bachelor or master is not really worth that much.

What’s the difference between Rome and Rotterdam?

Wow, that’s a very hard question there are way to many differences. For example Rome is extremely old and Rotterdam is not. In Rotterdam public transport is a lot more efficient then in Rome. It is not weird to wait half an hour for your bus or sometimes even longer. In Rotterdam that’s very rare. I can go on for hours talking about the differences but I wont bother you with that. Both cities have there own charm, it is not easy to compare them.

What did you miss about Rotterdam (the Netherlands)?

Playing sports. Usually I train a lot, with my rugby team and by myself. Since I could not train with my team I decided to stay fit by going to the gym. But in Rome gym memberships are crazy expensive! I did go running sometimes, but it just isn’t the same as training on the field with a bunch of fun girls.

What do you miss about Rome now?

I really do miss my roommates. They are both very cool and we got really close in a short time. We did lots of things together, like going on trips (Tuscany and Sicily), cooking, going out for dinner and sometimes we even went running together. I also miss the other friends I made and people I got to know during the exchange.

Any advice/ positive factors on going on exchange?

Just do it!

The negative factors of going on exchange?

None, I would absolutely go again and I’ll advice anyone to go.
Oh actually I can think of one! What I really disliked about the exchange environment was all the partying and the drinking. Sometimes I felt like everybody was just there to drink and party. Since I’m not really the girl who goes clubbing I distanced myself from the Erasmus experience and made my own party!

Thank you so much! 

by Pamela Pinas

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