I am Madelon, currently doing an exchange semester in Social Work. My home university is in the lovely city of Groningen in the Netherlands. I live in Bern with my Swiss boyfriend, so I do a lot of traveling every week.

I have been welcomed 3 times now, because here at the ZHAW, they have the funny system where all exchange students are personally welcomed to every seminar. Every time I start a new seminar everyone instantly knows I’m the foreigner in the room, I will credit it to the politeness the Swiss are known for. And I’m learning to deal with the awkwardness of everyone staring at the new Dutch girl.

Next to school I have been busy getting used to the Swiss life style and getting set up . On tuesday I finally received my «Ausländerausweis»!

With this I could finally open a Swiss bank account to receive my scholarship from the Swiss European Mobility Program. And I secretly find it pretty cool to tell people I have a bank account in Switzerland, it still sounds kind of mysterious.

My normal classes are one seminar a week and every monday the specialization «Youth- and child care». In preparation for the «International Day» on the 3rd of april, I also had a get-together with some of the Swiss students who went abroad for their studies or are still going and the one and only other exchange student this semester. We discussed what the program should look like for this day and what each person could do.

I will be present to tell something about my own school back in the Netherlands, so if you have any questions about studying in the Netherlands, doing an internship there or just general things you have always wanted to know. You are very welcome to come and have a chat with me on the 3rd. I will be there from around 12 on, fully equipped with «stroopwafels», to give you a taste of the Dutch life!

Haha, I didn’t even realize that the Dutch have become so international that we even write on our own waffles the names in English, but no worries, they will still taste very Dutch!