Harrison Jacques, 2018

Attending the University of Hull

Its 6:30am on a Saturday morning in early September, I had spent the whole night trying to get asleep on a moving coach. I awoke to the bus driver shouting’, “Utrecht!! Everyone for Utrecht this is your stop!” I had arrived. This would be my home for the next 10 months, a new and exciting city beckoned.

Harrison and colleague

Throughout the academic year in Utrecht I studied a range of modules at the university ranging from Dutch law to international organised crime. These lectures were attended by students from all over the world. I could go travelling to Australia tomorrow and have a number of Aussie mates who would be more than happy to be my personal tour guide. While I was abroad I also improved my Dutch speaking skills and had a great taste for Dutch cuisine. Have you ever eaten stamppot before? One of the highlights of my year abroad was Kings Day, celebrating the birthday of the King, a man named Willem-Alexander.

I was suddenly living in the Netherlands, trying to adapt to totally different culture. A country where they seem to be able to cycle before they can walk, a country that is known for its beautiful canals and iconic tulips. I had embarked on the adventure of becoming an international student, studying law at Utrecht University as part of the Erasmus program. This is a global initiative enabling university students who want to experience more than just their home universities to study or work in another chosen country. On my law course only three of us, including myself, moved to Utrecht.

This day meant huge celebration, dressing up in orange clothing and dancing in the streets. My favourite part of Holland was the cycling, riding a bike as soon as I left my apartment. I would cycle to my lectures, even collect my food shopping on the bicycle. I would like to say a massive thank you to the OWMT grant for giving me this generous grant which enabled me to buy my Dutch bike and afford part of my rent. Without the grant, I might not have been able to take this opportunity. This September, I will be returning to University of Hull to complete my fourth and final year of my degree.

An image similar to a Dutch Masterpiece

Thank you OWMT – Harrison Jacques

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