Chloe Quested – BSc Criminology and Sociology
I’m Chloe a Criminology and Sociology student from the University of Surrey, I attended Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in The Netherlands for my study exchange year. This was an amazing opportunity that I was able to experience with the help of the University of Surrey and the Santander grant*.
A study exchange is an amazing opportunity that Surrey students should take advantage of for endless reasons. Firstly, you open yourself up to a whole new life where you will meet new people, undertake new opportunities, increase your independence and explore different countries, cultures and languages.
During my time in Amsterdam, I lived in student accommodation with 13 flatmates, we made meals together, hosted themed parties and travelled around the city, here on my exchange I made lifelong friendships. Throughout this year I took on new opportunities that I had never had the chance to do. I was able to learn some Dutch and experience Dutch culture and cuisine. I also visited over 25 museums, biked around every day and travelled to other European countries; it was a Lekker year!
“Moving abroad can seem daunting at first, but it’s also incredibly exciting, you’re able to live freely and take on a new study environment where you gain knowledge and skills that differ from your home university experience.”
I recommend a study exchange not just for the reasons mentioned above but also for the increased independence and adaptability you gain. Moving abroad can seem daunting at first, but it’s also incredibly exciting, you’re able to live freely and take on a new study environment where you gain knowledge and skills that differ from your home university experience. These traits are important for life and graduation where you’ll need to adapt to new people and environments quickly. I studied modules from different disciplines that I did not have access to at Surrey such as courses in Anthropology, Politics and Behaviour Communication Sciences. Your study exchange lets you undertake new fields of study which challenge you and may uncover hidden passions you never knew you had.
The Santander grant benefitted me during my time abroad. The grant was very helpful for my cost of living, I had moved from Guildford town to a major city in Europe, and my living costs of food and living expenses were more expensive than I was used to. With the grant I was able to accommodate this without the need to work, which allowed me to fully immerse myself in the year and increase my flexibility to take up all opportunities that came my way.
Overall, my study exchange at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam was an incredible experience and I feel unbelievably lucky to have had this opportunity. I would highly recommend for Surrey students take up the chance to study abroad for a year.
*Santander grants are available for students going on a study exchange to apply for after they have been allocated to a partner university. Please see our funding website for more information. Santander grants are currently available for the 2023/24 academic year.