This is the second post about moving to Amsterdam and starting a new academic year at VU. In a few days I´ll be leaving Brazil for a master degree in the Netherlands. Here I will tell you more about my preparations and what I expect next. Since the last post a lot of things happened.
I have received my visa with no stress. When I arrive in Amsterdam I must register at the municipality, get my residence permit, and then do a tuberculosis test, these are the information I have so far.
Today I received an email stating that I hadn´t paid for my residence in Pierre Lallementstraat and that I should do it before tomorrow or something really bad would happen to me. Well, I had totally forgotten about this payment in advance, I was sure I would be able to do it on the occasion of my arrival. Anyway, I managed the bank transfer and hopefully everything is ok. Still, no more relevant information about Pierre Lallementstraat and I stopped looking for it, I´m already moving there in a few days so I´ll wait to check it myself. DUWO wrote me directions on how to get there by public transport, so this is obviously a good sign.
In addition to this, I have also registered for this semester in Vunet, I am registered in 5 modules and there were a few very interesting electives classes to choose between. I hope I can keep up the expectations I know a lot of people have about me. It is not going to be easy to organise all different obligations I have this year but the secret is to control the anxiety and do your best, always.
Apart from the visa and classes I have also received an email about the events I must attend, they are many and I suggest for those who are as distracted as I am to write it down in a stimulant calendar, not to forget it. I can´t tell you all the events because I still haven’t done my personal stimulant calendar, but I know that until the 19th of august I´m ok, the list of events are from the 20th of august and on.
For what I could understand, there are formal events regarding the programme and university which are compulsory or absolutely recommended and there are those events which are informal and it is to get to know other students and staff. All these events will be on the orientation week at different dates, buildings and places depending on the event. Anyway, I believe that after all these orientation meetings we will have a much better idea of everything regarding our programme and VU practical operation. Each University has its own educational style and relation with students, between countries this is even more perceptive, therefore I already expect a little bit of strangeness at the beginning.
Now there is only the packing miracle to do. I always think “ what if I need this?” , like an iron or a lamp or kitchen stuff or books. I have many, many books and I can´t stop thinking I might need them for my studies, that everything is useful .I´ll probably finish packing in the next days.
Because I´ll be carrying 64 kilos of luggage, the logistic of the move is also an important subject. There is a pick up service from the airport to Uilenstede campus that goes from 10am to 16pm. The bus takes you to Uilenstede campus only, where DUWO office is located ( and the key to my room) and students who are not staying in Uilenstede will have to move their things by themselves.
Unfortunately the only flight from Lisbon to Amsterdam arrives in Schiphol Airport at 17:05 so I will have to manage my transportation myself anyway. However, I will have the opportune help of a friend from Brazil who is also living in Amsterdam ( !!!!!). We went to the same Law School and worked together in the same Law Office so it will be really nice to have a familiar person on my arrival ( thank you so much Hingrid!).
About my last days in Brazil, everything normal (not that much actually, we have presidential elections in about 2 months and this one is already particulary remarkble) .The bike project is on, I´m not sure, but I think I´ve improved since last post. This week I even woke up very early in the morning to go practicing, I almost never wake up before 7am but this was a good experience, the beach is beautiful at this time and I felt really good. Coincidently, I have also passed by Selarón Stair these days and I´ve found the Netherlands tile, it was really nice. Selarón Stair is one of Rio most visited places, there we can find tiles from every country.
Since my last post I have talked to Brazilian students who are also starting at VU this semester. Amsterdam, be ready for a Brazilian invasion because we are many and we arrive together ;). I found a girl who is also called Larissa, she will be doing the same master at Law School and we incredibly also share the same hometown : Recife.
I´m currently living in Rio but I am originally from Recife, a beautiful multicultural , hot and festival city located in northeast Brazil ( we do have the best Carnival party of Brazil and the temperature in Recife is hot, really). Recife was colonised by the Netherlands from 1630 to 1654. This very specific Dutch colonization in Recife had not mainly the purpose of exploitation so, as a result, we had many improvements at that time and our historical centre has a lot of Dutch architecture.
I leave Rio this Friday and I go to Recife, from where my flight departures to Lisbon Sunday night and then to Amsterdam. I can´t tell how much I already miss everything. I miss the great friends I´ve made in Rio, one of them gave me an awesome Netherland guide book as a goodbye present, I loved it! I also miss my best friends and family from Recife, not to mention Brazilian food and weather. However, I´m sure every international student feel more or less the same, I´m keeping a positive thought about this year and I think I´ll end up enjoying Amsterdam very much, undoubtedly it is a beautiful city.
I know many “test for the nerves” are about to come, this is inherent of such a redirection of life, moving to a new country and relating with different people, but we must face possible obstacles, there is no way else, each situation will provide a different acknowledgment in the end.
Now is time to take a deep breath and move forward. See you in Amsterdam!!