How international students are soaking up the Dutch sunshine
Just as Wittenborg students in the Netherlands began packing away their summer attire, a delightful surprise awaited them – the return of sunshine and warm temperatures to kickstart the new academic 'September' block.
This September, both students and faculty members in Apeldoorn and Amsterdam were greeted with a meteorological twist: 'tropical' temperatures soaring to a remarkable 30 degrees and beyond. The Netherlands, known for its temperamental climate, seemed to have decided on a late-summer spectacle that left everyone pleasantly surprised.
Taking the chance to re-energise
For Wittenborg students like Cita Ayeni from Nigeria, Dutch weather has always been an enigma. "I categorise the weather as having mood swings," says Cita, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) student in International Management. "Summers here are hardly what you'd expect. We've seen extreme heatwaves, but we've also experienced heavy and persistent summer rains, often accompanied by chilly weather."
However, Cita, who has lived in Spain and experienced its more consistent climate, appreciates the unique charm of Dutch weather. "The sunny weather is quite uplifting," he says. He describes a recent sunny lunch break where he enjoyed a meal outdoors, taking pictures to share with friends and feeling refreshed afterward.
"I like to be in the midst of nature and people watch," Cita says, sharing his love for spending time near water. He further emphasises the importance of going outside between classes to re-energise. "I think it is important to go outside, breathe fresh air, be with nature and the sun, and feel more energised before going into class."
Cita is not the only one who recognises the rejuvenating power of outdoor breaks. Katsiaryna Kosikava, an International Business Administration (IBA) student from Belarus, has been in the Netherlands for nearly a year. She loves cycling and jogging, and the recent burst of sunshine is a perfect match for her lifestyle. She was initially surprised to see Dutch locals cycling even during winter snowfall, but now, with the sun shining, she finds it ideal for studying outdoors and enjoying the surroundings with a picnic.
"The sun gives me more energy, more motivation," Katsiaryna says. "It's even nicer to wake up early to come to class."
Keza Lanny Ghislaine, from Rwanda, is studying Marketing Communication & Information (MCI) and has been in the Netherlands for eight months. She agrees that the Dutch weather can be inconsistent but expresses her appreciation for sunny days. "The winter can be gloomy and so cold," she acknowledges, before pointing out that she has embraced the Dutch climate overall and adjusted swiftly.
by Erene Roux