Erasmus University Rotterdam School of Management 2014 Fall. Shiu, Wun Hei. BBA(Account & IS)

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1 Erasmus University Rotterdam School of Management 2014 Fall Shiu, Wun Hei BBA(Account & IS)

2 Part 1 - Monthly Activity Log August I arrived at Rotterdam on 26 September to join the orientation program organized by the exchange officers from RSM (Rotterdam School of Management). Upon arrival, there was a pick-up service provided by the university from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Rotterdam. (The service requires registration beforehand.) The orientation is organized for all the exchange students in this semester in RSM. September The semester started on 1 st September. It took me some time to find the class locations in the first week. Outside classes, I spent some time to handle administrative stuff like opening bank account and familiarize myself with this city. In mid-september, there was an official welcoming ceremony in Erasmus University. Some professors are invited to give speeches and a big party for all exchange students was held. I also got to know some more friends in Erasmus and we made a trip to Belgium on a weekend. At the end of September, I met with some HKUST friends in Munich to go to the Oktoberfest. October There were some exams, projects and assignments in October. I was busy preparing my studies and doing projects. At the same time, I started to plan some trips after the end of the semester. This was quite a busy month and I mainly stayed in Rotterdam. I also joined a port visit organized by RSM to visit the Rotterdam Container Terminal. November There were no so many deadlines in November. One of the courses ended in mid- November so after that I had two day-off in a week. Therefore I went to a small city in Northern France called Lille during a weekend. Towards the end of November, it was the reading week in RSM. I travelled to Spain and the Black Forest in Germany with some friends from Erasmus. December Most final exams tool place in early December. I studied hard in the first two weeks. After the exams, it was almost time to say goodbye with all the friends and we had a few farewell dinner. I also went to those places I like in Rotterdam to refresh my memories about this place. I left Rotterdam in mid-december for my Europe trip!! I visited Switzerland, Austria and Czech Republic with my secondary school friends. We went to Berlin for the countdown party and it was fantastic. After the New Year, I also travelled to Italy and France before coming back to Hong Kong. Overall, the trip was extremely memorable.

3 Part 2 - General Exchange Information 1) Visa Procedures You will need to apply for a visa to go to the Netherlands since we are staying for more than 90 days. The visa is called MVV. You can apply for it as soon as you receive the letter of acceptance from the host university. When I was doing the application, NO appointment is needed. You can just walk-in to the Consulate and submit the documents required. The visa is available after one to two weeks. You can have more information from this link: 2) Orientation Activities There was an orientation camp in August. But from what I heard from the staff is that there are usually no orientation for the spring semester and also they are considering whether to cancel the orientation camp in the next semester. The orientation is held in Maastricht, which needs a three-hour-drive from Rotterdam. There were coaches bring us from campus to Stayokay Maastricht. (Stayokay is a chain-hostel in the Netherlands.) In the camp, there were two lectures about culture diversity and small facts about the Dutch culture and also some team activities. We had all meals inside Stayokay hostel and got a taste of Dutch food. We were not allowed to leave the hostel for the three days. Overall, the orientation was a bit boring except getting to meet new friends. 3) International Services & Activities There are quite a number of short trips organized by the international student society ESN. ESN is an important channel to know the activities on campus. They provide short trip offers with reasonable price. Some of my friends joined and recommended those trips. 4) Accommodations You can choose the accommodation under SSH (student dormitory operator) or rent your own apartment. I prefer to stay in dormitory to avoid the time to look for apartment. I lived in F-building which is an on-campus accommodation. Originally I planned to apply for Casa (outside campus at a lower rent), but they were all taken by others already. For me, F-building is perfect and I never regret living here because the room is big with kitchen inside. We also have free laundry and drying machines inside the building. We have share bathroom like about 3-4 toilets for ten rooms. I never see the toilets or shower room being all in used though.

4 Hatta Building is another on-campus dormitory. It is newer and has more rooms. You will have your own room, a share kitchen and bathroom with one to two flat mates. The bad points are that the rent is higher and laundry costs 2euro for each and every wash and dry. Renting apartment outside campus is also an option. I think it is not difficult to find one since some students like to find 1-2 flat mates to share the housing cost. There are some facebook groups for finding apartment for rent. For example, 5) Courses Registration Course Registration is done long before you go to Rotterdam. The international officer from RSM will give you a list of choice via . You need to inform the officer which courses you would like to take. During the start of semester, you may not get to add other courses that you did not pick at first. You better make up your mind early. You will get an ERNA account (like ITSC) from RSM. The account is used to assess the teaching materials or other registrations like exam registrations. 6) Teaching & Assessment Methods The class sizes are usually big so you will not have much chance for individual feedback. Workload of the courses varies but in general it is not demanding. There were only eight courses offered from RSM in this semester. Other than that, there were some minors (information may be available in other exchange reports) we could take but I did not pick any of them. BAB21 Organizational Theory & Dynamics In this course we had to find a company and suggest changes to its exiting team dynamics. The project is done throughout the semester and we had to conduct at least two interviews with the company. It was a good experience to talk to people in a foreign company but the project guidelines were not so clear. We did not get specific feedback about our draft report which sometimes hindered our progress. The exam is in MC format but the questions were quite difficult. BAB26 Philosophy of Science This course is quite abstract with many philosophy words which we seldom use. It is a bit difficult for me to understand the content. There were two essay assignments in this course which were not too difficult. Very few of my friends took this course because they think it was too abstract to learn.

5 BAB27 Leadership, Sustainability & Governance This course had one final exam held in early October and three dilemma meetings. The dilemma meetings were interesting. It was like an oral discussion in a group of 20 students. We were given cases or scenarios to apply the concepts in class. The content of this course is mainly about business ethics. The exam is mostly memorization of all the power point contents. This is quite different from the exam in HKUST. CM9003 Cultural Influences on Communication This is my favourite course among the four. In every lecture the professor would have different topics like Language, Education, Love or Religion. The professor talked about many real life examples on the topics. He also showed some war-time movies to illustrate the cultural influences. There were one midterm exam and one final exam in form of essays. I can express my own opinions on the questions using some examples from the class. I learned quite a lot of new thoughts in this course. 7) Sports & Recreation Facilities There is a sports centre on campus. It requires a subscription fee but I did not join it. 8) Cost/Expenses Items Cost(Euro) Air ticket 1500 Visa 300 Orientation Camp (compulsory) 150 Rent (518x4months) 2072 Daily expenses 1000 Travel expenses 4000 Total 9022 (euro) 9) Social Clubs & Networking Opportunities ESN organizes regular gathering for the international students. You can always have chance to meet local friends and also friends from various background. 10) Health & Safety So far I did not get sick in Rotterdam. I would recommend bringing some medicines you used to take in Hong Kong since clinics are not easy to find in Rotterdam and you may not know which pharmacy to go to if you are sick. Rotterdam is quite safe even at night. However you should always pay attention to your belongings and you own safety. One of my friends got his backpack stolen while a

6 group of friends were having dinner in a restaurant. No one even noticed when and how it was stolen. So be alert even if Rotterdam is a generally safe city. 11) Food We usually buy food from supermarket and prepare our own meal. It is much cheaper than dining out. The food from supermarket is good and may even be cheaper than in Hong Kong. I also go to the market in Blaak for fresh food. It opens every Tuesday and Saturday. You can reach by going to the station Blaak by metro or tram. 12) Transportation I got an OV-chipcard from the ESN. OV-chipcard is just like the Octopus card in Hong Kong. You need to validate the card every time when you get on a bus/tram/metro. Remember to check out on a bus or tram before you get off! This is because the system will first deduct 4euro from you card when you check in and rebate (4 travel cost) to your card when you check out. That means, if you forget to check out you are paying 4 euro for a single trip while it may actually cost 1euro something. I also bought a bike. It is extremely useful and convenient and saved me a lot of money on the metro. 13) Climate It may rain anytime in the Netherlands. Even if it is sunny in the morning, it can rain like cats and dogs in the afternoon. You may use an umbrella but people there seldom use one. Get an rain jacket or a water-proof jacket and also shoes ready if you are going to the Netherlands! 14) Communication Dutch people can speak very good English. You will not find any problem to communicate with the Dutch! 15) Cautionary measures Dutch people can speak very good English. You will not find any problem to communicate with the Dutch!

7 Part 3 - Items to Bring and Contacts Letter of acceptance Photo copies of passport Euro in cash, credit cards, debit cards A big Backpack Laptop Adaptors Notebooks for writing Two mobile phones in case you lose one or got it stolen A pair of water-proof shoes in case of snow or heavy rain Water-proof jacket Stationary A water bottle Portable charger

8 Kinderdijk - Rotterdam

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