By Daniel Schmid
The exchange is an important part of our journey and therefore we asked you guys which exchange destinations you are most interested in. According to your wishes, we asked RSM home students who are currently on exchange in Calcutta, Lisbon, London (Ontario) and São Paulo about their experiences and combined them in this blog to give you some insights about these exchange destinations.
Fieke Creijghton, who spends her exchange semester in Calcutta right now, provided us with super interesting insights about the life of an exchange student in India, which is probably one of the most exotic exchange destinations for Europeans.
Despite the rather high workload and demanding classes, Fieke gets to travel and enjoy the rich culture and beautiful spots of the country. Since the cost of living are very cheap compared to Europe, students can even go out eating fairly often and enjoy the Indian cuisine (which is very spicy and always includes rice). For students, who are usually notoriously low on money, this is definitely a nice aspect. People who might find it hard to get used to Indian food can also get plenty of Western food.
Unlike in Rotterdam, the university campus in Calcutta is quite far away from the city center. Due to that it is very green however, and there are plenty of restaurants, temples, supermarkets and shops around campus which make life outside of the city very enjoyable as well.
The local CEMS Club is not overly active, which is probably due to the fact that most home students are currently on exchange. But there is a very strong bond within the cohort, which makes this exchange a great experience for Fieke.
Jonas Subelack has the amazing opportunity to do his exchange in Lisbon at the moment and shared his experiences with us.
Nova SBE has probably one of the most amazing campuses in the CEMS network due to the fact that it is directly located at one of Lisbon’s most beautiful beaches. Therefore, students are not complaining too much about the fact that it is quite far from the city center.
Lisbon’s CEMS Club is very active as well, hosting many events in the city center. Therefore, having an apartment there can definitely be advantageous. It is, however, quite difficult to find an apartment in the center. If you manage to find one though, you can expect a very nice place for an acceptable price. Prices in Lisbon are generally quite student friendly, which makes an exchange there even more enjoyable.
The work-load students have at Nova strongly depends on the courses they choose but overall it is doable and leaves Jonas enough time to enjoy his exchange to the fullest.
London (Ontario), Canada
Carolin Dohle is spending her exchange in London (Ontario) right now and shared some highlights of her time in Canada with us.
Life at Ivey is very campus centric; students usually live on campus and spend most of their time there. There are several events and also some parties every week and the local CEMS Club is quite active. Additionally, many CEMS students live in the same apartment complex, which is obviously an advantage for house parties.
Classes are very case- and less theory-based than in Europe and Ivey is a great place to improve your soft skills. Overall the workload is manageable which gives Carolin the opportunity to travel quite a bit. Popular destinations for Ivey students are Toronto, the Niagara Falls, Montréal, Ottawa, Quebec, Detroit, Chicago, New York or Mexico. Since living costs are comparable to Rotterdam students can luckily still have some budget to travel.
Probably the best part for Carolin about her exchange are the people she gets to meet. The CEMS community at Ivey is quite close and Canadians really live up to their stereotype of being warm, nice, open and diverse.
São Paulo, Brazil
Jesme Habets is spending her exchange in São Paulo and took the time to answer our questions about this amazing city.
A major aspect about the city and Brazil in general are the people and culture. There is so much music, party and culture. In general people are very open and friendly and you can find a lot of samba, great meat, caipirinhas and even amazing and cheap sushi (since São Paulo is home to the biggest Japanese community outside of Japan).
São Paulo’s CEMS club is still quite young and inexperienced. This semester they have come a long way though and hosted the LATAM forum, have had quite a few corporate events and also made several nice trips.
The workload greatly depends on the courses you take but overall it is a lot more moderate than at RSM. This gives Jesme and the other students the opportunity to travel and enjoy the vibrant city, country and culture.
Thank you once again for sharing these amazing experiences with us Fieke, Jonas, Carolin and Jesme and enjoy the last part of your exchange!