A lot of us develop a certain level of curiosity when we leave school. We get our first taste of that promised freedom and we want more. It’s an addiction. We want to learn, experience, and see what the world has to offer. The first thing we think of when it comes to university travel is the exchange program The idea is wild and exotic, but maybe we’re not ready for that commitment just yet. Maybe we’re scared to leave Australia for so long, and maybe we don’t trust ourselves to be self sufficient for 6 months to a year. Most of us have never lived out of home before, let alone in another country. That’s why study tours are the perfect opportunity for students who want a taste of travel without the commitment of an exchange (and maybe score some credit points along the way).
In November last year, I went on a study tour across Europe with a bunch of architecture students. I’m not an “archi” student, but that didn’t stop me from crashing their party. Don’t be afraid of taking advantage of opportunities that different faculties have to offer. That’s when you meet the most interesting people.
We traveled for one month, across Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and The Netherlands. 5 countries, 12 cities.
We landed in Copenhagen at 6am, extremely tired and extremely hungry. Like a beacon in the barely-morning darkness, there they were, in a café window; real Danish Danishes. The smell was overwhelmingly good. It was like the smell of a newborn baby, in pastry form. I mean that in the least cannibalistic way possible. They were soft, and sweet, and I just wanted to take it home and love it forever.
Beautiful… *sheds tear*
Then it was off to Germany, through Hamburg, Cologne and Aachen. I found myself being sucked in by the architecture of the city, and in particular, the cathedrals. I would sit, just staring at the walls of these colossal masterpieces. It’s hard not to marvel at how their detailed walls can contain such narrative, history, and sacredness, right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the city.
Luxembourg was one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places I’d ever visited. It was some type of cavernous, super clean, fairytale land. It’s not exactly German, and it’s not exactly French, but a mix of both, existing in its own little world.
View of the Old City in Luxemburg
And don’t get me started on the Belgian chocolate. If you’re going to Belgium, definitely bring your fat-pants. Excuse me while I salivate.
Amsterdam would have to be the highlight of the trip. The history, the people, the atmosphere. The only way I can describe it is like being in a story. It was as if every step you take is worth writing down. From riding bikes along the cobwebbing canals, to uncovering the rich history of the city, Amsterdam is just one of those places that are so dense with life that you feel you could spend an eternity there.
Me, in “Amsterdam”
If you’re looking for an introduction to the world beyond our borders, look no further than QUT’s study tours. For more information, click here.