Sophie – Amsterdam Fashion Institute – Netherlands
Semester 2, 2022
Bachelor of Communication
The beginning in the Netherlands
In August of 2022, I set off to begin an exchange semester at Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) in the Netherlands where I was to study fashion branding. After spending a few weeks travelling with friends on the west coast of Italy I worked my way up to the Netherlands and moved into my apartment ahead of ESN week or orientation week as we call it in Australia. Nothing could have prepared me for the sheer amount of fun I would then have during my first few weeks getting settled in Amsterdam. Orientation at AMFI kicked off with a tour of the institute followed by a canal boat tour with our teachers, other exchange students and lots and lots of Dutch beer! A small group of people whom I met on this boat who were collectively from Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Australia have become some of my closest friends today.
A piece of my life here
Amsterdam in the Summer was like a dream. Getting used to cycling was like learning how to drive a car again – opposite side of the road, crazy bike traffic, dodging the tram tracks (although they got the best of me once). We spent a lot of our time bathing in the sun by the canals, drinking good beer after class and going to techno parties. Living through the Netherlands’ wet Autumn and cold Winter as an Australian was hard as I am used to a lot of sun and warm weather. In saying this, however, it was great to see another way of life and adapt to how the Dutch do things! Some of my favourite things about Amsterdam include; the canals, the ferry I had to catch each morning, frizt (hot chips), the bar culture, cycling, great fashion, the world-class DJs and event spaces, the architecture, and the slower way of life.
Having such a fun unit
The way my course was structured was particularly interesting to me. In the Jeans Brand Concept Course which spanned my entire exchange semester (three blocks), we were first allocated a brand that we had to analyse (I was given Pepe Jeans London). Our first assignment (first block) was to collaborate these brand analyses from all class members into one neat brand book. In our second block, we were given an Amsterdam consumer group, and in a pair, we had to create a sub-brand for one of these jeans brands based on research of this consumer group. My great friend Angie and I chose Nudie Jeans and created a sub-brand called Nutty Rob for sustainable outdoor enthusiasts. Our third block was my favourite. We paired with another group and chose their sub-brand to work with. With their sub-brand Nudie Skin, we had to create a full brand experience including packaging, e-commerce, digital environment, physical space and event space. I chose e-commerce and designed the full user web interaction for the brand. This assignment was particularly valuable for my studies as I learnt how to use a new cutting-edge mock-up program and build the front end of a website based on what we believed our consumer values in a digital space.
Travelling around the Europe
Although my studies were amazing in Amsterdam, my experience was so much more than this. I managed to visit 14 cities and seven countries (Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels, Bruges, Copenhagen, The Hague, Hamburg, Berlin, London, Rome, Amalfi, Pompeii, Paris, and Prague). The self-growth I went through, the life lessons I learnt and the friends I now have from all over the world, have changed my life forever. Exchange is an experience that I believe everyone should have, as it truly opens your eyes for the better and changes your perspective on the world as you know it.
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.