Josh Hylkema ’21
Hello! I am Josh Hylkema a rising senior at HWS! I am a History major with a double minor in Music and Entrepreneurial Studies. I am a First Generation College student and part of our campus' First Generation Initiative. I am also a member of the Hobart football team, a Head O'Laughlin Ambassador in the Office of Admissions, and a big brother through Big Brother Big Sisters.
This is a typical academic day for me while I was at the University College Maastricht in Maastricht, Netherlands for my semester abroad. However, being only five miles from Belgium, 15 miles from Germany, and 60 miles from Luxembourg I often took advantage of my weekend off to do some traveling. This is my typical Friday, classes during the day and traveling to start the weekend!
7 a.m.: Wake up and get ready for the day! I’d shower and make sure I have everything I need for class. I’d always run into my roommates and we would talk a bit about what’s going on. I was fortunate to have four roommates in my apartment from Finland, Ireland, France and Italy!
7:45 a.m.: Once I was ready, I would walk to the bike storage and get my bike. It was about a 10-minute bike ride to the campus and went through a very nice park. It was all downhill to campus so I could glide the whole way.
8 a.m.: My favorite café opened right at 8 so I would often stop for a ham and cheese panini to start the day. The café was right around the corner from campus, so it was easy for me to stop on my way!
8:30 a.m.: My class “Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurship” started and we would often look at specific companies to see how they handle current sustainability issues and implement sustainable practices. UCM teaches using Problem Based Learning so the whole class is run by the students themselves and we can really allow the discussion to drive the class!
10:30 a.m.: Class ends and it’s time to hangout in the common room! I’d usually grab a quick snack and maybe a coffee to get ready for the next class. The common room was an amazing space in the middle of the main building.
It was always full of students from all over the world just socializing and relaxing between classes. I would often run into my new friends and hang out for a bit until my next class!
11 a.m.: My second class of the day “Advertising: Marketing Communication of Brands” started! Every class my group would have to present for 10 minutes on the topic of the day and how it relates to our chosen company. It was a lot of fun being in a group with two other Dutch students and working with them throughout the semester! After we finished discussing the learning goals for the day we would end class with a little discussion about next week’s topic.
1 p.m.: After class I would often go to the City Hall market in town. Every Wednesday and Friday there was a huge market in the square around City Hall. You could get almost anything there, especially all the amazing traditional Dutch foods. There were multiple fish stands with fresh herring sandwiches and haddock fish fries! There was also A LOT of gouda cheese, cured meats, fresh bread and all kinds of snacks! My favorite part was the fresh bread that they made right in front of you in the square; they would pull it right out of the oven and put in your bag. My friends and I would often grab a snack and hang out in the main square after class.
2:30 p.m.: I would ride my bike 10 minutes back to my apartment and put away my things. I would then run to the grocery store across the street to grab anything else I need for dinner before the store got busy. Everything was very fresh so I would usually pick out my meals day by day!
3 p.m.: This was my time to relax, after four hours of class and a few miles on the bike, I was usually ready to nap and relax for a bit. This was some time that I could do laundry and just get caught up on things around the apartment. Usually all my roommates would be back by now from their classes and we would just hangout and talk about our days.
4:30 p.m.: I started to pack my backpack for a weekend trip to Luxembourg City! All I needed was a few changes of clothes for the weekend trip! I made sure I had my bus tickets and everything I needed for the weekend.
6 p.m.: I started making dinner and I would almost always make dinner with one of my roommates. We would often share meals if we had extra and almost always ate together!
7 p.m.: Heading to the train station to catch a Flixbus! It was really easy to get to the train station from my apartment. All I had to do was walk 20 feet to the bus stop which would take me right to the train station! It was extremely easy to get around the Netherlands with public transport; they have one metro card that works on all public transport across the entire country.
7:30 p.m.: I got out my ticket and hopped on the bus! There was only one stop in Liege, Belgium and then on to Luxembourg City!
10:30 p.m.: I was in Luxembourg City and took the public transportation from the bus stop to the city center. I had to ask the bus driver if I had to pay; this was just a few days after Luxembourg City made all public transportation free!
11 p.m.: I hear “Monsieur” from the bus driver letting me know that I’m at my stop. I then find my Airbnb and meet my host for the next few nights! By now I was exhausted from such a long day, I put my things down and fall right asleep! For the next two days it’s just me and Luxembourg City!
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