My Time in Tilburg, Netherlands
In February 2016, I was granted a rare and wonderful opportunity by Frans Seda Foundation: to study for three months in Tilburg, Netherlands. I am a student in the Department of English Applied Linguistics in Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, and I am currently in the process of completing research for my thesis. This three-month program from Frans Seda Foundation is expected to help me improve my research significance and enrich my research data.
I arrived in Tilburg, Netherlands at the beginning of May 2016. It was spring, but the temperature was too cold for me. Well, apparently that was what the normal weather in spring is like. When everyone else started to wear casual thin T-shirts and shorts, I went everywhere with my layers of long-sleeved shirts, a winter coat, a thick scarf, and a pair of furry gloves. Once in a while I could not help but feel a bit out of place, but hey, it was better than shivering all the time or worse, losing my fingers (this is of course the most extreme scenario that would not happen).
During my three-month time in Netherlands, I learned a lot of things from my supervisor in Tilburg University, Dr. Menno van Zaanen. He is very knowledgeable, and he gave me a lot of useful and practical suggestions in improving my research. I am really thankful that he was willing to supervise my work when I was in Tilburg.
The facilities provided by the university also helped me in enriching my research. The library is so advanced, and it provided me access to several reputable journals and important studies that I was not able to view back in Indonesia.
In short, I felt that I had accomplished my academic purposes in Tilburg. However, I also had great time exploring the Netherlands. I was in time to see the blooming tulip, one of the things that symbolize the Netherlands, in Keukenhof.
I also had great time cycling to places in the Netherlands. Once, my friend and I cycled for from Tilburg to the Loonse en Drunense Duinen. That was the first time I saw such fine-grained sand in such a vast area that was not a beach. On another occasion in July when the weather was getting hotter, we cycled to Oisterwijk to see the lake. It was a bit far from Tilburg, but the view was so beautiful.
I also had great time exploring the big cities such as Amsterdam and Maastricht and visiting several museums around the Netherlands such as the Multatuli Museum.
I met a lot of friendly and helpful people in Tilburg. They made me feel welcomed, and they taught me things that I needed to know when living in the Netherlands. They took me to many interesting places and introduced me to Dutch culture and delicacies. It was a wonderful three months, and I am really thankful that I was able to join the program of Frans Seda Foundation. I wish the next awardees of the scholarship will also enjoy their time in the Netherlands as much as I did.