The past few weeks have been chilly, especially for some internationals who are not used to getting a tingling sensation in their extremities while outside. EM spoke to a few students about their experiences and strategies to keep their blood circulating.

Eko Rahmadian, a student of Innovations in Urban Finance, comes from the tropical country of Indonesia and has never seen snow before. That is, up until recently. At first, Eko as well as everyone else was fooled into thinking that the Dutch winter is quite similar to autumn, but temperature dropping below -15C sent Eko racing to buy warm jackets, coats, gloves, socks, shoes, and an electrical blanket. “ I sleep with three layers of clothing, because the heater in my apartment only works for 6 hours in the morning and 6 hours in the afternoon”. Bundled up for the coldest weather he has ever endured, Eko remains optimistic and says that he is enjoying his first winter. And with an anti-slip tune-up to his bike, Eko bravely faces the snowy bike-paths.


Enduring the Dutch winter

While in South America it’s 34C and everyone is visiting beaches and swimming pools, Tiemy Schneider – a Brazilian student, only goes to places that have good heaters and acceptable temperatures.  She says that she didn’t expect the winter to be so extreme, and therefore she wasn’t prepared at all. “ I brougth four scarves, but I can’t use any of them, because in Brazil we wear thin scarves just as an accessory.”  Apart from buying winter gear, staying inside, and wearing a lot of clothes so that people can just see her eyes, Tiemy feels rather comfortable at her heated home. Yet, the Brazilian national simply finds it too hard to adapt to the weather. In some lecture halls Tiemy prefers to stay with her coat and gloves on and always opts for the tram instead of biking.

Tricky weather

However, there are also students from countries that are much more chilly than the Netherlands. Many would say that Nadja Popova, a Communication and Media student from Russia, should have been over-prepared for the winter, as the temperatures tend to drop below -35C back home. “The winters here are indeed easier to bear than in Russia, but this has been one of the coldest winters in Holland from my personal experience”. Further comparing the countries, Nadja says that in the Netherlands, snowfall and low temperatures cause havoc in the public transportation system, while in Russia people are more used to the ‘glacial’ conditions and are more carefree. Since she was not expecting for the winter here to be as cold, Nadja also had to make a last minute run to the shop to get a warm hat, gloves, and scarf – and then straight onto the frozen-over canals to go ice-skating! MD