Erasmus University Rotterdam has seven faculties and two institutes. One of these is located not on the eastern but on the western side of Rotterdam, that is the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Erasmus University has, in fact, two campuses: one in Kralingen (Woudestein) and one on the Westzeedijk (Erasmus MC) which are largely estranged from each other. Freelance reporter Mila Ivanova, a medical student who can often be found on Woudestein campus, intends to change that. In part one: an introduction.

Almost seven times bigger

Take the metro or tram to get to Woudestein and you’re on campus in five minutes. According to its annual report Erasmus University now has some 23,196 registered students, of whom around twenty thousand are on Woudestein and about three thousand on Hoboken. A simple calculation reveals that Woudestein thus has 6.7 times more students.

Erasmus MC

Erasmus MC is on the other side of the city, near the Dijkzigt metro station. Just as trams 21 and 24 are packed with students alighting at Woudestein, travellers are also crammed into the metro like sardines at rush-hours. But not all of them are EUR students; some are heading for Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, opposite Erasmus MC. From the metro station it takes five minutes to reach the medical complex, consisting of striking high-rise blocks, interconnected through an ingenious system of corridors and tunnels, covered entrances and stairs.


One of the many

That’s where we immediately discern the first major difference between Woudestein and the compact Hoboken: as a student at Erasmus MC you are just one among the many huge groups of people, while on Woudestein you pretty much have the campus to yourself.

Most of the buildings are in fact part of the hospital; the two tallest buildings are the domain of scientists and only the Education Centre and part of the so-called Gk building are intended for students. For the rest it’s patients, visitors, doctors and researchers who prevail. It’s a city within a city, with its own street signs and shops.

Finding your way in Woudestein...

Woudestein by contrast has no fewer than eleven buildings spread across the campus. For the unsuspecting layman it’s not easy to track down your destination. The whole campus is indeed signposted, but not always logically or consistently, partly thanks to a recent renaming of the buildings. Until recently the Tinbergen building was not T but H, the Mandeville building wasn’t M but L, M is now Van der Goot – and so it goes on.


… and in the EMC

Not that things are any more logical on the western campus. Sure, the Educational Centre has some signs every few metres pointing the way to classrooms and lecture halls. But beware: lecture halls 1 and 2 are indeed in the Education Centre, but to get to 3 and 4 you head down a long corridor, turn off at the coffee vending machines, take the stairs, go through a couple of doors, past security, the lifts and a café to then go through another couple of doors, then along another corridor and only then have you arrived. In that extremity there are some conference rooms, but the other conference rooms are located in an entirely different building, somewhere behind the metro station (a quarter of an hour’s walk from where you are now). Occasionally you might also have lessons in one of the two tall towers, but then either completely at the bottom (the dissecting room) or somewhere on the fourteenth floor.


(To be continued)