Now that all of you students have arrived, have sorted things out with your accommodation and are living your first months as University students, it is time to gift you with a few insider tips on how to hijack life in Rotterdam and start living by your own rules. My own – and millions of others’ experiences – have given life to the following list of life hacks that you are invited to follow and not underestimate.
#1 Kruidvat: Buy two for the price of one
Beauty products/toiletries are definitely one thing you are going to spend money on at least once a month. Why pay extra money when Kruidvat offers good deals every other day – do not waste such opportunities AND the numbers of zeros in your bank account.
#2 Is that Starbucks line on campus really worth it?
My advice would be to just skip it and trade your pumpkin spiced latte for a delicious caffeine bomb – the double espresso offered to you by the Segafredo machines for only 0,85 €.
#3 Commodity Market Rotterdam group on Facebook is the only online shopping you should do.
#4 Grocery shopping on a budget
When it comes to grocery shopping, Markthal might be the most appealing place to go to – especially for internationals who just began discovering Rotterdam. Although the quality of the products is undoubtedly one of the best and the architecture of the place mesmerizing, prices there might not exactly fit a student’s budget. Instead of this touristy place, the market organised in front of Martkhal every Tuesday and Saturday will definitely satisfy all your cravings for a much cheaper deal – 5 Avocados for 1 €, 3 Mangos for only 1,50 € and 2 doos aardbeien voor 2 €. Have I convinced you yet?
#5 Staying dry on rainy days – beware, there will be many
I guess that by now we all know what Dutch weather is like. The only way I could describe it is bipolar – it is all the seasons in one day. Thus, no matter where you go, 3 things should never be out of your reach: a pair of sunglasses for when the sun decides to shine bright, a warm scarf for the sharp wind and an umbrella – and not just any kind. Don’t settle for a cheap version, you’ll wind up spending more money on umbrellas in the long run. Look for solid models like the Senz one, 25 € will be worth staying dry and decent looking.
Biking in the rain? Oh well, that is a whole other story. Checking Buienradar for an upcoming storm won’t always save you from one so it is better to be prepared for a not-so-dry ride. Thankfully, Rotterdam is full of shops that can offer you diverse rain coats – Tiger has ones for only 3 €.
#6 Exams on, Netflix off
Dear fellow students, my 6th hack is one of the most important of them all so listen carefully. The goal of passing an exam can only be reached when your Netflix subscription has expired.
#7 Dutch honesty is 99%
Last but not least, keep in mind – international students especially – that Dutch people like telling it as it is. Developing thick skin might as well be the hack that will save you from many heartbreaks.
Now that you have learned a few life-saving tips, go out and live the Dutch life and remember – act like you know what you’re doing and no one will question you.