Photo: Xanthe Lowe

Internationals about Utrecht (4): Xanthe

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New in Utrecht international students have to find their way. But after a few months they cycle along with the mob. In this mini-series international students tell how they managed to become an 'Utrechter'.  

Read in Dutch
Name: Xanthe Lowe
Age: 20
Studying: Anthropology and Social Sciences
From: Wagga Wagga, Australia
First studied at: The University of New South Wales
Lives: in the Vogelenbuurt

‘Great to watch the people here’
“In my view, Utrecht isn’t just a Dutch city: there’s a perfect blend of different cultures and people and the ‘traditional’ Dutch society, of people who’ve lived here all their lives. That’s what makes the city so alive, what makes me feel so at home here, in that amalgamation. Another thing I love: people truly cherish their city. Utrechters are typically outdoor people, which is pretty easy to achieve here. As soon as the weather’s nice, the parks are full, people are canoeing on the canals, cycling through the woods, or organising fun street parties. It’s lovely to spend some time peoplewatching then.”

‘That dirty water in the canals…’
“It’s difficult to think of anything I don’t like about the city – there are barely any negative sides to it. But there’s one thing I wish I could change: how dirty the canals are. I feel such an aversion to the idea of swimming in them, I’m really scared of what might be in that murky water. How beautiful – almost magical – would it be if the canals were filled with clear, pure water, and that on beautiful days, we could all swim in them? Another downside is that the skies above the city don’t contain any stars. When the sun goes down and night falls, you can barely see any stars. Kind of strange.”

When my family visits…
“When my friends come to Utrecht, I’ll take them to visit Fort Rhijnauwen, and the area between Nieuw Amelisweerd and Bunnik. We can have brunch at the Veldkeuken – one of my favourite spots. Another fun thing to do: have a picknick in the Wilhelmina park, mostly so we can observe all the people rushing by. Then, I’d take them canoeing in the Oudegracht, and at night, we’ll have a drink at the Filmcafé, and wander through the streets. I wouldn’t skip my favourite vintage shop, Roxy ’97, either, and the Bakkerswinkel is another nice spot to show them. I also like drinking beer and playing board games at Olivier or Florin.”

In September 2019 DUB publishes the magazine StudentEnStad. With this magazine DUB celebrates fifty years of independent university journalism in Utrecht. The theme is the relationship between the Utrecht students, the city of Utrecht and the Utrechters. The magazine was published in Dutch. Here we present a collection of translated stories and features especially written for our site.
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