It is halfway through the academic year: a time of transition for many students. Among them, Frank Wortelboer (20), third-year BSc student of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning. He has just got back from his ‘really great’ minor in Istanbul. There are two things he is now sure of, thanks to that experience: he wants to travel even more, and he loves it in Wageningen.
‘I’m walking around campus again but it takes a bit of getting used to,’ says Frank. He has only been back from Turkey for three days but he is already active at the university and has just realised there’s something he has some catching up to do. ‘ I still have to submit a paper otherwise I’ll have to retake that course and I’ll need an extension. I don’t want that of course.’
Frank hopes to graduate this year but that won’t be the end of his studies in Wageningen. He is very likely to go on to a Master’s here. ‘Spending six months away is very refreshing. I realize now what a good life I have here, and that I’m certainly not done with Wageningen yet.’
In spite of having loved in a totally different culture for the past six months, Frank thinks everything will soon go back to normal. ‘Actually, of course, Wageningen hasn’t changed a bit. Everyone around me agrees on that.’ He missed people mainly: his friends, his housemates and his band. But there was something else he missed in Istanbul too. ‘Cycling. Cycling is so nice! And everything here is so nearby, something you hardly realize. It’s easy for me to visit friends in another town. Or my parents of course.’
But Frank’s overseas experience has changed something. ‘I realized I would really like to travel too, but with a purpose. I think it would be great to do research at the same time, for instance.’