Wageningen, international student city! An often-heard cry. Many foreigners come here to work and study, but just as many people set off from Wageningen for places all over the world. Some of them never get their fill of foreign travel. Judit Snethlage (25) is a Dutch woman born and bred, but has now lived in so many countries that by rights we should also be calling her an international student.
Judit is currently hard at work on her Master's in International Land and Water Management, a programme which takes her to all sorts of countries. ‘I got back from Colombia less than a week ago,’ she says. She was there doing research for her thesis. I lived in a mountain village at an altitude of 3000 metres.’’ It was cold there, but she danced to warm up. ‘They had a lot of joyful music. We often danced the salsa, and I got to celebrate carnival there.’
Colombia is not the first 'abroad' that Judit has been to. For her internship she went to Malaysia and she has spent the past two summers doing internships in Indonesia. ‘I love being abroad for a longer period of time. It is a challenge to fathom all the new structures in a country.’ Her main motive for going abroad for her study is to give her stay a higher aim that simply travelling. ‘Doing it that way gives you much more contact with normal life.’ But simply travelling is something she does too. In her gap year she went to the East, to ‘Russia, China and the rest of Southeast Asia. What I find fabulous about these countries is the food. Most dishes are really delicious.’
In the Netherlands too, Judit has lived in various places. In Arnhem at home with her parents and in a number of houses in Wageningen. And in Delft, where she studied a minor. Looking ahead, Judit thinks the future holds a move abroad for her. Preferably for several years so that she can build lasting friendships. ‘Right now I have no ties. No house, no family, no reason not to leave.’ She wants to make the most of that. ‘Wageningen is a great place to come back to. It is nice for a couple of months, and then I find it too small again.’