Nieuws - 4 juni 2020

You (still) on campus - 'Springtime in the Netherlands is actually really beautiful'

Emma Mouthaan

BSc student of Urban Forestry Charlotte Mathisen (21), from Vancouver, arrived in Wageningen in January. Her plan was to take some courses in period 4 and 5 and then travel to Italy, Greece and Croatia with friends. Needless to say, COVID-19 cancelled those plans. She is not too upset about it though, ‘because I got to see a lot more of the Netherlands than I expected to!’

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Actually, Wageningen University was not Charlotte’s first choice to go to on exchange, a university in New Zealand was. ‘But I am so thankful I got to go here instead! I study Urban Forestry, so Wageningen is actually the perfect place.’ The level of education also really impressed her; ‘I loved all my professors and I feel like I have learned a lot.’

When the coronavirus hit, a lot of exchange students immediately went back home. That meant she had a difficult choice to make: Stay in Wageningen until June or go back home immediately. ‘If I had been travelling and staying in hotels, I would have gone home in a heartbeat, but I have already paid my rent until June and Wageningen is a small city so I was not too worried.’

My five sisters had a lot to say about my decision to stay in Wageningen

Her friends and family were not too happy with her decision though. ‘Especially my five sisters had a lot to say about my decision to stay in Wageningen, but ‘in the end opinions are just opinions. No one is right or wrong.’ Her parents understood her decision and backed her up. ‘I am happy I stayed here. Instead of travelling throughout Southern Europe I got to cycle to a lot of places around Wageningen. Springtime in the Netherlands is actually really beautiful.’

Right now Charlotte is supposed to go back home on Sunday, but the question remains whether that is going to happen. ‘My friend went back home two weeks ago and found out that her flight was cancelled when she was already at the airport. Thankfully she was able to get a flight the next day. I’ll just make sure to call my airline and check the flight status before I go to Schiphol.’