Today we got to tour the business school at the University van Amsterdam (UVA) and then went on a canal cruise through Amsterdam.
We left the Generator this morning at 10:30 to meet our tour guides at UVA. My tour guide Thomas walked my group around all of the central buildings on the business campus. He pointed out many differences between UVA and colleges in the US, which I found to be startling. Tuition for EU students is only 2,000 euros for the entire year and 20,000 euros for international students, compared to the average cost of attendance of 25,707 dollars in the US (sourced from the Education Data Initiative). Additionally, students attending UVA get their bachelor’s degree in three years, whereas it typically takes four years for a student in the US to finish their academic program. Thus, an EU student at UVA will spend about 90,000 dollars less on their college experience compared to the average US student (these estimates are incredibly rough and do not account for other cost of living expenses). Thomas then explained more about student life on campus. Unlike many US schools, UVA does not provide any housing for their students, so many students live together in the city. Due to those living conditions, the study spaces on campus are always flooded with students since studying in an apartment with other students can be unproductive. Personally, I would not like the separated housing and campus situation at UVA. Though I plan to live off-campus at Pitt, the housing is still next to campus and around other students, not in the middle of the city like at UVA. UVA also does not offer meal plans for its students, so students have to pay for each of their meals. Given the higher quality of food the university has to offer, I wonder if not having a meal plan allows the university to provide better quality food.
After our lunch at the UVA cafeteria (which was significantly better than the dining hall food Pitt has to offer), we took a metro to Centraal Station to walk to our next stop: a river cruise. The cruise provided a lot more information about the history of the city and went through many beautiful streets. Apparently, the windows at the top of the houses in Amsterdam are bigger to give the illusion that the entire house is larger than it is. Once the river cruise commenced (the cruise lasted about an hour), a few of us went souvenir shopping around the city until we made our way back to the Generator for the night.
Tomorrow is sadly our last day in Amsterdam, but we will end on a high note at Tony Chocolonely.