Well hello there! This is Lynette from NTU and I’m currently on a year long exchange in the University of Warwick! I’m halfway through it now and boy has it already taught me so much ☺ I can’t wait to share with you guys my travels and what I’ve been up to in school right here in England! It’s an honour to be the first takeover in 2017 so stay tune for the next 7 days as I bring little insights to what exchange life has in store
Before I start rolling out my travel posts, I would like to share a little on my school life here in the University of Warwick so far ☺ Being in the University of Warwick means I’ll be spending most of my time here in a small city called Coventry. Since the campus is not situated in the city center, and since transport is not particularly cheap, I concluded that the only way for me to keep occupied during term time was to join a CCA. I was recruited into the badminton team and joined them for training and matches
Being part of the team has countless of takeaways. It’s nice having a group of friends from all around the world that share the same passion and hobby as you. Also, you’ll get to learn the local system of competition and boy does it differ from that of Singapore’s greatly. In addition, I got the chance to see the campuses of various universities during my Away matches, and boy was that a real eye opener. Though it is good to have the urge to travel as much as you can on exchange, I think it is important to experience the culture of your exchange institute and country, and what they have to offer. Joining a CCA would definitely let you gain a good insight of that, and I would recommend it strong.
A summer destination I would recommend is none other than one of Greece’s most beautiful island to offer, Santorini. Don’t be scared by the supposed soaring prices of everything! Let me list out a few places to eat in Santorini that’ll let you have a bang for your buck –
1. Fish Tavern Fratzeskos
This was a recommendation by our host and it turned out to be our go-to restaurant for seafood in the island. The seafood they serve are of the freshest and have the most well complimenting flavours I’ve ever tasted. (And psssss, they give you free desserts after you’re done with your meal, and they are to die for )
2. Lucky’s Souvlakis
Gyros gyros gyros. Hands down my favourite Greek dish. They’re packed with flavours and are so easy to eat on the go. Lucky’s serve really good and affordable gyros so if you’ve never heard of gyros before, and happen to be in Santorini, it’s probably the best start you can get ☺ –
3. Santo Wines
Whats Santorini without a sunset right? If you want to avoid the massive crowd at Oia during sunset, and if you want to take your sunset experience up a notch, go to Santo Wines. You’ll get to enjoy the relaxing ambiance of the restaurant over extraordinary food and sipping well-aged wine, all these while watching the amazing sunset over the caldera. It’s not the cheapest of prices but the experience is out of the world
Amsterdam, the little city with countless of breathtaking canals and air that constantly smell of weed But more than that, to me, it’s the city of stroopwafels! For all those that have no idea what they are, stroopwafels are waffles that are made from two thin layers of baked dough with (usually) a caramel syrup filling. My friend and I were in search of freshly baked stroopwafels (I mean, they’re definitely in a different league than those pre-packed ones you find in the supermarkets) and we landed in Lanskroon Bakery. I can guarantee you that they sell the largest, freshest and most unique stroopwafels you can find. They have only 2 flavours, which are coffee caramel and honey. They’re both as amazing and definitely worth a try when you’re in Amsterdam
One of the most magical places I visited during winter break was Norway. My friend and I were out of ideas on what to do in Oslo on our final day when we chanced upon Sognsvann. Yes, it’s a huge lake and yes, temperatures are low. But it didn’t occur to me that what I was about to see was going to take my breath away. The lake had a pretty thick layer of ice that allowed us to walk (or slide) on and because of that, nature treated us to a whole different scenery and experience as compared to what the view could have been in summer. Well let me tell you that nothing beats watching the sun set into the cotton-candy like sky over a perfectly frozen lake Unless you have a friend that’s a little more adventurous (and even crazier) in taking his experience up another level by additionally shedding the layers and embracing the -5 degrees cold.
One of the most magical places I visited during winter break was Norway. And when one talks about Norway, her fjords (and of course salmon) can never be overlooked. Bergen was where I had my fair share of fjords.
We were blessed with good weather that day. Because it was winter time, the sun rose pretty late and we got to witness the sun rise over the horizon as the cruise set sail. We passed by many small villages and countless of mountains that were capped with thick layers of snow.The peak of the tour was when the fjord narrowed, rewarding us with such majestic views that I’m pretty sure will remain etched in our memories for a lifetime. We got to drink some water straight from a waterfall too! The experience was indescribable so the next time you’re Norway, don’t miss out on a fjord tour
Ah, skydiving, my most precious memory to date a pretty mandatory shot for many exchange students. But rather than it just being a pretty mandatory shot for many exchange students, I want to sincerely encourage all of you to go see the world in a perspective you’ve never once dreamt of. Save, spend, take a leap and enjoy, because some experiences are worth way beyond their monetary value