I left Jeddah for Amsterdam in the morning of 21 Aug, transited at Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport for 3 hours, and finally arrived at Schiphol Airport at 4 pm. Alhamdulillah, the trip went so smoothly, apart from the fact that I didn’t have enough sleep. I only had 2 hours of sleep before I departed and not to mention that sleeping on the plane was much worst than sleeping on the floor… But other than that, it was ok.
I was a bit worried bringing my bags and luggage on the train. They were so heavy and with my body not cooperating very well due to lack of sleep, I was worried that I couldn’t carry them all the way inside the train. I talked to strangers while I was on transit at Queen Alia Airport and talked to a Dutch woman who sat next to me on the plane, and all of them told me not to worry. Somebody would help me out. The Dutch woman actually offered to help me buying a train ticket at the train station, but since she had to wait for me for quite long at the baggage handling, I told her to go first. I didn’t have trouble at all when buying the ticket since people here speak English very well.
Travelling to Eindhoven from Schiphol by train took about 1.5 hours. I was quite amazed by the “green view”. Alright, it was just an OK view, but since I came all the way from Jeddah where everything’s covered by desert, I always felt amazed when seeing big trees, grass, forests, gardens, etc. I loooove green stuff! LOL. It’s just beautiful 🙂
I arrived at Eindhoven Train Station at 6.30-ish in the evening. I had so much trouble carrying my bags out of the train, thankfully a young woman helped me out, whom I appreciated a lot!! God bless her. Now, the tricky part was to get me out of the platform. I only saw a stair and an elevator to go up. Then a stranger told me that there’s a lift in the middle of the platform — which wasn’t really designed for passengers I supposed. When I stepped out of the lift, I was in the tunnel somewhere… I had no idea. Hahaha. I kept praying to God to give me the strength to carry these bags… it was damn heavy! But I managed to get out and went inside the train station again to find a public phone. I called Arya, a friend whom I found randomly through Google, to make sure that his friend (Ari) would be at home by the time I got there. I decided to spend a night in her room because I hadn’t got the key to my room yet. I didn’t want to go there and found out that she’s not home yet, I would rather do something else at the train station hehe. Fortunately, he told me that she’s home and he offered to pick me up, in which I said yes (couldn’t resist, I was too tired. Was I too spoilt or what?!?! LOL). I was so grateful by Arya, his friends, and Ari’s kindness… Thank you so much, guys! 🙂
So why do I end up going to Eindhoven to study? Well, first of all, I never dreamt of coming here. The tuition fee is just too expensive for me, and there’s no way that my parents would pay that much money. Euro is already crazily expensive. Continuing master’s degree in Europe had been in my mind ever since I was in my first year of my Bachelor degree. But it never occurred to me that Euro was going to be stronger than US Dollar one day. I panicked a bit, but in a way it didn’t stop me from trying, just like Randy Pausch said: “The brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things.” So I applied to a number of universities in Germany and Sweden. And when I heard that TU Eindhoven (TU/e) was providing a number of scholarships for international students, I gave it a try, although deep in my heart I was so sure that I would not get this scholarship.
After waiting for several months, I got a confirmation from Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden that I had been accepted. It was a great relief for me, for I first thought I wouldn’t be accepted at any of them. Then a day afterwards, I got an email from TU/e that I had been awarded a scholarship!! I read the email over and over again because I couldn’t believe it!! Oh my God!!! Alhamdulillah, this was a day I had been waiting for!!! Although I found out that KTH is much better than TU/e, I decided to go to TU/e because of this scholarship. I didn’t want to burden my parents anymore, let them focus on my sister’s education for now.
… and here I am now almost broke LOL. I haven’t received any money from TU/e and I don’t expect I will receive it until the next 2 weeks. I did bring some cash but almost all of them were spent on my room’s rent and deposit. It’s so damn expensive!!! I don’t know how I’m going to survive until the time I get my money… and I don’t know how I’m going to pay for my room’s rent in the beginning of September. There’s a way, I’m sure, but I ought to find that way…. Ya Allah, please help enlighten me.
So far I’m enjoying my first few days here. I’ve met many new friends and to-be-classmates and they’re all wonderful! People and strangers here are very friendly and that makes me feel so comfortable. My next mission is to re-register myself as a member of AIESEC (I don’t know if they have it in this city, but I’ll find it out soon), meet up with Dutch couchsurfers to know more about Netherlands and its culture, learn Dutch language (a friend of mine told me that TU/e provides a free language class, which is AWESOME!!!! I’m going to take advantage of it!!), and study hard, for sure 🙂