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24 Hours with


Neomi image

Neomi Rao (21), USA,

general biology and

linguistics at Amsterdam

University College (AUC)


Starting the day

‘I usually get out of bed at 08.00 hrs, make some tea and get ready for my class. at 09.00 hrs I pack lunch and make sure I have all of my books, but there usually isn’t time to do much else! I live at Science Park so it‘s just a short walk to AUC. When walking to school, the fresh air really wakes me up.’



‘On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have class. I feel really lucky this semester, because I have been thoroughly enjoying my classes. In my Big Books literature class, we are reading selections of Western literature and discussing them. The professor for this class is especially good – he encourages real discussion in the classroom, and a deeper reading of the texts – which makes me think about and engage with the content more.’

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Cheesy lunch

‘I normally pack lunch, either with leftovers or a sandwich and fruit. It’s really hilarious to me that the Dutch packed lunch is automatically bread and cheese, and I have to admit that’s what I have been doing myself. I also find it interesting that the Dutch eat their lunch cold. I really needed time to get used to that.’


Class again

‘In my Brain and Cognition class, I feel stimulated by the lectures every day. I find the material fascinating and the professor genuinely passionate about the subject. And in my History & Culture of the Dutch Golden Age, I love learning about the major events in Dutch history that form the background of the country I live in today. Plus, we go on some excursions around the city, which are a lot of fun.’

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School's out

‘My school day is over. I usually go home and prepare dinner myself. I try to live as cheaply as possible, so I save on things like meals in order to have other nice experiences! On my days off I like to go to museums and explore the city. I am trying out a lot of libraries and cafés to find the best and cheapest place to study’


Good night bus

‘In the evenings after school I usually end up meeting with friends to either go out, or have a relaxed night in, or, if I have a lot of homework I stay in and try to get it done. Some nights, if there are interesting events I will go to those – I went to a Stedelijk Museum lecture by the cultural anthropologist and social activist Gayatri Spivak, and to a free jazz night at Bimhuis. It depends on what’s happening at that moment.’

Amsterdam at sunset image