This article was written by  and originally appeared on the student-ran GLOCAL Experience blog. You can view the original article here, and make sure to keep up-to-date with the GLOCAL Experience for a greater insight into life as a GLOCAL student

After a summer well-spent travelling, studying, and working, students from GLOCAL cohort V have separated once more, this time into four different groups, to complete their second and final year of the program. From Kyoto to Bogota, Rotterdam to Göttingen, below, students outline their first impressions of their respective new schools and homes.


The second year of Track D studies started at Kyoto University in October 2022. I was very happy to see my friends after the long summer break. We have had a very productive start so far, sharing our experiences from the summer vacation with each other, with the relaxed atmosphere of Kyoto as our backdrop.

Classes are very challenging. The preparatory reading is around 50-100 pages per course, and there are about five classes, meaning that we read quite a lot every day. The content focuses on Asia and Japan, which was not emphasised as much in Glasgow and Barcelona, and we have many new things to learn as a result. Most courses are not only for GLOCAL students but also for students from other courses. They come from all over the world, mainly from Asian countries, and I expect a diversity of opinions in our classes.

For me, this is my sixth year in Kyoto, but for the other GLOCAL students, it is their first experience. Their interests in everyday life often make me rediscover Japanese society, too. One of my GLOCAL friends surprised me by saying that the Japanese are very quiet. Many new discoveries are waiting for us this year in Kyoto.

– Hideki Yoshikawa



GLOCALS from track A and E — Global History and Creative Industries — appeared to be the early birds to start the semester at the beginning of September. Even though this shortened the summer holidays, it also gave us the opportunity to take advantage of warm, sunny days in the Netherlands. After the informational meeting in the vast, modern building of Erasmus University and a delicious lunch, we were invited on a walking tour guided by professor Paul Van De Laar.

And guess what? We had to take a water taxi to reach the meeting point. The water taxi is a common transportation mode for Rotterdam but as a group of international students, professor Ben Wubs asked us whether we were afraid of it or if needed any support. But after our summer school experience, where we attended the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra concert on a floating stage via pedal boats, we smiled with the highest confidence level possible. To our surprise, though, the water taxis were speed boats, and the rush of adrenaline was much greater than we expected.

We crossed the river Maas and got off the cab at Kattendrecht in Southern Rotterdam, where we listened to the fascinating history of Rotterdam’s diversity. We also visited a local artist exhibition at Story House Belvedere — here, we stayed for dinner and visual artist Femme Hei cooked us authentic Chinese food.

The chef, who did not hesitate to have an interesting conversation with us, wore a t-shirt that said: “AT HOME EVERYWHERE” — so symbolic, and a much-needed reminder for every GLOCAL.

– Teona Chakvetadze


Welcome to the “village” of the GLOCAL community: Göttingen! Yet, this university town in Germany is not that small and insignificant at all. With 130,000 inhabitants, 30,000 of whom are students, the city lives on a long tradition of knowledge and academia, and is one of the most important university cities in Germany.

The GLOCAL Cohort V Track B and F students experienced this heritage first-hand during their introductory event at the campus mid-October. A city guide showed the students secret corners such as the former university prison and told all kinds of anecdotes about former Nobel Prize winners from Göttingen. The guide also discussed the critical start of the university’s history, which brought wealthy young men to the city for financial reasons who sometimes did not behave in a good manner at all.

The tour was complemented by a visit to the newly opened “Forum Wissen” the next day, a hands-on museum that further illuminates Göttingen’s rich history in the academic sector. The reunion of GLOCALs was very nice and stories from the summer were exchanged over dinner at the “Potato House.”

Now, there is still the calm before the storm, as students wait for the start of exciting courses in the field of development economics and economic history, as well as the start of the master’s thesis. Thanks to the great student-oriented infrastructure in Göttingen, however, it will be possible to focus on the work while also enjoying the golden autumn and the Christmas market season in Göttingen!

– Melanie Thut



For us students in Track C and G of GLOCAL, the journey of our second year starts in a different continent, at Universidad de los Andes. Located in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, the university allows students to gain hands-on experience through Consultandes (our consultancy projects) and explore the myriad sustainability topics prevalent in Latin America.

Honestly, I was excited but incredibly scared at the start because my Spanish is the weakest among the GLOCALs coming here. Yet, after only a month here, my fear vanished as I became more and more enamoured by the colourful and vibrant atmosphere that is Colombia and the people. Everyone is so incredibly warm, friendly, and even patient with my lacklustre Spanish that I feel safe and welcomed. Truthfully, it reminds me of my home country, Vietnam, where everyone greets each other when stepping into the elevator and lifts our days with a brilliant smile. Furthermore, nature is breathtaking and unforgettable, and we have already planned several trips to Bogota’s stunning mountains and natural parks. Reunited with my friends, we found each other exploring the different sides of Bogota and sharing laughter and joy with field trips and museum visits.

Regarding courses, with four classes and several group projects (teamwork is a must in Universidad de los Andes), we delve deep into Latin American socio-political issues while also bolstering our professional growth. The classes and group work can be taxing at times, but the opportunity to study with local students and the enthusiasm from our amazing teachers help to shape a unique learning experience that I could have never imagined ever to be a part of. I am now here in Bogota, exactly halfway across the earth from my hometown, no longer with fear, but only with deep gratitude for my friends, teachers, and the beautiful people of Colombia.

– Anh Nguyen Chau Cong