Today’s student life in the UK has its preferences. It leaves free time to travel Europe on a budget and enjoy the summer - in the office during an internship or at home. Throughout my three years in Plymouth I have always tried to get the maximum out of my student life by being as busy as possible, which included plenty of work experience in the summer, regular trips to London and visits to European cities when the opportunity was there. This post gives you a brief review of each European city I have visited from different perspectives - as an intern and as a visitor.
As a visitor, my favourite metropole has all it needs from cosy districts to the busy city, endless shopping and spacious green areas. As an intern taking the tube from Victoria Station to Tower Bridge every day, leaving out the rush hour living and working in London has surely become a dream for the future. The City is just the best place, both to work in a demanding as well as exciting environment and to socialise with other industry members in stunning settings. If you visit London, take the elevator up to the Sky Gardens on the 20 Fenchurch Street tower - one of my favourite places.
The most romantic city of all I would say is a must to visit for anyone studying in Plymouth. Having been lucky enough to stay in the suburbs during an exchange program five years ago, I have come back many times and am still discovering new beautiful places every time. My favourites are the Montmartre, Quartier Latin and a walk along the Seine. The flavour and cosiness of Paris is something that everyone must experience on their own.
Toulouse, South of France
One of my favourite cities I would recommend especially anyone looking for a career in aerospace, be it business, engineering etc., and who speaks a bit of French (Airbus' prime facilities are located in Toulouse). It has great climate all year around and is close to the Pyrenées for skying as well as the Mediterranean for the beach. With a vibrant city centre and beautiful architecture it is definitely also worth a visit.
Close to Amsterdam with the largest port in Europe, Rotterdam is definitely one of the best locations to visit for a maritime student. The dutch are crazy about riding their bike and their lifestyle is enviable. Whilst the impressive port area is entirely worth a visit, the usual visitor should be recommended to visit Amsterdam with more attractions to see and activities to do!
Hamburg, North of Germany
Nearly my hometown, I have worked in Hamburg for the last two summers and it is one of those maritime cities where I would not mind settling down. It has a special flavour with its famous Reeperbahn red light district, a beautiful city beach on the Elbe river and the Ballindam with the major shipping companies overlooking the Alster lake. Hamburg is also a very bicycle friendly city and it is not unusual to get to work that way. Whilst it is a great place to work and live, for a visit to Germany I would recommend to anyone Berlin rather than Hamburg because it is just a place full of history with plenty of things to see and do as well as an exceptional multicultural society.
Having visited Copenhagen this winter, I have been very impressed with the city in terms of its living standards and the city’s beautiful architecture and seaside. Driving to Copenhagen from Germany / main Denmark, crossing the huge Storebælt bridge was an incredible experience and the high-standard hotel room at budget costs was worth every penny. What I was most impressed with is probably the cleanliness of the city and the Danish friendliness. Whilst it was freezing cold, one of my favourite spots were the Little Mermaid and the Tivoli attraction park in the middle of the city with winter decoration and small shops to buy all kinds of Danish specialities. Definitely worth a visit!!
The way I experienced Oslo was by overnight cruise leaving from my hometown Kiel in Germany and I just wanted to add it as a secret advice. The “Color Line” cruise is such a reasonably priced way to visit Oslo - I think we paid about 150€ pP at the time both ways - that it should not be missed if you get the opportunity. The city itself is great to visit with some typical Viking attractions and definitely worth a visit.