Whether you like it or not, your stay in Utrecht is slowly but surely coming to an end. It’s time to say your goodbyes and pack your bags for moving back home. Don’t you just wish you could stuff everything in your suitcase, from those delicious bitterballen to the millions of tulips to your new best friends? Unfortunately, no matter how advanced the JoCo-team is, even we cannot advise you on how to do so. What we can do, however, is tell you which are the best souvenirs you can take home for yourself and your loved ones!
Of course, this typical Dutch food is the first on our list. Cheese for the Dutch is like tea for the English; it’s the bread and butter of the nation. Why not take home a few blocks of this heavenly goodness? We highly recommend paying a visit to Cheese & More in the centre, but there are several other huge cheese shops further away, such as Morty’s Kaas en Delicatessen or the Pakhuis Utrecht Kaas Boter Eieren. Be careful; it’s easy to spend a fortune in these stores because everything is just so tasty! As for transportation: there are no longer restrictions in place regarding animal products in the EU, so pack up! If you’re travelling to a non-EU country, however, we advise to check the specific requirements before you stock up on cheese only to be stopped by a hungry airport controller.
Tacky typical souvenirs
Yes, we know that this sounds cheesy and slightly dated, but those souvenir shops all around the centre of Utrecht sell lots of cute little bits and bobs that you and your family will appreciate. Just think about it: in a few weeks or months, you’ll miss Utrecht and your friends so much that you’ll have a hard time coping with their absence. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a key ring with a miniature version of the Dom Tower attached always with you? It’s like carrying a piece of Utrecht with you at all times. How about some T-shirts with bikes or other typical Dutch icons (Miffy and the like) on them? You can show your old-new home how proud you are of having lived abroad in such a cool place. Don’t forget the amazing Delfware pottery – you could even purchase a Delftware-decorated cheeseboard! That way, anywhere you look you’ll be reminded of the great times you’ve spent here.
Pictures, pictures, pictures
Nowadays, we store everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, on our smartphones. Of course, it is extremely convenient to keep all your pictures on your phone: it’s easy to access and you always carry it around, right? However, printed pictures still have their charm. Can’t you just see a picture of you with your new besties posing at the canals with a funky frame, hanging on your wall? After all, this has probably been one of the most fun and eventful experiences of your life, and seeing it in your home will not only bring back fond memories but also serve as proof of how much you have learnt and achieved during this time. There are plenty of stores such as Color Utrecht and MultiCopy where you can get those awesome photos of yours printed, and you can find frames almost anywhere, from HEMA to souvenir shops to IKEA.
Naturally, this list is far from being finished. Are you curious of what other international students take with themselves (literally and figuratively) from Utrecht? Keep an eye on your mailbox in the next weeks and read all about it in our final Abroad magazine of the year!