Student life

Exploring the Netherlands: Texel

By Marieke van Beek – Third year student

Happy Easter Holidays! After a quiet week at University College Groningen, all staff and students went off for a nice long weekend. Many of us decided to spend their weekend with friends and family and travelled all over the country to visit them. As for me, I spent my Eastern weekend on one of the beautiful islands the Netherlands has, namely Texel. The Netherlands has five habituated islands and are referred to as “TVTAS” and this abbreviation for Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. From all five, Texel is the biggest one and is also the first one you bump into when you leave the harbor of Den Helder. From here you take the ferry to the other side which takes approximately 20 minutes. On the ferry you can spot many different people, namely the official inhabitants of Texel, but also many tourists that visit the island for the weekend. There is also the opportunity to go outside on the deck to experience the fresh and salty air and see the seagulls fighting the strong wind. For the first time ever, I saw a big submarine that came by.

From the boat we drove to the capital of Texel, Den Helder where my grandparents live. On the way there, the fields were very green and we spotted sheep and newborn lambs which gave a real feeling of spring. In the morning, we went for a stroll through the center of Den Burg. It was rather quiet and not much going on since all stores were closed due to Easter. However, it was still a nice walk and the sun also decided to show itself. In the afternoon, my dad and I went for a run at the beach and through the dunes. It was really great weather and running on the beach is an experience on its own. We spotted many people going for a walk at the beach even though it was still super windy. The run took us through the dunes which was actually pretty though since running in the sand makes your legs feel super heavy. During our run we again observed many cyclists that also wanted to experience the nice weather and the fresh island air. This is something great of visiting an island that you can do many active activities by being outside all day. We finished our run in the woods and enjoyed our first ice cream of the year after our pretty intensive run. In the evening, we went for dinner with the rest of my family that also lives on Texel and enjoyed a real Texel’s beer, skuumkoppe and a piece of lamb’s meat.

It was a very nice weekend and really felt like I got a good break from all the studying. On Tuesday my final block at University College Groningen will start. On one hand, I am excited and ready for a new adventure and to continue my studies somewhere else. On the other hand, I am also pretty sad that my UCG adventure is coming to an end in July. Therefore, I am going to try to make every moment last and create some final memories with my UCG family.


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