Summer School in Utrecht

My name is Liviu Chirondojan (that’s me with my sister), Liviuand I am a fourth year student at the University of Strathclyde. It has been two years since I have moved to Glasgow and I do not regret my decision in any way. The classes here are very well organised and the staff are always helpful.

Less than a month ago I was in the Netherlands for a summer school in Theoretical Physics. The course took place in the campus of the University of Utrecht, very close to the city centre.

The summer school at Utrecht covers more than 100 different subjects, and is an ideal place to meet students from all around the world, with academic interests ranging from linguistics to sub-atomic particle physics.

The city of Utrecht is absolutely charming, being one of the greenest cities of Europe. I believe that the car to bike ratio is well under 1 to 100. Every person in the city seems to prefer the bicycle over any other mean of transportation. The omnipresent bike lanes are much wider than the sidewalk, and some streets are only for bicycles and buses.

The city also has an extended water canals network, looking like a Dutch version of Venice. Some of the pubs and restaurants are right next to the canals, offering a spectacular view.

The theoretical physics course was quite challenging. It felt like a two-week boot camp, with classes starting at 9.00 am and ending at 5.30 pm. The lecturers covered various topics of Electrodynamics, Quantum Physics, Computational Physics and Statistical Physics.

There were also four talks given by the scientists working for the Spinoza Institute of Theoretical Physics. One of them was given by Gerard ‘t Hooft, Nobel prize winner in physics. They offered me a good understanding of the current trends in modern day theoretical physics.

During these two weeks I made some new interesting friends. I was also visited by students that I initially met at the University of Strathclyde, while they were on an Erasmus exchange programme.AmsterdamThe summer school at Utrecht was a very enjoyable and useful experience. I am now looking forward to start my fourth year at the University of Strathclyde.