It is humbling to reflect on all of the places I was able to see during my five months abroad. I had never been out of the US, and now I’ve seen the places that I always dreamed of. I … Continue reading →
On June 13th my best friend and her husband were starting off a group tour through Europe in Rome, and you better believe I jumped on the opportunity to meet up with them. I arrived in Rome Thursday evening and had … Continue reading →
One thing that is becoming a hot topic of conversation between my fellow exchangers is how little we’ve all explored The Netherlands. We’ve all been here for 4+ months and still seen very little of this small country. It’s one … Continue reading →
Travel is transformational. It changes who you are to your very core. Out there on the road, without any baggage, you encounter life in a way that’s not always possible when you are working all the time. I know I’m biased since I write about travel but my experience meeting others has shown me that travel changes you for the better. It brings out the best version of you possible. Here are ten ways travel will better your life and why you should start planning your next trip away:
You become more social
It’s sink or swim on the road. You either get better at making friends or you end up alone. You learn to make friends out of strangers and get more comfortable approaching new people. You get better at the small talk. When I first started traveling, I was an introvert and uncomfortable talking to strangers. Now, I…
Memorial Day Weekend was a pretty special one for me. I went sailing for the very first time, IN THE NETHERLANDS. I still have moments this all doesn’t seem real. Now, Europe doesn’t celebrate Memorial Day, this just happened to fall on the … Continue reading →
From May 9th to May 18th I had the privilege of hosting my mom during her first trip to Europe. It was such a blessing to get to share this experience with her, and we had an incredible time. It … Continue reading →
Another dream: fulfilled. I went to Paris. I traveled to the city of love by night bus Thursday evening with two other girls. We found a great deal that would give us three full days in Paris, and avoid the typical unfortunate side … Continue reading →
The Netherlands is known for many things: wooden shoes, windmills, engineering, cheese, etc etc. Another thing it’s known for is the abundance of beautiful flowers that grow here, tulips to be specific. In the city of Lisse resides the world’s … Continue reading →
On April 26th I had the privilege to take part in The Netherlands very first King’s Day. Previously known as Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag), this day is a national holiday that celebrates the Dutch monarchy. The first Queen’s Day took place back in 1885 and honored the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina on August 31st. The date has shifted around, coinciding with different birthdays, but now it celebrates the recently inaugurated King Willem-Alexander (whose birthday is actually on April 27th, however with that falling on a Sunday this year the first King’s Day was celebrated the day before instead). Festivals are plentiful, orange is donned, DJ’s fill the streets with music – it’s quite the day! The night before is also considered “King’s Night,” so the excitement begins in the evening and lasts well into the next night. I had a great time harnessing my inner Dutchness, and loved being able to take part in this fun holiday!
“I mean, I want to see. I want to see all I can every place there is to see. My life carries eyes and they’re there for one reason. To see through them.” -Bob Dylan
There has been a lot of speculation as to whether I am actually “studying” while abroad.
I am here to set the record straight: yes I am indeed going to my classes and studying. In fact, I am in the midst of exam week. My classes are much different here than they are back home. The semester is split into two blocks, A and B. I’m taking five classes total, three A block and two B block. During A block I had lectures once a week for each class, Mondays and Wednesdays, for two hours each. So total I had six hours worth of class every week, and I didn’t miss one lecture. I don’t have homework, no essays to write or busy work to bust out. My entire grade in each course is based off of an exam that is given at the end of the block. Right now I am in the courses Organizational Change, Social Environment and Behavior, and Intergroup Relations. After exams I will move to my second block courses which are Personality and Individual Differences and Diversity in Organizations. These are all psychology courses that are going to help me on my path to the organizational communication career path I’m intending to pursue.
The set of up the semester here leaves me with a lot of free time, which is what has afforded me the opportunity to travel so much. There are four full weeks throughout the semester that I have off from lectures, so of course I am going to take advantage of that time! There is so much more to this experience than textbooks and lectures. Passing my classes and gaining credit towards my degree are certainly priorities to me, but I am gaining so much more than that. The life experience I am getting here far outweighs anything a textbook can teach me. The history I am able to see with my own eyes, the cultures I am able to interact with, gaining more independence, I could go on and on. That is why I am so grateful for the way semesters are designed here.
“Exploration is the physical expression of the intellectual passion. And I tell you, if you have the desire for knowledge and the power to give it physical expression, go out and explore.” -Apsley Cherry-Garrard