Keukenhof – The World’s Largest Flower Park

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

Koningsdag

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!

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“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

The Netherlands? Holland? “Dutchland”?

I stumbled upon this video that (tries) to simplify the confusion surrounding what the actual name is of the country where the Dutch are found. Enjoy!

“Big stuff and little: learning how to order breakfast in a country where I don’t speak the language and haven’t been before- that’s really satisfying. I like that.” -Anthony Bourdain

“Study” Abroad?

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

That Time I Went To Hogwarts

One of the major highlights of my trip to London was what I got to do on March 31st. I got to fulfill another dream, I got to explore Leavesden Studio. (Better known as the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – … Continue reading

London: A Dream Come True

From the 27th of April to the 2nd of March I was blessed with the opportunity to explore London. This is something that I have always dreamed of doing but never thought I’d actually be fortunate enough to do. Words can’t describe … Continue reading

Kamp Westerbork

I had the opportunity to visit the memorialized transit camp, Kamp Westerbork, on March 22nd. It is located n Hooghalen, Netherlands which is about 45km from Groningen. There were four of us that went – my mentor Hedwig, the other international student … Continue reading