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
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
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
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
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
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
…you have your bike stolen. Guess that makes me a legitimate Groninger now?
My bike was stolen the other night in the city center while I was taking part in a Pub Quiz. Bike theft is a very, very common occurrence in Groningen. There’s a whole business behind it, people stealing bikes and reselling them. I’ve heard stories of people who had their bike stolen only to see someone else riding it a few days later. Often times the person riding it had just bought it off of someone else. On more than one occasion the “new owner” was kind enough to simply give the bike back to the victim. One time a guy had his bike stolen, went to purchase a new one, and the bike he went to purchase ended up being the one that had just been stolen from him. More often than not, however, people never see their bike again. I was so bummed when I walked out of the pub, went to where I had parked my bike, and found no remnants of it. I definitely had one of those “it won’t ever happen to me” mentalities. My bike had been properly locked with a really strong lock that you put between your wheel and frame, so the perpetrator had to have picked it up and carried it away. But, it happens. Yes I was bummed because not only am I out the money I spent on the bike, I also really loved my bike. However it’s just money, and it’s just a bike, worse things could happen. So when I got home I hastily checked the groups on Facebook where people post bikes for sale, got in contact with a girl, and bought a bike the following morning. I got two locks for this bike, so I am going to be sure to lock the wheel to the frame as well as lock my bike to something stationary like a pole or bike stand.
Goodbye old friend
Welcome my new mode of transportation
“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.” -Fitzhug Mallan
After being in The Netherlands for a month and a half I finally made it to Amsterdam. My ESN group organized a day trip to explore the city. Currently there is a great deal on train tickets where with at … Continue reading