Hello! Its been three weeks since we first arrived in The Hague and I’m starting to get the hang of it. The city is beautiful, friendly, and even though it is pretty big it has a small town feel. We live right by campus in the same building as many of the other exchange students so we’ve had plenty of opportunities to learn about many different cultures. The school is also very diversified, so even though we are learning the Dutch culture we can’t help but to pick up on other European lifestyles such as French, German, and Spanish. The school has helped  a lot in getting us familar with our surroundings and the students in the same position as us by taking us on a trip around the city,  a trip to Amsterdam, and hosting a dinner with all of exchange students.

In Kentucky you would never have the opportunity to get up and go see the queen before class started (mainly because we don’t have a queen)! Thats what I got to do on Tuesday morning, September 22 for the annual Budget Day. The queen and her family ride through the town center in a golden carriage followed by soldiers, bands, and other people of authority on horses. We didn’t know what a big deal it was until we got there. Many of the local people were there taking pictures and all of the schools were closed for the children to be able to attend. People love to see their Queen, even if it happens every year! After her ride through the streets she opens Parliament and they start the budgeting and planning for the next year.

Our first trip out of the country was to Germany to the town of Hagen and then Hamburg. Both cities were very beautiful and full of places to see. The German people were very nice and very helpful. Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and has some of the nicest churches I have ever seen. A lot of Hamburg has been rebuilt due to a fire that spread across the city, and if anything happened to be standing after that it was distroyed by bombings of WWII. As you can imagine the city is full of history. Hamburg also has many memorials or plaques  for Hollocaust victims embedded in there buildings, sidewalks, and streets. Those themselves made me realize how much history was arround me.

There is still so much I want to see around the Netherlands and in other countries. This weekend all of the U of L students are taking a trip to Ireland, so we will see how that goes!

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