Culture Shock – It’s Real, and It’s Really Helpful

America – home of apple pie, baseball, HBO, free refills, online music streaming, and “Biggie Sizing”

Going to Europe for the first time alone, I had no idea what to expect when you MOVE to a new place, in a new country. It turns out after 5 months of living there and loving it, you get used to bicycle lanes being more important than motorways, people spitting when they pronounce their G’s, taking your own grocery bag to the supermarket, eating raw herring with onions, and watching countless hours of futbol while someone teaches you AGAIN what “off-sides” means. In case it’s not obvious yet, my study abroad experience was based in Den Haag, NL.

When I flew back into the states, everything looked HUGE! The cars, the food, and the English was so quick! People were in a hurry to get things done, and it honestly took me a few days to get back into the swing of everyday life. However, I noticed a few things about how I act differently. Europe changed me for the better – I’m a lot more relaxed about how I go about doing nearly everything, and I almost prefer mayo to ketchup on my fries these days.

The main point of this blog is, immerse yourself in the culture you study abroad in, and do things the way they do them. You may learn your way isn’t actually the best, and you may even teach them a few things in the process. No matter the outcome, you will definitely have a new perspective on what “normal” is!

If you have any questions about life in Den Haag, feel free to email me at


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