Where to start… Studying abroad here in the Netherlands has been amazing. There are so many places to go, people to meet, things to do, etc. Although it has taken awhile to get used to the way things work here, everything has finally started to fall in place.
First off, the university is much different than back at Louisville. There is one large center building connected to a couple other buildings where all of our classes take place (IBMS students). I can’t imagine how the exchange students from here who study abroad at U of L feel when they find out their classes are in different buildings spread out across the campus. Also, the classes here can change times, classrooms and even different days each week. I have had classes change from Tuesday to Wednesday, from 4:30 in the afternoon to 9:30 in the morning, and from meeting once a week to meeting twice a week. It seems nearly impossible to have a job while attending this university with the way classes change so much. With all that said, it is great meeting new people in class, working in groups with students from all different countries (teachers love working in teams here), and learning how the professors/students in the Netherlands look at the world of business.
Outside of school, there is so much to do in The Hague. Kylee, Sophie, and I decided to make a trip to the beach yesterday since it was a little over 60 degrees outside. After we arrived, we walked down the beach awhile to see what all was there. After hearing from some locals that the restaurants and bars on the beach opened near the end of March, I was surprised to see so many people there. After yesterday’s adventure, it’s safe to say we will be heading to the beach more often in a few weeks when everything is open.
When it comes to traveling, The Hague is a great place to study abroad. Very easy to get around Europe due to the fact that the train station is right next to campus and the airport in Amsterdam is only about 40 minutes away. Since I have been here, I have been to Paris and Majorca, an island off the east coast of Spain. I went to Paris with Sophie and Kylee the week after we arrived before school started. I went to Majorca a couple weeks ago with Kylee for our “spring” break. Both trips were absolutely amazing and definitely once in a lifetime opportunities.
A few random side notes: 1) Although very unhealthy, Turkish pizza and Kapsalon are two things you have to eat at least once while you are here. 2) Bikes are used by everyone and are very convenient, but you have to be careful because they can be stolen and/or break easily if you buy a used one. 3) Spontaneity is key. Both trips I’ve made here were booked less than a week before we left and they turned out to be some of the best trips I will take in my life. When studying abroad, you have so many opportunities, but only for a short time. You have to take advantage of them.
More posts to come.