Thursday, May 2, 2013

College Adventures: Thinking About the Future Again--Study Abroad

In about a year and a half, I am planning on embarking on one of the biggest challenges and adventures I think I will ever experience.  I will study abroad in the Netherlands, hopefully living in Leiden (check the map).

This trip is so far away, but I get waves of longing to be over there, even though I've never visited the country.  I don't know the language (Dutch) or really any history, but there's nothing like complete cultural and linguistic immersion!  Right?

I've been thinking about it, and this trip could potentially be a 5-6 country trip.  The tentative plan is that my family will fly across the Atlantic with me around Christmas and we'll spend some time in France, visiting our family friends, the Dhermands, and if possible, the other girl we hosted, Clementine.  Maybe even the family who hosted me a little over a year ago, though this may be a little bit of a challenge.  I haven't really spoken French with anyone since that time (I've been trying to write letters in order to keep up my French language skills).  French club will be a must next year!  It has to be.  Besides the fact that I haven't spoken French in a while, my sister is proficient in Spanish, my mom knows a handful of words and phrases, and my dad... I think he took German in high school.  The family who hosted me knows bits and pieces of English, though my host sister was excellent at consoling my homesickness in English, which I greatly appreciated.

My mom was talking about visiting England and/or Ireland, but I haven't heard anything more about this plan.  So who knows!

My boyfriend, as a reward for graduating high school will be visiting Germany for a week (?) three years after his graduation.  He would have traveled there last summer, but once he found that I was planning on studying abroad, he wanted to be able to see me before he wouldn't see me for three or four months.  So while he's spending time in Germany, I'll come and visit him.

After spending time with my family and my boyfriend, I will truly be on my own until I make friends at my college in the Netherlands.  The college that I'm looking to apply to for a semester is for international students (it's really strange thinking of myself as an international student, because I've never really been one of those before).

If all goes well during the application process, I will be living in Leiden.  My understanding is that it's a University town, which could be fun!  It's much smaller than the city I'm used to living in.  Any way, while I'm here, I'll have a two week Dutch language learning intensive course and then school will start (I might keep up Dutch for the semester... it sounds really neat!  A cross between English and German.  It's actually sounds kind of cute).

Because we're a school of international students, it's rumored on the website that there's usually a three day excursion to Belgium, so I'll probably be headed there, which will be great!

I still have a spring break while I'm there, so during that time, I really want to make the journey to Poland so that I can visit Warsaw, Krakow, and see Auschwitz with my own eyes.

I've got a lot of saving to do and tons of extra planning, but I think it will be so worth it!  I am very excited!

Thanks for Reading!



  1. That's awesome that you're doing so much traveling! The only exciting place I've been to is Alaska, and that isn't even that exciting since it's in the US. :P If I could travel anywhere, I'd go to New Zealand.

    I hope you have a great time on all of your international adventures! :D

    1. Thanks, Julia!

      I'm applying for study abroad in the fall, so I still need to wait a year! It's agonizing...

      Have fun on your future trip to New Zealand :D I've heard wonderful things :)


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