Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Predeparture: Why the Netherlands?

The first time I ever left North America was when I traveled to France during my senior year in high school.  Now, as technically a junior in college, I will travel to the Netherlands where I will stay from late August to early January.  I recently read an article (although the article itself isn't very recent) called Why NOT to Study Abroad in Western Europe, but while the article offers a number of interesting points, here's why I'm returning to Western Europe and not feeling guilty about going:

  1. I want to learn Dutch.  It's been difficult trying to learn Dutch here when my school doesn't offer it as a language (not to mention that I came into college with my language requirement already taken care of).  No one I know speaks Dutch, so there's no one to teach me or to practice with.
  2. I want to be surrounded by a culture that I know very little about.  We learn a lot about particularly Western Europe in school when we learn about World War II in particular, but I don't remember hearing about the Netherlands at all because the Netherlands wasn't as instrumental in World War II as Germany was.
  3. This will be my first time going abroad not attached to a class (as in, I won't be traveling with anyone I know).  It'll be nice to go back to a region (Western Europe) that I've started to explore, but still have tons of things I haven't yet experienced.
  4. One of my absolute favorite books takes place, in part, in the Netherlands.  I've been inspired to go and see what this place looks like and feels like so that I can more fully own this book.
I think that the Netherlands will be a good place for me to spend an extended amount of time.  It has year-round weather that I can endorse (I've been following in the weather for the past year and I don't think I've ever seen the temperature (in Fahrenheit) fall below 30 degrees.  30 degrees is still cold, but compared to what Minnesota in the fall/winter can be like, I'll take my chances.  Besides, I'll be near water!  Super close to the seaside, in fact.

As my Count-Down clock ticks down and as I check more things off of my to-do list, I'm getting more and more excited.  I love Minneapolis/St. Paul and I know for a fact that I'll miss my family and friends, but I can't wait to get out of town and experience the rest of the world!

Thanks for Reading!  This won't be the last pre-departure post.


No comments:

Post a Comment

I love your comments! Comment away!