When talking to people here, a lot of people ask "Why did you choose to come to Holland?" I would ask the same thing to people to come to Wisconsin because I really like to know why people pick Wisconsin over places, that to me, seem more interesting like New York California or Florida. When asked this question I don't really know how to answer so I usually just kind of laugh and say "because the classes are in English." This got me thinking to why am I am here in this county. I really do not think I gave much thought to where I would study abroad; I always knew coming into college I wanted to study abroad because when else am I going to get the chance to come live in another country?
Originally, I was just going to do a three week summer class because I did not think that I could handle a whole semester away. Being a summer program, there were not as many options to choose from as to where to study. I have always had an interest in Europe, so I knew that Europe was the continent that I wanted to see the most. For the exchange program I could study in Mexico, Japan or Germany but all classes were in the native language. The only programs that offered English was the Netherlans, Finland, and Sweedan. I really had no interest in Finland or Sweedan. Which only left the Netherlands which sounded like a good program for business. The more I started looking into the program and talking to people the more excited I got to study abroad. I decided that I wanted the full experience of living abroad. If I was only there for three weeks, I would not have really fully experienced the Dutch culture as I probably would have stuck with my group for most of the time. It also did not leave me time to travel outside of the Netherlands. I decided to do a whole semester abroad. I did not even look at other programs that offered full semester exchange, I just stayed with the Netherlands.
I do not regret my decision to study abroad for a whole semester. I have already been here for three weeks and I cannot imagine leaving already. I am just starting to get settled in and get into the swing of things. I have already meet so many new people from all over the world including Argentina, Mexica, Canada, US (California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Carolina), Spain, Finland, Germany, Slovekia, China, Vietnam, Australia and more. It's kind of funny that when people ask where I am from, and I say Wisconsin, most people know of Wisconsin because of "That 70's Show." I have already spent the day in Amsterdam, and I would really like to visit Germany, Prague, Italy, Barcelona, Paris and Brussels before I leave. Right now, I think it is too early to say if I am happy with my decision to study in Holland; if I had to pick again would I still pick here? I have always had a facination with Italy; maybe if I go for my masters degree I will study abroad there. I wish that Arnhem was a bigger city or that the University was in Amsterdam. Here is a lot slower pace of life which I guess it is good to experience change. Its interesting that on Sundays pretty much all of the businesses are closed and even during the week most things do not open until 8 or 9 and then close early, usually around 7. I am not good with having nothing to do; I like to always be busy so I guess I have to learn to entertain myself and to relax more.