So instead of packing for ROME right now, I’m deciding to do a quick blog. I’d like to explain what it has been like living in the Netherlands for the past month. Well it has been AWESOME. Easily the best experience of my life so far. Everything here is so relaxed and based on living life to the fullest. I have not watched TV except the Euro Final (and that was in a sports bar). I came from a point where I was either in front of the TV, on my phone, or on my lap top while in the US and here I maybe spend an hour or two of those a day. I have experienced the outdoors and the zest for life that many Europeans have and I have to admit it is not too shabby.
However, it has not all been a cakewalk. Not being able to speak the main language here has definitely been a barrier and led to some issues. Like today when I tried to get a haircut from a man who spoke ONLY DUTCH. And ended up with only 7 mm of hair left. Paying for bathrooms in France and Belgium, also not the business. But in the scheme of things those issues are not only small and insignificant but also part of the amazing adventure I am able to experience. Finding my way without Google maps or Siri helping me, trying to communicate between languages using only hand motions and basic English words, and trying to figure out and fit into different cultures.
I can say that the weekends have all been amazing, and when all is done I will have visited 9 countries in 6 weeks in Europe. But after travelling for the weekend, I am so happy I can call Maastricht home. It is honestly a city I could live in for the rest of my life (except the weather sometimes). I will miss Maastricht, but I can guarantee that every time I come back to Europe (which hopefully is frequently someday) I will visit here just for the memories of this phenomenal trip.
Finally, what I should be focused on while I’m here the STUDY part of Study Abroad. I have had two classes while I’m here. The first was Economics of European Integration. It was great; I learned so much about the EU (which will help if ever involved in a business that is active here). The professor was hilarious, he loved to make fun of us and was more sarcastic than me. Now I am in International Management, again a very interesting class based on managing across cultures. Our professor is 28 and super nice.
Final Note (mom and dad hope you got this far): I had the chance to go to the casino today and I turned it down to save money! Who is this kid?!
CES students are bright and eager personalities from all around the world who attend classes at all faculties of Maastricht University through the comprehensive CES programme of their choice. Programme topics range from ‘Business & Economics in Europe’, 'European Culture & Arts', 'Psychology & Neuroscience in Europe', 'EU Politics, Policy & International Relations', ‘European Society & History’ and 'European Law & Human Rights' amongst many others.