Lebanon Valley College Study Abroad

The American Dream

This is a story about home. Actually, maybe that’s not entirely accurate. I suppose that, when one really examines the content of this story, one sees that it is about remembering home when away from home, when in the home of kiwis and sheep, with some particularly homely weather. Got it?

You're lucky they don't play baseball here.

You’re lucky they don’t play baseball here.

New Zealand does not have a rainy season. Anything that you have been told about the country receiving copious amounts of rain in the autumn months is a blatant lie, and the person that has told you these lies has already been tracked down and taken in for mandatory reeducation. If you are in New Zealand in the autumn and see droplets of water descending from the sky, as if dropped by some unseen being beyond the clouds, do not be alarmed, for it is not rain. If it were rain, it would stop after a reasonable amount of time, and not continue for days. No, what you are seeing is not rain. It is something incomprehensible, unleashed for some unknown purpose, perhaps the cleaning of rooftops or the enjoyment of ducks.

Regardless of the origins of these frequently and lengthy cascades of water, many students over at the University of Waikato have taken to staying inside and relaxing as of late. And when one stays inside and relaxes, one visits social media sites. And when one visits social media sites, one sees an inevitable slew of vacation and graduation pictures (Congrats, Class of 2015!). Between the fall of rain that was not rain outside and the shiny, happy pictures posted on Facebook walls, one does not feel particularly motivated to finish out classes.

Occasionally, when I walk outside, and the grounds crew is manning the massive lawnmowers that sweep through the athletic fields, I’ll catch a whiff of that wonderful combination of cut grass and gasoline. Suddenly, I’ll be back at a park in my hometown, where the scent is almost lost amidst other scents, of burgers and waffle cones and maybe a hint of wood smoke. Somewhere close by, there is a band playing, a blur of people gathered right below the stage dancing in a big happy throng. But the band is background noise, an accompaniment to a good conversation among friends, reclined on lawn chairs and blankets, trapped in the throes of summer like the Lotus Eaters, with no need or means of escape. The sun, though already low in the sky, has dipped further in the last eternity, though I could tell no passage of time. Out came the fireflies to take its place, wheeling tantalizingly out of reach. One comes to rest on my finger, and I’m walking to class again, the ground is covered in leaves, and clouds are already blocking out the sun for the fifth day in a row.

But occasionally, on good days, the clouds will part and I’ll do something interesting.

I woke up at four one morning to catch a bus to Auckland. The transportation center where I stood for the better part of an hour was across the street from the Peaches and Cream adult shop, a name that I have been saying with less and less irony these days.

I had come to the city to meet a friend, also travelling abroad, and on his way home from Australia. We had hoped to make our way out to one of the many islands off of Auckland’s coast, but the attendants at the wharf informed us that the trip was closed due to weather.

I can really see how this would be a problem.

I can really see how this would be a problem.

So we chose a different island and set off. Waiheke is primarily known for its wine and beachside houses, neither things that either of us were capable of affording, but we tried to make the best of the horrors of being trapped on a sunny island for the day. Planning a budget expedition was fairly easy, replacing wine with cider and cheese with fries. Part of me would love to return some day and sip wine by the ocean, but until then, I’ll just have to content myself by yelling impotently at the grapevines and stepping all over their nice beach.

Take that, 1%.

Take that, 1%.

But even without the eighty degree weather and enterprising lawnmowers, it felt like I had stepped back into the lull of summer again.

“Children” of Italy

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One might think that they are about to read an article about the young culture in Italy, but one must not take the title “Children of Italy” at face-value. Throughout my experiences in Italy thus far, I continually find illustrations of an analogy made in class. This analogy compared philosophical thinking to the perspective of a new born infant entering the world (which would be an unfamiliar place). The infant may wander about and explore its surroundings while being completely subjective. While we, as new study abroad students, curiously wander in the same way, but with subjectivity due to our past experiences. How can we justify this analogy and how can we use philosophical thinking to preserve the authenticity that the rich Italian culture has to offer us?

Throughout my experiences not just in Italy, but in life, I find that each event that occurs adds a certain skill or a certain bit of knowledge to my tool kit. But in order to be a part of these events, one must constantly question, wonder about, observe, and explore surroundings, behaviors, and unfamiliarities just as a baby will walk up to an object they have never seen before and put it in their mouth or throw it. This analogous situation can be related to foreigners visiting a country. In a way, we as study abroad students are “children of Italy.” Just as the newborn, we must not be subjective in order to be completely immersed in this unfamiliar place. We are seeing everything with fresh eyes and are constantly questioning our own behavior due to our new surroundings. Generally, we are approaching Italian culture including etiquette, cuisine, and language just as the newborn infant is approaching an unfamiliar item; with curious and questioning minds, but also with the motivation to pick the item up, observe it, and explore it in a way that will ultimately open up our minds to the aspects of the world that have been unknown to us in the past.

One advantage that we as “children of Italy” have over newborns is comparison. As a foreigner, I am constantly comparing everything that I see in Italy to my homeland. This can be helpful but also destructive. I am now attempting to reject comparisons to the United States because it does not fully allow me to experience the authenticity of this country. Authenticity is something that does not exist to most Americans because as Americans, we are used to preconceived views of certain cuisines and cultures. If we were to experience Italian culture authentically, we would have to erase these preconceptions to experience the full potential and take in the very essence of the food and the behavior. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to reject these conceptions due to our familiarities with certain foods which we relate to names and titles. For example, we know what pizza “should” taste like because someone in America decided to prepare it a certain way. In this way, and in some senses, subjective experience destroys true authenticity.

Americanization is a powerful development within society that challenges what we can understand as being truly authentic. Once we enter a different country, we begin to try to understand the differences between the actual culture in that place and the American version of this culture. This realization can be stressful and frustrating to us because it is uncomfortable and unsettling. When we are not used to our surroundings this stress will persist until we accept the reality that it is how people live every day. It is hard to remove ourselves from the idea that we are not in America anymore. I have heard the phrase “I can’t believe I’m here” countless times since I have been around other Americans in Italy. This disbelief is related to the fact that it is difficult for us to understand why a certain culture is different from our own. It is hard for one to believe that an entire population has spent their entire life span living a different way than our population has. We must move past this to understand that cultures are not based off of a comparison to our own. Italian culture should be analyzed for what it is, not what it is not. Although we have the tendency to analyze our own culture in this way, I believe that all cultures should be analyzed without comparison. We must not let these comparisons distract us from the fact that certain cultures are not built off of one model, but were simply invented through time, place, and development of a specific identity.

As a child, new to Italy, I will continue to question and explore everything in addition to attempting to reject preconceptions that have been instilled in my American mind since birth. As my new experiences persist, I will attempt to resist familiarities to truly live through the native Italians around me. By immersing myself in a distinct culture, I will continuously add to my palette of tastes and tools, but also will open up curiosities and questions that have never been explored before.

I AMsterdam!

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Hello everyone,

This past weekend was a blast in Amsterdam! Unfortunately we waited too long to book a hotel so we made two trips back to Amsterdam; however, it ended up being cheaper in the long run! Our first day to Amsterdam we took two busses to get to Keukenhof for the tulip tour. This tour was absolutely beautiful! I like flowers, but I never thought I would spend hours in flower fields. I was honestly amazed! This is the only time to see and tour the tulips so we were very fortunate to be here at this time!

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Our next adventure was walking through the Red Light district. This was definitely the most emotion I have felt during this trip. I felt sad because most of the women who are working the Red Light district do this involuntary. They are promised professional dance professions, not to work in the Red Light district. Having prior knowledge about the Red Light district was learned from  research, which helped me prepare for this experience.

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This experience gave me more of appreciation for our lives at home that have security, safety, and stability.

The next day we returned to Amsterdam by train. We went to the Heineken experience tour, which was a new experience for me. It almost reminded me of Hershey’s Chocolate tour, but more intricate. The Heineken experience tour took you through the brewing information. After we walked through each step we went on Brew You Ride. You stood up and grabbed on the railing in front of you. The floor moved and shifted as well as different liquid substances squirted out toward us while we were being transformed into beer. After the process was completed we were poured into the bottles and then transported into a box. After being transported into the bottles we were put into a box and transported to a “party”.

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Bubbles were being blown at us during this part of the ride.

Bubbles were being blown at us during this part of the ride.

 

After the Heineken experience tour we went on a canal tour. This tour was very nice because the tour guide pointed out the historical part of Amsterdam. It was very nice to be seated and relaxed during this time. We felt like Amsterdam was almost like New York before going on the canal tour. The appreciation of this city was gained through the history knowledge and learning experiences with the tour. For an example without the long line for the Anne Frank house we would have never found the house without the canal tour. The picture below shows the longest channels of canals in Amsterdam.

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Our last adventure was the Amsterdam Icebar! This tour is for people of all ages. There were small children with their parents for this experience. We walked into a rather large bar in order to gain entrance into the actual icebar. We were given special warm coats and gloves to keep us warm during our time there. There were sculptures and objects that were frozen into the actual icebar. Music was played and disco balls shined throughout. It was a nice way to end the evening and our time in Amsterdam!

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Our last adventure of the weekend was going to the highest peak of the Netherlands and being in three countries at one time. The three countries included the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. There are borders that separate the countries from one another, but the structures and buildings allow you to observe the differences.

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Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for my next adventure to Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent!

Thank you again,

Corby Myers

The First Taste of European Adventure

So we were tortured this week with one day of class! From 9-6 we were in our Intercultural Communication class which is being taught by a Dutch professor. She is extremely nice and knowledge about different cultures around the world. This class seems really interesting and we are all very excited to learn more about how different cultures do business.

But in class everyone’s mind was on our 4-day weekend! My friends and I were planning to go the Keukenhof Tulip farm, near Amsterdam. We actually found a really awesome deal online that included train, bus and entrance for a very reasonable price. Once we got to the fields, we were all quite surprised to see that this attraction was kind of like an amusement park with tulips in it. It was so beautiful, different colored flowers filled the spaces between the sidewalks and it was a perfect sunny day for the occasion. Finally, we got out to the main field where there are apparently rows of tulips. But little to our knowledge, they already dug up those fields so we didn’t get to see that section.

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Keukenhof

My favorite part of Keukenhof was the authentic Dutch singers. We heard them throughout the park as we were walking through. When we got to the section we walked up and saw a group of realistic dressed Dutch people singing their favorite songs. There was a crowd gathered and the people who knew the lyrics was singing along and everyone was swaging from side to side with the music. It was my favorite part of this whole day!

That night we headed to Cologne, Germany! We took a train there and it was an adventure finding all of our different connections! Thank goodness for the friendly Dutch people who helped us find our way around. When we were leaving the station, we walked out and was overly surprised by how close the cathedral was to the station. We walked out at 11:00 at night and all was astonished by the sight. The first words out of our mouths were, “OH MY GOD!!!” I couldn’t believe how tall, big and beautiful it was, especially at night!

Cologne

After roaming the streets for a couple of minutes we found our hostel, which was pretty nice! We actually ended up meeting fellow French students who were in town to study architecture. That night we stayed up till 2 in the morning just talking and getting to know each other. It was a great experience to hear about their life in France and share some information about the United States.

Friday was filled with sightseeing! The morning started off with a typical European breakfast, a pastry and coffee. I have to say I don’t mind it at all! Around noon we took a boat tour of the Rhine river. With our student discount we got an extremely good deal! On the boat tour we saw the Lindt’s Chocolate Museum so of course that was next up on the list! However, it was pretty much like Hershey’s Chocolate World with more history, so we were a little disappointed we picked that over something else. but it was still fun. After the tour we had sausage and fries, which was a wonderful German meal! That night we just explored the night life of Cologne!

Germany

Little to our knowledge, Cologne has an unbelievable amount of stores. Which with a group of four girls lead to a lot of shopping. That night we met up with our new French friends and enjoyed a night out on the town which was a lot of fun! There were a lot of bachelor and bachelorette parties which incurred a lot of funny task. Its hard to believe but we called an early night in the European culture and went to bed around 3. In Europe, unlike the United States, people go out to the bars late and stay out until 6 am. Its hard to believe that people can actually get up the next morning but they do somehow. This might explain why people take such long lunch breaks during the day because they are so tired that they can’t work too hard. I also had an amazing German meal that night of Sausage and potato salad, it was to die for!

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Sunday we headed back to school, which was an interesting trip. We were on what we thought was the last train before our stop. However, we got off at a wrong station in the middle of no where. At this point we had no idea if were in Germany or the Netherlands…. It was just us four girls at a single platform train station not even knowing if any more trains were coming… Thankfully more trains had passed by but not in the direction we needed. FINALLY, after an hour wait, a train was headed in the right direction. But of course with our luck, one group member just went out to the bushes to go to the bathroom because it was a very long day, so of course we couldn’t leave without her.

Train

Our reaction to missing the second train….

So there we were once again just siting at a train station hopping for another train to pass by within the next hour. About 30 minutes later a train finally came and we got back to Maastricht!

This weekend was so much fun and it has made me not want to do any homework. After today’s class, we are all feeling the stress of completing a course in 3 weeks. Tonight was dedicated to LOTS OF ENDLESS reading and booking our next trip to London!

Music: Universal Yet Unfamiliar

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Perugia, Italy is a culturally rich utopia. I spotted this street performer while walking around the shops in the main Piazza and could not help but be intrigued. After listening to his beautiful music on this hammered dulcimer, I threw a Euro in his basket and walked off to reflect on what I had just seen. I reflected on the incredible reality of where I was and how the contrasts in my surroundings reminded me of how strikingly different this country is to my homeland. Although this culture shock can be grueling and frustrating at times, I have learned to appreciate it through an open and wondrous mind.

Daydream No. 19

I woke up with my shoes on, hoodie hanging limply over my face. My feet were hanging off of the edge of my bed, but this wasn’t anything new. The University had, of course, spared every expense when it came to beds and their size. Pushing my hood out of my face, I started to kick off my shoes before noticing the wedge of orange sunlight that had made its way past my curtains, coming to rest accusingly on a pile of unfolded laundry. I didn’t need to find a clock to know that I was running out of time. The sun set earlier every day, but dinner was likely almost over.

The dining hall was deserted. Only a few pockets of resistance kept the staff from having a bit of peace and quiet. Still, they were more than happy to ladle me a steaming plate of what they assured me was beef stroganoff.

New Zealand food is often severely lacking in primary colors.

New Zealand food is often severely lacking in primary colors.

I didn’t see anybody that I knew, but that was okay. More time to take stock of what needed to happen.

As usual, weekend plans of the past, present, and future came first. The nearby tourist trap of Rotorua had seen plenty of American incursions lately, with our group zorbing on two occasions. As entertaining as it is to discover exciting new ways to get injured inside a soft plastic ball, we had moved on to other attractions in the town.

Zorbing sounds a lot like my trips to the beach: screaming, splashing, and then silence.

Zorbing sounds a lot like my trips to the beach: screaming, splashing, and then silence.

Hoping to see the sorts of sights that cannot be found in America, we journeyed to see a Redwood forest and a geyser. The geyser, however, erupts once every half hour, so it’s really completely different. Located in Te Puia geothermal park, a haze hangs over the area, bringing with it that charming “Rotorua smell” of sulfur and camera-toting tourists. So, in the spirit of promoting travel, I devised a quick review of the park to all of you globetrotters out there*.

*playing basketball is not essential to enjoy Te Puia.

*playing basketball is not essential to enjoy Te Puia.

Downsides: Jumping in the mud pools and asking an attendant for a therapeutic massage is frowned upon.

Upsides: Every rock is a heated seat.

The park also includes a Maori carving school; and the fruits of the craftsmen’s labor can be see scattered around the park’s trails. If you’re in Te Puia and feel like you’re being watched, it’s probably one of these statues. If you hear footsteps, run. If you suddenly experience a feeling of existential dread followed by bouts of extended weeping, you should probably get professional help. Really, I can’t help you there. I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of these installations is, so I can only guess that they comes alive at opportune moments to abduct visitors that vandalize or double park.

Meanwhile, in the future, over my steaming pile of grey goo, I considered the redwood forest. Several days in the past, we had hiked through this primordial collection of trees. The forest was lofty and sparse, lacking a lot of the ground level vegetation common elsewhere. The shade of the trees had likely accounted for that, only allowing several lucky sunbeams to drift along the forest floor.

Downsides: Not enough branches to make a treetop village of adorable bear-people.

Upsides: Easy to figure out what kinds of trees you’re seeing, assuming you know the definitions of “red” and “wood.”

Unfortunately, the beef stroganoff had not outlasted the time it took for me to mentally catch up with myself. My time was spent planning for the weekend, in which I could come alive and forget about the whole nasty “learning experience” business. Sleeping became my hobby. It wasn’t particularly destructive to my experiences, at least up until that point. Fall, or “Autumn” as the New Zealanders insisted on calling it, had arrived in full force, bringing rain that led to skipped classes and afternoons spent with a robe and a book.

Because reading a Kindle naked in the dark is less socially acceptable.

Because reading a Kindle naked in the dark is less socially acceptable.

Upon waking up, I’d go through the motions that I described; taking stock of how clothed I was, figuring out how much of the day I’d missed, and looking out the window, where the trees were starting to surrender their leaves, clinging to the few that meant a lot to them. Sometimes, I’d see College Hall’s resident cat hanging around under the dining hall awning, looking a bit disgruntled about the rain and his inability to open the automatic doors. In more ways than one, my stay in New Zealand was winding down.

A new home away from home!

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Hello everyone,

 

WOW! I cannot explain for exciting this experience has been for me for the last three days! On Monday we had a tour of center city, called Vrijthof. This is where the river is that has many boats traveling to and from different locations around other countries. During the tour we were also introduced to the train station, restaurants, student life, and observed a carnival that was occurring this week. During the evening we returned back to Vrijthof for dinner and to explore. Most of the shops close around 6 pm so we did not get a chance to shop yet, but we did have interaction with the locals, had dinner, and rode one ride at the carnival. Most of the locals here are very nice! So it is very nice interacting with them. We had dinner at Catanaba, an Italian restaurant. I had vegetarian lasagna that was delicious! The food here is very fresh and I think it actually tastes better and has more flavor then in the states. However, while eating out our server took a very long time to take away our dishes and give us our check. This is typical. We are usually in a rush for time, so it was nice to relax and not be rushed. Next, we went to Pinky’s which is a waffle and gelato shop! I had mango gelato that very refreshing! We decided to venture off to the carnival and experience an European rollercoaster. The ride we went on reminded me of the Claw at Hershey Park. It was probably the best 3 Euro I ever spent so far!

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The next day we had a history tour of the city. I learned so much from the infrastructure to wealth of the city. I did not realize how valuable limestone is here that costs around 500 Euro per cubic centimeter. Another interesting fact that I learned was that each piece of a window square used to taxed. Last, I learned how the city was built up from it’s own history. Any hill that was created either was created on top of a cemetery or other structures since existence. Each middle path in the cobblestone was designed for horses and now bikes. Last, each corner was built for protection and for the military participants to catch their breath from running.

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My next adventure was to an American War cemetery. This adventure was extremely touching. This cemetery honors those who fought from 1944 to 1945. There is a wall in honor of those whose bodies have not been found. If they have been found they are honored with marker by their name. Each person who has been identified are honored through a burrier sight.

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My last adventure on Tuesday was to the city of Jezuitenberg to tour the caves. The caves are made from limestone and the bottom floors are made from limestone and remains from sea creatures. Many students would come every Wednesday, due to the cleaning staff cleaning the schools. These students were not artists and many of these sculptures were made within a couple days up to a couple of weeks. The pictures below resembles Romeo and Juliet, Egyptians, and Cinderella. The last picture is artwork that resembles the landing on the moon!

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Today was my first day of class! This class is an intercultural communication course. The professor is from Belgium and is very nice! I think I will learn a lot from her and she will challenge us to think from different perspectives as well as become aware of other cultures and norms. Our weekend starts tomorrow! We are in the process of planning to see the tulips, go on a canal tour, and explore Amsterdam! Needless to say I am enjoying my time in the Netherlands!

 

Thank you for reading,

 

Corby Myers

 

 

 

 

My 24-Hour Finding of the European Culture

After being in Maastricht for more than 24 hours, I have learned a lot about the European culture. For some of this it would be qualified as hard core stereotyping, but this is what I’ve noticed so far.

  1. You have to pay to use the restrooms in public, no matter if you are a paying customer or not. Which blows my mind!
  2. Everyone demonstrates their own fashion. Men, women and children all look nice. I really enjoy to seeing the men in nice suits with some nice shoes on. I really hope America adopts this norm soon! I idea of even getting groceries in athletic clothes is unheard of. Although the idea of working out in a whole other story
  3. America’s idea of working out is not even remotely close to Europe’s mental model. Today we just walked around the city for a tour and we were almost at 9 miles!! That is seriously so crazy, but it makes sense that Europeans don’t really “go to the gym” just biking and walking around is plenty of exercise for one day! After today, I don’t even know if I had the energy to do a 30 minute workout.
  4. Watch out for bikes. The idea of “yield to pedestrians” does not exist in Europe. You have to pay attention because they fly down the streets and will knock you over in a heartbeat. We were the typical American’s trying to cross the road, swaying back and forth like can we make it or should we wait… It will be interesting to see how running will be!
  5. Cobble streets are beautiful. The scenery around the city is beautiful. Check out my Facebook to keep up with my pictures and weekend adventures.DSCN0020
  6. The houses/apartment are really tiny but so adorable. Just from walking around, we have seen a bunch of different “houses”. They are super tiny like a total of three rooms and they are all just lined up right next to each other. But I think this goes to show the European lifestyle. They want quality not quantity. Also from walking around and just window shopping today, I noticed how the price was a little more expensive but the quality was 3 times better than US clothes. I will be looking more into how Marketing differs in the US and Europe later in the month once I do a little more shopping and learn a little bit more about European business.
  7. Finding a hostel to travel to different locations is SOOO difficult when there is a holiday. With a four day weekend coming up, we are most likely traveling to Cologne, Germany. But with a two-day holiday coming up right before the weekend, it feels like everyone in Europe is traveling.
  8. Everyone in Europe speaks at least 2, if not 3, languages. Just from being in the culture for a short amount of time, it is easy to see how Americans are not as culturally educated as other cultures. I believe it is due to the fact that Europe, is full of different cultures and countries in such a small area so Europeans are almost forced to learn different languages in order to effectively function.
  9. I’m almost certain, no one in Maastricht actually works. From walking around the city all day we got to see more of the people that live here. It seemed like everyone was out and about and no one actually had to work. Couples were hand in hand walking around or sitting down eating at a local café. There were also a decent amount of people just walking around enjoying the beautiful weather.
  10. No one is in a rush. In the states, everyone is rushing around to be somewhere. But here in Maastricht I’ve noticed people are very free spirited and have the motto of “when I get there, I will get there.”  To me this is unbelievable, I hate being late so I feel like every couple minutes I need to be checking my phone to make sure I’m on time. For example, they gave us an HOUR AND A HALF for lunch. We couldn’t believe it, it school you would get 30 minutes to eat lunch and catch up with friends. This is one aspect of the culture that I could probably get used to.

DSCN0022 Today, we took a small tour around Maastricht and tried to learn common knowledge of how to get around the city. It is soooo hard to navigate around cobble stone streets which are not based on a block system. It is almost like being in a “fun house” at a carnival. Most of the time, our group just tries to direct ourselves based on what looks familiar. We hope by next week we will be a little more familiar with our surrounding. DSCN0024 We also made a second trip to the market to get a couple more odd and end things that we don’t have. For example, plastic wrap for leftover food and a hand towel to dry off dishes. Tonight, we decided to sit down and try to book everything for this weekend. However this could be classified as a disaster. Our plan is to go see the Tulip Field’s on Thursday since it’s their last week in bloom. Then go to Cologne Germany from Friday-Sunday and then possible go to Dusseldorf, Germany Sunday before returning to school. When trying to book the tickets for the tulip fields, you needed a Dutch bank account to book train tickers online, and we found an awesome deal for a train, bus and ticket into the garden. So we need to go to the train station to get a gift card to use online. Not only did we have problems with booking a train ticket, we also cannot find a reasonable hostel for this weekend in Germany. Without a hostel booked/planned we have nowhere to stay within the city. So we are hoping to find something for the 3 nights that we will be there. On the bright side, these are the only challenges that we have ran into. So far I’ve had a blast and cannot wait to see what the rest of the trip has in store. I absolutely love the European culture and looking at the architecture around the city. DSCN0015

….And we arrived!

Hello everyone,

I have officially experienced my first full day at Maastricht! I had a long flight and the flight experienced turbulence at times. I had pasta and salad for dinner and yogurt for breakfast. I sat next to man who owned a brewery and was going to Europe in hopes to find new marketing and brewery skills.

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After landing in Brussels my one friend, Melina, and I went to Java and split a chocolate crescent and I had juice that was similar to V8 juice. Next, we went on a bus that transported us to the Guesthouse that is located in Maastricht. During my bus trip I observed gas prices were 1,60 Euros as well as specific space in each circle for bicyclists, which was unique to see. Although, it was not common to see bikes once we left the University that had a bike “house” for students to put their bikes. The next stop was at a small shopping/market place that had anything from groceries to CVS-like stores as well as restaurants. My roommate and I cooked broccoli with noodles in a white sauce; which is currently cooking. We also bought peanut butter, jelly, and bread to make sandwiches for lunch this week as well as muffins and orange juice.

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Tomorrow is orientation day and I am excited to meet other students from other universities.

Thank you for reading,

 

Corby Myers

Ladies and gentlemen please fasten your seatbelts… It is offically take off time!

Hello everyone,

Tomorrow is the day I leave for the Netherlands! I will be leaving my house around noon time to arrive at the airport. I have mixed feelings! I am excited for this new adventure, but nervous at the same time! This will be my first international flight! I am currently in the process of printing my boarding pass and packing! My flight is currently suppose to take off at 6:20 p.m. in Philadelphia.

Our plans are to have a safe arrival at the Brussels Airport in Belgium. We will arrive around 8:00 a.m. There will be a bus there in the morning to pick us up and transport us to the Guesthouse in Maastricht! The bus ride is take about  two hours long!

Once we arrive, we are to unpack and go on a tour around the University and city! The next two days we will have student orientation.  Wednesday we will have our first class with another professor that has been hired from the University of Maastricht! We are told this class will be a lecture hall, which will be a lot bigger then a typical LVC classroom. We will have class in the morning and in the afternoon until 3 p.m.

After our first class our plans are to explore the Netherlands for the next couple of days and over the weekend! I am excited to see the fields of tulips! Currently, my neighbor is there in the Netherlands and just sent me pictures of the tulips! They are absolutely beautiful! The following week our LVC class begins and our intercultural communication class resumes. We will be going to Brussels for the court case of Bosco that was mentioned in my previous post! After our class adventure we are either going to Bruges or going to Italy. Next, we will have another week of classes and we are planning to visit Germany. The following week will be our last week! So we are planning on attending the Dutch VS USA soccer game during our last Friday in the Netherlands! Needless to say we are excited!!!

 

Thank you for reading,

 

Corby Myers