I leave for Amsterdam in a few days, and I want to take this time to reflect on what I will expect or will do to prepare myself for this trip. I am almost packed, and I did some research on the weather. It appears to be close to what I am used to in the Upper Peninsula, so I will pack a wide variety of clothes. I am excited to go on this journey to study abroad.

I have never been on a plane before, but my friends are helping me pack. I am super nervous about going on a plane. I have a connection, and I have this big fear I will miss my flight and be stranded. However, I am excited to finally experience my first plane ride. I am also worried about my arrival to the country. I wonder what customs will be like, and I hopefully will not have any trouble.

I researched cool places to go, and I made a budget sheet to help with managing my money while I am abroad. I want to be able to buy my family gifts, and luckily I was able to work before the trip to give me that extra money.  Wish me luck on this experience!


I’ve had my first week in Amsterdam now. The plane was an interesting experience, and I am not the biggest fan of flying. It was super easy to get into the country, and it almost felt too easy. I am beginning to find my way around the city, and the Tram is fun to navigate. I still need to learn the Metro a little better, and biking might be super stressful to do because they are everywhere. It is hard to walk without almost getting hit by a biker. I have a list of things I want to do, and there is so much to see in this big city. Our IES coordinator Rosa will for sure give us cool things to do. We had a holiday weekend, and we even got to see the King and Queen walk by at a ceremony!

The group of people I am with make the trip so much fun. We are all becoming really good friends, and my roommate is super fun to be around. I was worried I wouldn’t get along with my roommate, but we are super good friends now. The rooms are nice at the hostel we are staying at, but the breakfast might get old quick because they don’t change up the menu much. Other than that living conditions are really nice.

The class is pretty interesting so far. I really like our teacher, but the dutch grading scale is way different. The IES people are super nice, and Rosa has been great with showing us around. Amsterdam is such a nice city, and the people are generally really nice. Everyone is super friendly, and there are a lot of different tourist around. I feel like I meet someone from a different country every day. I look forward to the brussels trip, and doing different things in Amsterdam.


Amsterdam was a great experience. I was able to experience what it is like to live in what seemed to be a whole different world. My classmates and I noticed differences from a typical American city. While in Amsterdam we did not see homeless people living on the streets, and the public transportation was something I’ve never seen before. We were able to see the power of what regulations from a government can do. Pop was smaller than in America, and everything seemed to be healthier. Many different things were regulated by the government, and it was definitely a change from what I was used to in America.

I was able to experience things outside of Amsterdam, and it was important for the class to be able go see Brussels. Seeing the European Parliament, House of European History, and the Commission were very interesting to see. I loved learning not only about the European Union but also the history of Europe. It allowed me to view history from something else than the American point of view. I loved this opportunity to step outside of the American lense that I have always looked out of.

Lastly, this was a great opportunity, and I loved my time abroad. I have made great new friends, and met lots of interesting people. I was able to go to places I’d never dreamed of going, and I was able to see things I had never imagined seeing. I was blessed with this opportunity, and I will be forever grateful for being able to see the world.