So let’s just get right down to it, we all know the major appeal to study abroad don’t we?
Obviously, and if you say differently then you are not a goal setting, well-rounded, studious pupil…
ANYWAYS the second-best reason is easily the endless travel opportunities that you have when on exchange!
As you may know, I have not done much traveling (and by much I basically mean none at all) since being in York. I just did not, and I don’t regret not traveling that much, but I was able to make it out this weekend! This was not just a weekend get away though. It was a reunion!
Before I left Singapore, I already knew that I was heading to the UK to do another study abroad, so a bunch of Europeans and I made some tentative plans for me to come visit while in Europe. For the most part, I wasn’t able to meet up with most of them because our schedules wouldn’t line up, but a couple friends and I were able to make it to Amsterdam for the weekend.
Sterre, the local Amsterdamite (I have no idea what to call a person from Amsterdam), allowed us to stay at her place, so Nikolaj from Denmark, Daniela from Sweden, Julius from Denmark, Sanne from south Holland and I all hiked our way over to the canal city!
We all came a long way and you know what we did?!?!? NOTHING.
Amsterdam had a special weather package called the “Siberian Wind” ordered just in time for our arrival. It was below freezing the entire weekend, but if that wasn’t enough, there was a constant fifteen mile per hour wind that gladly pelted you in the face with the iciest wind imaginable. Needless to say, we did not leave the house too often. But, that is exactly what made the weekend so special. Sterre had this entire shelf of board and card games at her place and this group just so happened to be the same group that I would meet with twice a week for a rigorous game of Risk back in Singapore! It was a match made in heaven to be honest with you!
When we weren’t heckling each other and figuring out a way to annihilate the other players, Sterre took us to the local areas that tourists don’t normally know about. Have you ever had Surinamese cuisine (fast fact: Suriname was a territory of the Netherlands, so Suriname is highly represented around the city) because if you haven’t then I HIGHLY recommend you doing so! Can’t tell ya what the heck I ate, but it was the most amazing food I’ve ever had.
We did manage to visit some sites like the Amsterdam sign and the royal palace, but it was just too cold to do much else. In the end, I was primarily there to spend time with my old friends. The people you meet on exchange will never be like any other you’ll come across in your life and I was lucky I got to see them again. Study Abroad = Friends Around the Globe.