A year from now I’ll be reminiscing on my time abroad, and thinking back to how much I changed (or didn’t).
I have friends who have studied or interned abroad, and their stories have always seemed so extraordinary and significant. I hope that one day I’ll be able to share my own stories that inspire people to travel or study abroad.
But of course, having friends with these stories means I have some pretty high expectations for my own time abroad, so I’d like to share with you my top five expectations for living, working, and studying in the Netherlands.
1. I’m going to meet the most interesting people while working at a hostel.
Have you ever stayed in a hostel? Cause I sure haven’t. I didn’t even know what a hostel was until a few months ago. When I think of a traveler that frequents a hostel, I picture a solo dude with dreadlocks that has an accent you just can’t seem to place, who has become a professional backpacker, and often ends conversations with “Namaste.”
I’m actually very hopeful that I will meet someone who fits this description, so fingers crossed.
2. I will rarely attend my classes, but still manage to pass them all.
The European approach to school is so different from the United States. At Ferris, I am required to attend all of my class lectures, complete approximately five assignments of homework for each class every week, and take three to five exams each semester, for every. single. class. But did you know that in Europe it’s typical for professors to make their lectures optional? Yep, you read that right. There’s also no homework and only one exam at the end of the semester. Hallelujah!
3. My alcohol tolerance will be tested, but I will ultimately win in the end.
For those of you who know me, I can carry myself pretty well while guzzling down a bottle of wine. But those European’s, they’ve got me beat. Give me a beer or anything with vodka, and I look like I’ve just eaten a Warheads Sour Candy. With the appropriate amount of mental preparation, I know I can take on the European bar scene and not look like the sloppy American people will expect me to be!
4. I will make some of the best, lifelong friends.
How could I live a whole ocean away and not manage to make a few lasting friendships? Although leaving my friends in the United States for six months will be hard, I’m comforted knowing that there are good people everywhere.
5. My life will be changed forever.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I plan to run with it. I’m going to spend a semester trying new and exciting things, meeting new people, and traveling the world. I would be crazy to think that I could stay the same person after returning in July.
Don’t worry, after my trip ends I’ll be sure to refer back to this blog post and write a killer story about the Namaste guy I meet.