IWG - Settling Into Amsterdam

Programs for this blog post

Inside World Governance

Authored By:

Jaakirah Reid

Study abroad programs offer students a unique opportunity to expand their horizons, immerse themselves in different cultures, and gain invaluable educational experiences. High school students from around the United States and Canada embarked on a study-abroad trip to Amsterdam. Armed with passports and boarding passes, most students embark on their first-ever international flight, eagerly awaiting the wonders of Amsterdam. Upon arrival, students gathered in large and small groups playing 2 Truths and a Lie, Uno, or just socializing. After successful flights, we all arrived in Amsterdam excited to begin our journey. One photo below shows the Amsterdam airport supermarket with the traditional Dutch wooden shoe. We then traveled by bus to our hostel in central Amsterdam and had lunch. Several students met us throughout the day as they traveled on their own to the program. Students were very tired, but we all walked through a nearby park and saw families having parties, kids playing frisbee, and people dancing in the gazebo. Students could easily relate to the area and were surprised by the number of bicycles around and how dangerous they can be. Afterward, we headed back to the hostel and checked in. It was a long day, and everyone was ready for bed. Anticipation builds for the days of exploration and discovery that lie ahead.

Day 2 began with a bit more orientation to ease the transition. Students took a crash course on intercultural communication and underwent bystander intervention training. More excitedly, students received their tram cards and SIM cards or temporary phones if needed. Then we walked through the charming streets, viewing iconic landmarks like the Royal Palace, Dam Square, and Central Station. Again students were surprised at the number of bicycles and the inventive parking structures to house all the bikes.  Students enjoyed a little free time with their groups in the city, and then we met again near the Royal palace to take the tram back to the hostel for dinner. Students made more new friends while playing a variation of volleyball in the courtyard last night. At breakfast this morning, students were excited to get to know the ballet dancers that arrived from all around Europe. Students have bonded together and are eager to start classes and see more of what Amsterdam offers.

- Jaakirah, Lisa, T.J. and Hollie