I just saw the group through the check-in process here at Schipol Airport. Will and Ann left earlier this morning (he on his way to our Japan study abroad program and she on her way to meet up with her daughter in Ireland). Folks over there State-side can expect the group to arrive in Boston on Swissair flight LX52 from Zurich at 7:55PM. I will be on a later flight today to Italy as I head off on my own post-program adventures.
Here are some final pictures of the group – the last two taken on our good-bye dinner/canal ride last night. Bitter-sweet time as we wrap up a great experience here in The Netherlands. As we say in Dutch…Tot Ziens!
Here’s to our intrepid Netherlands students —
- Simone, Will and Christina who pedaled from Leiden to the North Sea town of Katwijk
- Will, Simone, Caitlin and Cassandra who actually swam in the North Sea!
- And Samantha who did a fantastic job of managing Dutch public transportation “home” by herself.
We’ve been a little remiss in updating the blog…in part because we’ve been so busy. Students have all completed their “career interviews” – a project where they get to choose a Dutch person who works in a profession that they are interested in, interview them about the educational path they took to get to that profession, and then compare it with the typical path that someone in the U.S. might take to a similar professional goal. The students interviewed a veterinarian based out of Friesland, an international educator, a cheese monger, an international security expert, an artist, a minister/social worker, and an early childhood educator. We eagerly await the presentation of their findings on Friday.
Per usual, we have mixed exploration and adventure in with the classroom sessions (which are an exploration and adventure in their own right). Saturday took us to Amsterdam and visits to the Rijks Museum (the national museum of art), the NEMO (a children’s museum with a particularly interesting sex ed exhibit called “Teen Facts”), and the Anne Frank Huis.
We explored a LOT of the city by foot, including the Dam Square and the new city library, where we enjoyed the café on top with a spectacular view and a visit to IHLIA (the International Homosexual and Lesbian Information-center and Archives).
With darkness not falling until after 10:00PM here in the Netherland at this time of year, some of us stayed in the city late in order to enjoy the nighttime beauty
We were all pretty weary when we finally caught the train to return to our sweet village of Leiden.
Because so many of the cities are so close together here in The Netherlands, we only had to take a short (15 minute) train ride to get to The Hague. The majority of the group visited the Escher Museum, housed in what used to be the winter palace of the royal family, and the Binnenof, the seat of the Dutch government.
A few of our adventurous eaters tried the traditional Dutch practice of eating raw herring with onions (while trying to dodge the seagulls that are extremely interested in this Dutch “delicacy”).
And we wrapped our day up with a visit to Madurodam, a popular tourist site that puts everything in perspective (sort of). It was fun to see the small versions of many sites that we’ve already seen in this small country.