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Notes from Abroad: Joshua in Amsterdam
Joshua Geiger ’18 is a major in Business and a minor in Entrepreneurship who is studying in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
During my time studying abroad in Amsterdam, I have already experienced a lot of new things. The culture here is not drastically different from the U.S. but I had to get used to some customs here. There is different food than what is typically available in the U.S. I have also made a trip outside of Amsterdam to a different town within the country of The Netherlands and my school has planned field trips to different nearby historical towns.
One of the first differences I noticed when I got here, was the cars are significantly smaller. In Amsterdam especially. Seeing SUV’s here is rare. The city has many small streets, with a modern public transportation network. The taxis here are fancy, with Tesla taxis being a commonality here. Credit Cards are rarely used with Debit Cards being the most common form of payment. One of the biggest things I had to get used to, is the time and the date. In the Netherlands, the 24-hour clock is the standard measurement of time. For example, 6:00 PM will be written as 18:00. When writing the date, the day is written before the month.
In the Netherlands they have food not sold in the U.S. However, there are common brands of food from the U.S. that are packaged differently. For example, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes are called Frosties. There are also many traditional and tasty snacks in The Netherlands. Stroopwafels for example, are thin waffle like cookies with syrup in between which are delightful. Doritos Cool Ranch is called Cool American here, ranch dressing is not common either as the next replacement would be called yogurt dressing.
The typical Dutch student takes about 8 classes a semester in a way that’s similar to a High School. They call the professors teachers and show less respect towards professors than we typically do at LFC. But during some classes, there will be no explaining and you can just work on your assignments. Also, there are no clubs, no extra-curricular activities at all, and Tio has only one building. For water you must fill your bottle in a kitchen style sink or a bathroom sink, there are no water fountains.
I am highly appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to experience living and being able to study abroad in The Netherlands. This is an incredible once in a lifetime experience and I hope many other students after me will be given the same opportunities I have had.